Ian Payne is Leading Britain's Conversation.
5 April 2017, 11:50
Will the biggest betrayal of the British people in generations be just around the corner? I fear so.
Consider this core question. What was the main reason why people voted for Brexit? Answer: to regain control of our borders.
But what if we leave, and free movement continues. Is that betrayal? I think so, don’t you?
But that is the prospect thrown out by Theresa May from a safe distance - Saudi Arabia – yesterday, when, in words any weasel would be proud of, she made it plain she expects free movement to continue for an unspecified period beyond that.
Mrs May always needs watching when she talks about immigration. In her 6 years as Home Secretary, she let down the British people, by not getting immigration under control, thereby spectacularly failing to deliver on clear Conservative election pledges.
So my next question is: why go through all the pain of Brexit, if the principal reason for doing it - stopping free movement – doesn’t happen?
Here are some more weasel words from yesterday: "What is crucial for the British public, what was part of the vote they took last year, is that they want to ensure that we can control our borders, and control immigration. And we will do when we come out of the EU."
Really. What about the other elephant in the room, Theresa. In your six years of failure on this issue at the Home Office, immigration from the Indian subcontinent, Africa, and elsewhere, exceeded, most years, immigration from within the EU, something the wretched Jean Claude Juncker delights in pointing out.
You didn’t need Brexit to stop a lot of the immigration people most object to, Theresa. So why didn’t you?
The conclusion is obvious. To get a serious grip on most immigration, we didn’t actually need to leave the EU. We just needed an effective Home Secretary.
In Mrs May we didn’t have one. And will she do any better on immigration as Prime Minister?
Yesterday’s comments suggest you’d be wise not to hold your breath.