In the home secretary’s new world, business figures and entrepreneurs are welcome – but labourers, NHS cleaners and bus drivers (like his father) are not
The Independent Voices
It bears repeating. Britain is 100 days away from leaving the European Union and we do not yet have anything like a new migration policy. That might not matter so much if the Article 50 process was paused, or if there is a smooth transition period, in which case migration policy would remain unchanged. However, the lack of any clarity on new migration rules becomes much more alarming if, as seems depressingly likely, a “no deal” option is being seriously contemplated by ministers, with preparations to match.
The one good thing the home secretary, Sajid Javid, does seem to clear on is that the days of targets and caps are over. That is a victory for those, such as The Independent, who have long campaigned for an end to such meaningless and unachievable numbers – the failure to reach them merely devaluing trust in politics.
Our “Drop the Target” campaign has, belatedly, been adopted by the Home Office; the hostile environment regime is no more, and the Windrush scandal a matter of national shame. There has been progress.
Mr Javid, presenting his white paper on immigration to parliament, insists that free movement will end, “deal or no deal”. Strictly, this is not correct in any case, as a deal now would presage a transition period during which free movement would remain, and there is some doubt as to how long that transition period will turn out to be.