The UK should set up a Ministry of Immigration, assign “unique person numbers” to the population and reshape migration policy to suit British people, a think tank has recommended. The new report, produced by Policy Exchange, calls for changes to Britain’s migration system which would see it better serve voters’ needs. It advises the country reduce its dependence on migrants and instead invest in training its own citizens. Authoring the report, David Goodhart argues that UK should set up a Department of Immigration. This, it states, would address the “powerful national mandate” to lower migration. Though Britain has a minister of immigration under the Home Office at present, the crucial policy area lacks its own department.
British Prime Minister Theresa May must introduce an Australian-style points-based immigration system by 2020 or risk a backlash from the electorate, colleagues in the Conservative Party have warned. Theresa Villiers, who served as Northern Ireland Secretary until Mrs May came to power last month, said the government must end “open door” immigration after the vote to leave the European Union (EU). Her call was joined by former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith who said that politicians would be “living in cloud cuckoo land” if they thought the British public did not reject free movement of people when they voted for Brexit. The Telegraph reports that at least five members of Mrs May’s cabinet – Boris Johnson, Liam Fox, Priti Patel, Chris Grayling and Andrea Leadsom – would like to see Britain introduce a point-based system once it leaves the EU.
THERESA May must introduce a strict points-based immigration system by 2020 or face a furious backlash from Brexit voters, a former Tory Cabinet minister warned yesterday. In her first interview since being sacked from the Government, Theresa Villiers said that the referendum vote to quit the EU must be seen as a demand to end “open-door migration”. And she said the time had come to put a stop to the “free-for-all” system at Britain’s borders. Her intervention comes as the Prime Minister continues to consider how to withdraw Britain from the EU. It was being seen as an early signal of the growth of an “awkward squad” of Tory backbenchers determined to oppose any attempt by the Government to try to dilute Brexit. Former Northern Ireland Secretary Mrs Villiers said that tough new border rules would be a crucial part of Britain’s future outside the EU.
The British government has been urged to make a quick decision on the Hinkley Point nuclear project by the Chinese ambassador to the UK, in order to maintain good relations between the two countries. Writing in the Financial Times (£), Liu Xiaoming, said Britain’s relationship with China is at a “crucial historical juncture”, he added that he hoped the UK would “keep its door open” to China.
A FURIOUS Italian MEP has branded the European Union (EU) a failed “oligarchy” and blamed its undemocratic nature for driving Britain out of the exit door. In a scathing outburst Barbara Spinelli said Europe is facing the terrifying prospect of a rerun of the 1930s and the rise of fascism because of the intransigence of Jean-Claude Juncker’s EU Commission. She called for a complete overhaul of the entire project to iron out its “ruinous deficiencies”, saying the unaccountability of decision making has made Brussels unsustainably unpopular. The influential MEP’s stinging attack is just the latest salvo between competing visions for the EU’s future, with politicians locked in a battle to determine its direction post-Brexit.
TWO-THIRDS of Germans want the European Union (EU) to break off membership talks with Turkey, a poll has revealed. In an Emnid survey for the country’s largest-selling Sunday newspaper, Bild am Sonntag, 66 per cent believed accession talks between Brussels and Ankara should end. In a major rejection of EU policy within the bloc’s most influential member state, the poll also revealed more than half (52 per cent) were in favour of binning Brussels’ controversial migrant deal. Panicking at how to respond to the unprecedented migration crisis across Europe, earlier this year the EU rushed through a ‘one in, one out’ deal with Turkey. The EU agreed to take in one Syrian refugee for every ‘irregular migrant’ returned to Turkey who had arrived by sea in Greece but were denied asylum. But Brussels was accused of allowing itself to be ‘blackmailed’ by Ankara over its pledge to hand over billions of pounds in aid, grant Turkey’s 77million population visa-free travel across mainland Europe and fasttrack the country’s EU membership.
NICOLA Sturgeon is reportedly drawing up secret plans for a second Scottish independence referendum NEXT YEAR to exploit the Brexit vote. The Scottish First Minister is apparently planning to run an emotional “hearts and minds” campaign which would focus on blaming the English for dragging Scotland out of the European Union. She is reportedly set to begin campaigning within weeks in the hope of capitalising on disaffection with the Leave vote north of the border, where two-thirds of people backed Remain. However Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney today rubbished the claims, insisting Ms Sturgeon has “no such plans” to hold a snap referendum. According to reports coming out of Holyrood Ms Sturgeon and her key strategists have already begun drawing up a secret step-by-step plan for their next push for independence.
Retail sales figures were unexpectedly up in July, despite Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, which was predicted to cause a slump. Total retail sales were up 1.9% in July compared with a year ago, while like-for-like sales rose 1.1% over the period, according to the latest British Retail Consortium (BRC)-KPMG survey. The report said the rise was mainly due to discounts and summer sunshine which kept shoppers spending last month despite fears of a post-referendum slowdown. Retailers confounded expectations and boosted sales thanks to a “heavy month of promotions”, while warmer weather in July saw shoppers fork out on picnics and barbecues, helping food sales rise 0.8% between May and July.
British shoppers have shrugged off fears that Brexit would hamper consumer spending after fresh figures showed retailers enjoyed the strongest sales growth since January. The upbeat research comes despite fears by the highly-respected KPMG – Ipsos Retail Think Tank that the political uncertainty would lead to a dampening of consumer confidence which would hurt the retail sector’s fortunes. However, fresh figures from the British Retail Consortium reveal that while there was an immediate drop-off in spending following June 23 as people tracked the political drama, sales recovered strongly in the days that followed.
Labour leadership contender Owen Smith is promising “a new industrial revolution” to make the UK into “the workshop of the world”. In a speech in Newcastle, Mr Smith will warn that Britain is “on the cliff edge of another recession” and will call for urgent action to secure the health of the economy in the short term as well as investment in the industries of the future. He will restate his demand for a second EU referendum on whatever deal emerges from Brexit negotiations. And he will pledge that as Labour prime minister, he would seek to bring about “fundamental structural reform” of the economy, including by investment in high-skilled jobs in renewable energy and the creative industries.
Commuters are facing further chaos as unions prepare to step up their campaign against rail chiefs after more than 1,000 services were cancelled by strikes yesterday. Three unions are expected to take co-ordinated action on one of the country’s busiest rail routes within weeks as part of a mega-strike designed to bring the network to a standstill. The action on Southern Rail next month will come on top of a five-day strike this week, the longest for almost 50 years. More than four in ten trains were cancelled yesterday, disrupting the travel plans of up to 300,000 passengers.
Islamic full-face veils should be banned in shopping centres, public buildings and on public transport, UKIP leadership hopeful Lisa Duffy has said. She said she did not want a general law banning the veil but there were some places it should not be allowed. The councillor – one of six vying for leader – also said she would close Islamic schools and ban Sharia courts. Meanwhile, MEP candidate Bill Etheridge warned against focusing solely on Islam as it “makes us look small-minded”.
UKIP leadership contender Lisa Duffy defended her pledge to ban the wearing of Muslim veils in public places yesterday, claiming the measure would promote a “well-rounded community.” Ms Duffy, who is backed by the party’s former spokeswoman Suzanne Evans, also rejected comparisons with US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as she launched her campaign. She insisted that her plan to prohibit the veil in public buildings, shopping centres, buses and trains would ensure “one rule for all” that allayed people’s fears about Islam. Among her other policies, she calls for the closure of Muslim faith schools until Islamist terrorism has been dealt with and a “complete and comprehensive ban” on sharia courts in Britain.
Muslim women should be stopped from wearing the Islamic face veil in public places, according to a contender for the Ukip leadership. Lisa Duffy is demanding women should not be allowed to wear the cloth, called a niqab, in public buildings, on transport or in shopping centres. The Ukip councillor, who launched her leadership bid with the claim she wanted a “modernised version of British Islam”, has also asked for an end to sharia courts and a “total ban” on Muslim state schools. She said the measures would tackle extremism in the UK.
Islamic State terrorists have been sharing a video explaining how to attack the beauty pageant – set to be held in the Philippines in January. The video – which is being shared online by jihadi fanatics – suggests “how-to-create a bomb for Miss Universe”. The explosive belt tutorial – which was circulated on a pro-Islamic State Telegram channel – was accompanied by a timed hand grenade manual. Extremism has been growing in Philippines – with the rebel groups networking with ISIS groups in south east Asia.
A FILIPINO terrorist communication channel has suggested jihadis attack the 2016 Miss Universe contest in the Philippines. The threat was suggested during a video on how to make a suicide bomb. The exact location of Miss Universe 2017 has not been chosen yet, but Pia Wurtzbach will be there to announce her successor. The winner of the competition is to be crowned on January 30, 2017. The threat follows growing tension throughout South East Asia. Since videos of Southeast Asian recruits fighting under the black flag of ISIS emerged two years ago, sympathy towards the terrorist group has been growing in the region.
The Tories are on course for a massive 90 seat majority in the next general election, according to new research. Shock research conducted by website Electoral Calculus suggests a huge shift in the Westminster landscape – making the Tories virtually unbeatable. Polls show Labour and Ukip are both rapidly losing voters. But a major part of the expected runaway majority has nothing to do with an increase in support for Theresa May’s party. Here’s how the Prime Minister’s plan to redraw constituency boundaries could make it impossible for anyone to beat the Tories in 2020 – or even sooner.