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Sajid Javid has the chance to fashion a new political settlement on immigration, by taking back control
William Hague writes in The Telegraph that the new Home Secretary has an opportunity to reconfigure the government’s approach to immigration. With the emphasis on pushing digital ID cards, particularly after Brexit.
Let us imagine, though, that by the end of 2020, we have completed the Brexit transition and managed to get the databases of all the travel companies and immigration counters working reliably together.
If that could be done, a whole new situation opens up, in which Britain can pursue and administer an immigration policy in the country’s best interests. Current ideas of what is a “tough” policy and what is a “soft” one would become out of date. We would not be a soft touch on immigration by agreeing to a labour mobility scheme with the EU – to let people come to work on farms, in restaurants or on construction sites for perhaps two years – if we could reliably know that they had left by then. Even the Prime Minister might be persuaded to take students out of the immigration figures: it is great for our universities and the country to have people from all over the world here to learn, provided we know with confidence that they cannot just stay without permission when their studies are complete.
We would not let any of these people in if they were in any way associated with terrorism or extremism. And if they committed a serious crime while here we would deport them at once. If the numbers were at any time too great for our economy or education system we would limit the total. We would have the confidence and generosity that comes from being in control.
To enforce this properly, it would be worth thinking again about bringing in universal identity cards. We Conservatives were against this a decade ago, but times have moved on. In a nation with a realistic chance of governing its borders there is a better case for them, and the growing prevalence of digital identities being required for many daily activities makes a stronger case for a core system under democratic control.
Iran deal explained: what is it and why does Trump want to scrap it?
The Guardian provides an explainer on what the Iranian nuclear deal is, why US President Donald Trump wants to renege it and who the other parties are.
Trump believes the agreement is a bad deal, which falls short of addressing Iran’s regional behaviour or its missile programme. He is emboldened by a group of Iran hawks in his inner circle, such as the national security adviser, John Bolton, and the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo. Critics also say it is another example of Trump dismantling Obama’s achievements and legacy.
Brexit seen threatening UK links in EU supply chain
Reuters article on how British firms are affected by the slow negotiation process of Brexit.
… the biggest issue counting against British firms when it comes to clinching EU work is the uncertainty.
A survey of supply chain managers published in March by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply showed nearly one in four British firms with suppliers in the EU was struggling to secure contracts that run beyond Brexit in March 2019.
Image credit: Gareth Milner