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2 December 2016

New figures from the ONS show the Tories still haven’t got a grip on immigration.

Our out-of-control immigration system was once again exposed for the dysfunctional mess that it is yesterday after the Office for National Statistics released the latest immigration statistics detailing the year to June 2016. The data showed the biggest wave of migration in our nation’s history, with 650,000 migrants entering the UK and a net inflow of 335,000.

True extent

Of those who entered, a whopping 284,000 came from the European Union – a group over whom we have absolutely no quality control and who do not require work to enter the country. While the majority of these migrants are decent people, it could include the whole spectrum of criminality. After the tragic murder of schoolgirl Alice Gross, it emerged that the top suspect was a Latvian builder with prior convictions for murder called Arnis Zalkalns. He later committed suicide.

Likewise, after disgraced Keith Vaz went to Luton Airport to welcome the first migrants from Romania and Bulgaria, it quickly emerged that the man he was photographed with – Victor Spiresau – was a ‘psycho woman-beater’ who had assaulted a previous girlfriend whose scars took two years to heal.

Former UKIP leadership contender and MEP Steven Woolfe was quick to point out after the release of the figures that they masked the true extent of the influx. A discrepancy between the ONS figures and the number of new National Insurance numbers issued suggests that the true figures could be even higher.

Public services

How can Britain reasonably be expected to acquiesce to an inflow this large? While many are coming here to work and contribute (although many on low pay may still be a net cost to the taxpayer), many are coming to find work without having already secured it – 127,000 according to the official figures.

With massive demographic pressure already being brought to bear on our public services – with massive queues in our NHS hospitals, with a crisis in school places getting worse and worse every year, and with the burden of our welfare budget standing in the way of controlling our spiralling debt as it is – how can politicians justify not getting a grip on the problem?

It might get worse yet, with alleged Brexiteer David Davis speaking to the CBI yesterday to suggest that he would prefer to maintain a lax immigration regime after Brexit. The Foreign Secretary too, Boris Johnson, allegedly told EU officials that he personally backs freedom of movement – a claim he denies. The vast majority of British voters want action, and in a democratic society our politicians must deliver.

Mrs May’s failure

The figures are a particularly clear reminder of the absolute failure that characterised Theresa May’s time as Home Secretary. She directly oversaw the crippled migration system from that post during the time this data was collected. During that time she gave the impression of being tough on migration while doing little to rein in its excesses – putting out flashy posters warning illegals to go home, while maintaining high levels of EU and non-EU migration despite massive public concern.

It emerged yesterday that Mrs May, as Home Secretary, talked an even tougher game on immigration in private than she did in public, sparking outrage from all the right quarters when it was revealed that she had suggested putting the children of illegals to the back of the queue for places at state schools. What a shame that this reasonable policy never saw the light of day, much like the Tory vow to cut immigration to the tens of thousands never came to fruition.

It says it all, really: all talk, and no action. How many times have we heard the empty phrase ‘Brexit means Brexit’ since Mrs May became Prime Minister? Let’s judge her by her actions – if she can actually summon the energy to act at all this time.