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Priti bad week for our Home Secretary

November 25, 2021 2:16 PM

ny77 (By Richard Townshend - https://members-api.parliament.uk/api/Members/4066/Portrait?cropType=ThreeFourGallery: https://members.parliament.uk/member/4066/portrait, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=86678175)The news last night that almost 30 refugees had drowned in the channels is so sad and shocking.. That it should happen in one of the worlds busiest shipping lanes between two of the worlds richest countries makes it doubly unforgivable. It is the latest in a growing list of areas where our Home Secretary is struggling to meet her promises.

1. Arrivals by Boat

We had already covered the failure to manage immigration ( See http://southsuffolklibdems.org.uk/en/article/2021/1419203/brexit-and-immigration) but the current rhetoric is in part driven by ideology. Whilst it is true that numbers arriving by boat have tripled this has to be viewed with the fact that asylum applications overall are down 4% this year. In terms of numbers of asylum acceptances per head of population the UK is already one of the lowest in Europe

The problem for the government is the optics. They fought the last election promising to take back control of our borders and Ms Patel has promised to stem the flow of boats with ever more draconian pronouncements. This despite the almost impossibility of policing the European coastline and the absence of legal ways of entering the UK forcing desperate people into the hands of people smugglers.

This political embarrassment has forced the Prime Minister Boris to order a review to find a way of cutting the number of people making such voyages from France. appointing Stephen Barclay, to undertake a review into the Home Secretary's failure

2. Offshore processing

The answer we are told is to process asylum applications somewhere outside the UK. Rwanda, Albania, Gibraltar and Ascension Island have all been mooted as possible sites, Ms Patel has spoken in favour of the idea.

There is just one problem with all this ( apart from the enormous cost!) .Kevin Foster, the minister for future borders and immigration, has admitted. "We haven't had a country say yes to what you've suggested yet. But certainly we are in conversations with a number of partners, but for obvious reasons I'm not going to get into the details of them."

Imagine how we would deal with such a request from a third country.

3. Windrush

A report by the Home Affairs Select Committee said Priti Patel's department had presided over a "litany of flaws" and that an independent organisation should take over.

They found that, as of the end of September, only 20.1 per cent of the initially estimated 15,000 eligible claimants had applied for compensation, and just 5.8 per cent had received any payment. 23 people are thought to have died without receiving compensation from the scheme.

The MPs found the design of the compensation scheme contained the same "bureaucratic insensitivities" that led to the Windrush scandal in the first place .They said the latest evidence of its failures was a "damning indictment of the Home Office".

"The treatment of the Windrush generation by successive governments and the Home Office was truly shameful," the committee said.

4. Nobel Visas

The UK's Nobel prize visa scheme was announced in May and under its conditions, the winners of prestigious global prizes could be fast-tracked through the process of coming to live in the UK. They would not have to fulfil the other criteria usually necessary to complete the visa application.

Home Secretary Priti Patel hailed it as a way of allowing "the best and brightest" to come to the UK. She said: "These important changes will give them the freedom to come and work in our world-leading arts, sciences, music, and film industries as we build back better. This is exactly what our new point-based immigration system was designed for - attracting the best and brightest based on the skills and talent they have, not where they've come from."

The problem is in the period since its launch ministers have admitted that they had not received any applications for the scheme at all.

Another blow to the vision of post-Brexit Global Britain

Its not surprising that a hostile environment to immigration will make those you are willing to let in less attracted to come to the UK