British PM’s Immigration Target Considered ‘Absurd’ by Lib Dem Leader

British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has been accused by Sir Vince Cable of having an obsession about an “arbitrary” target to reduce the immigration flow. He warned her that her “posturing” has fed a misleading and dangerous impression that the issue has run “out of control”.

Sir Vince Cable, who is the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, was against the British government’s target to reduce net immigration figures below 100,000 a year. He considered it to be “amateurish”, “absurd” and to have “malign consequences” that would include economic and social damage.

British PM’s tough line on immigration as a result of backfired target

Writing in one of the UK’s main newspapers, Sir Vince supported the idea according to which the tough line on immigration that the British Prime Minister built her carrier on has now backfired due to the fact that she didn’t manage to reduce net immigration, which is still functioning at 248,000 per year.

Sir Vince Cable is also the former Business Secretary. He lifted the lid on the battles he had with Theresa May during the Coalition from 2010-2015, when the current Prime Minister was Home Secretary.

He said that Ms. May delayed the plans of the Liberal Democrats for exit checks at borders that could have ensured much more accurate figures showing the number of people who leave the UK instead of the “laughably inaccurate” airport survey that was used until recently.

He also said that Ms. May’s crackdown on international students led to 48,000 such students being sent home wrongly and illegally.

Even though the Business Department “stopped the more draconian controls”, many foreign students were impeded from arriving to the country, thus limiting the number of engineers and scientist that could be hired by companies in the UK.

Sir Vince declared: “One of Britain’s most successful export industries – higher education – was, and is, being sacrificed by Theresa May’s Home Office in pursuit of the immigration target”.

 

PM’s narrow obsession with immigration affecting her judgement

Although the Liberal Democrat leader respected the British Prime Minister as a considerable opponent in the cabinet, he thinks that her narrow obsession with the headline immigration figure affected her judgement. He also thinks that Ms. May still acts as the Home Secretary instead of taking a wider cross-government view regarding the economic and social impact of immigration that any prime minister should take.

Sir Vince announced that he will support the Drop the Target campaign. The campaign is run by The Independent along with Open Britain and is the successor of the Remain campaign from the referendum in 2016. Sir Vince wants to turn immigration into a key theme of his leadership.

As an argument to the lack of credibility regarding the government’s target of reducing net immigration to the tens of thousands, Sir Vince declared: “The figure seems to have been plucked out of the air with no evidence base and with no realistic prospect of meeting it”.

He added that “The most damaging consequence of choosing a target in this amateurish and arbitrary way, and then hopelessly missing it year after year, has been a deepening public cynicism feeding the narrative that immigration is ‘out of control”.

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