Satanic Pacts, Long Knives, Discomfort and Joy – Politics and UK Immigration

Buoyed up by last week’s by-election victory and forecasts of another in November, Nigel Farage has named his price for UKip’s support of a minority Tory Government: an in-out Euro Referendum before August 2015. If this all sounds “a bit previous”, it is worth noting that two weekend polls  put UKip at having 25% and 15% of nationwide electoral support. So what does all this mean to the existing party political landscape? Quite a lot. For the Tory leadership the pressure is really on to move to to a UKipian stance on Europe and immigration generally. The party has lost supporters- but there is time to win them back before the May election if direction is changed on these key areas. But a shift now would look like exactly what it is- giving in on a point of principle; just waiting, on the other hand, could be fatal for the current leadership if they lose in November. Oh, and I have to mention Boris Johnson in this context- his comments on the Andrew Marr Show will increase David Cameron’s discomfort (Tory manifesto pledge on cutting immigration was a great deception). For the Tories generally the fear is that the significant anti-Europe and anti immigration sector of their electorate will continue to migrate to UKip, damaging their prospects at the next general election in May 2015. They are stuck with a leader who has been reluctant to commit to a firm position on Europe and many in their leadership who see the social and economic dangers of withdrawal from the EU. They are faced with the choice of two ignominies: being seen to back down to UKip’s demands- many still see it as an upstart and caving in would be a humiliation; or sacrificing their leadership, which would have the same effect but could be painted as something different- a pre-existing opinion amongst the party, independent of UKip’s demands and successes. Labour too has lost some support to UKip, though not so much as the Tories. The impact here will depend on what happens to the bulk of the anti vote- will UKip split the right and damage Tory election prospects to Labour’s advantage? Or will an alliance or a deal arise between those others? Labour’s response will depend on the direction taken by the Torys and UKip. If the anti-vote was in any significant way to split the right, Labour could benefit from presenting the only real alternative. If the next election turns into an anti-immigration fashion parade… well who knows? For UKip of course, things couldn’t be going any better. They’ll drink to that.

This immigration blog post: Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website www.iBarristersChambers.com

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thanks Johns Hopkins

This immigration blog post: Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website www.iBarristersChambers.com

Immigration Splits the Right

David Cameron’s ship was not sinking when Douglas Carswell and then his besty, Mark Reckless  decided to leave, but there is now real pressure to steer hard right on immigration law and avoid mutiny of supporters.

Reckless did his best, in the timing  (during Conservative’s B’ham conference), delivery (at UKIP’s conference in Doncaster) and in his description (Tory leadership had let voters down) of his defection to wreck Tory prospects at the next election. UKIP suggest at least one more Tory is expected to jump- possibly more, depending on the outcomes of the by-elections.

Today’s sunday Times reports one senior Tory MP saying the defections mean it is impossible to foresee a Conservative majority at the next election.

According to The Sunday Times, data disclosed by Tory peer, lord Ashcroft, from a Survey of more than 8,000 voters, shows more than a quarter of those who voted Conservative in 2010 no longer support the party- and almost three quarters of them now support UKIP. A poll for BBC’s Sunday Politics suggests 30% of Tory councillors believe Cameron should strike an electoral pact with UKIP. And 86% believe immigration has been detrimental to the UK.

The central divisive issues have been immigration and the UK’s relationship with Europe. So how does all this change the bigger picture? Ironically, if it splits the anti-immingration and anti-Europe vote (mostly former conservative voters), it could make a labour Government more likely and reduce the prospects of an EU referendum. On the other hand if a deal were done between Conservatives and UKIP… well that would be different again.

As ever, the way the country is run seems to have more to do with the machinations of the political class than with the will of the people.

I am sure they know best.

ShipRatImmigrationBarrister

Photo: Thanks Yorkville

This immigration blog post: Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website www.iBarristersChambers.com

Europe, the UK, Visas, Immigration Immigration and Immigration

I have been told by a fellow immigration barrister that my last post lacked gravitas and sacrificed political critique in favour of sloppy invective. I apologise and will try to do better. To a green field in South Yorkshire, they came. Bacon sandwiches in hand. They would cut UK immigration  to 20%, they roared, encourage discrimination against non-British Workers, turn away foreigners arriving at borders without ID, and exile released prisoners from their former neighbourhoods. They stood up for the Great British Values against the liberal lefties (who, by the way virtually encouraged the abuse of white girls by Asian men). They cheered their (mono)culture spokesman Peter Whittle who berated multiculturalism. They stood to hear from the B&B owners who bravely turned a gay couple away from their inn. They Made England Proud. This was the UKIP’s annual conference at Doncaster Racecourse. God Save the Queen. Not everyone holds that particular basket of views- this is after all a free country (for the moment). Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors (den of Reds and liberal lefties) commented: …if it were to succeed in pulling the UK out of Europe, and bar immigration from the continent entirely… it would be economic lunacy. Free trade, access to foreign investment and skills from across the world are key to UK’s prosperity. UKIP’s immigration plan is a nightmarish vision of stagnation and irrelevance for Britain… . For the similar views of other people much cleverer and more articulate than I, read here.

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Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website iBarristersChambers

All hope lost for government’s electioneering immigration targets – the Quarterly Report

 

The Migration Statistics Quarterly Report (August 2014) on long-term immigration, published yesterday, appears to crush Coalition government hopes of a significant net drop in immigration in time for the next election.

Net migration was up to 243k in the year ending March 2014, a 39% increase on  previous year’s 175k. Emigration was fairly stable, so the increase is down to migration to the country (exactly the figure focussed on by the government and media in recent debate). 

Key Figures (reproduced from the ONS website)

  • Net long-term migration to the UK was estimated to be 243,000 in the year ending March 2014, a statistically significant increase from 175,000 in the previous 12 months.
  • While net migration has increased since the most recent low of 154,000 in the year ending September 2012, it remains below the peak of 320,000 in the year ending June 2005.
  • 560,000 people immigrated to the UK in the year ending March 2014, a statistically significant increase from 492,000 in the previous 12 months. Two-thirds of the increase is accounted for by immigration of EU citizens (up 44,000 to 214,000).
  • An estimated 316,000 people emigrated from the UK in the year ending March 2014. Long-term emigration has been relatively stable since 2010.
  • 28,000 EU2 (Romanian and Bulgarian) citizens immigrated to the UK in the year ending March 2014, a statistically significant increase from 12,000 in the previous 12 months.
  • There was a statistically significant increase in immigration for work (up 38,000 to 228,000), driven by increases for EU15 and EU2 citizens. Estimated employment of EU citizens was 17% higher in April to June 2014, compared to the same quarter in 2013.
  • Immigration for study remained stable (177,000) in the year ending March 2014. Study visas granted in year ending June 2014 rose 7%, reflecting higher levels of university-sponsored applications (applications for other education sectors fell).
  • 265,000 non-EU citizens immigrated to the UK in the year ending March 2014. This ends a steady decline since the recent peak of 334,000 in 2011.
  • Work and study visas granted rose 10% (+14,799) and 7% (+13,885) respectively in the year ending June 2014, compared to the previous year, following a decline since 2011. The increase in work visas was largely accounted for by skilled work (+11,744).
  • There were 23,479 asylum applications (main applicants) in the year ending June 2014, similar to the previous 12 months (23,523), but low relative to the 2002 peak (84,132).
Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
 
 
 Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website iBarristersChambers.

Clegg Accepts Immigration Battlelines (and shows he can do the math)

Reacting to the release of immigration statistics showing 234k net migration in year to March, the Deputy Prime Minister  claimed Tory immigration reduction targets are meaningless.

The figures were today  released by the Office of National Statistics who said they represent a statistically significant rise from 175k the previous year.

Speaking on his LBC phone in, Nick Clegg observed “… you could have million people leave the country and a million come in and hey presto you’ve met the target of no net immigration, so I don’t think it makes much sense”.

I have checked the math myself and he is correct. But this is hardly profound stuff and it is a shame that our political leaders seem set to knock these important issues around until the next election. Goats in rut.

Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website iBarristersChambers.