Stopping the crossings

Think tank: Centre for Policy Studies

Author(s): Nick Timothy; Karl Williams

December 5, 2022

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Policy Studies looks at how Britain can take back control of its immigration and asylum system.

Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, has welcomed a report jointly written by Nick Timothy, a former Home Office adviser and Downing Street chief of staff, which calls for a raft of tough new policies to stop the illegal Channel crossings. The report, published by the Centre for Policy Studies, proposes: Indefinite detention of all asylum seekers who enter the country illegally; Rapid offshoring to Rwanda for all asylum seekers who enter the country illegally; Further agreements with other countries to supplement the Rwanda deal New laws making it impossible to claim asylum in the UK after travelling from a safe country, and barring migrants who enter the country illegally from ever settling in Britain Changes to human rights laws to allow detention and offshoring – including, if necessary; Britain’s withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights; A reformed Modern Slavery Act, tightening criteria and evidential thresholds, limiting appeals, and allowing exclusions for whole nationalities where there is widespread abuse; The creation of an identity database and system of mandatory identity cards; All future grants of asylum to be made through resettlement routes; A statutory cap – no more than 20,000 per year – on the numbers coming to Britain through resettlement routes; Prioritisation of cases based on the criteria of vulnerability, geography, urgency, alternative support and domestic capacity.

Polling by BMG Research for the Centre for Policy Studies confirmed that the public overwhelmingly endorse a tougher approach on immigration, especially those voters who have abandoned the Conservatives in recent months. 59% of voters think immigration has been too high over the last 10 years; only 9% think it has been too low 27% of voters cite immigration as one of the most important issues facing society today, and among the ‘Conservative switchers’ who voted Conservative in 2019 but have since drifted away, almost half (48%) see immigration as a key issue 74% of voters think that the Government is handling the issue of migrants attempting to cross the English Channel by boat badly, with a clear majority of these voters (68%) saying it is not being restrictive enough On six out of 10 suggested metrics, the public think that immigration over the last 10 years has had an overall negative impact – on housing, crime, schools, wages, jobs and culture 63% of voters support a cap on the number of asylum claims granted each year (just 23% oppose) 68% of voters say the UK should be able to deport migrants who break the law irrespective of human rights laws (only 18% say it should not) 55% of voters say that Parliament should have the final say on the legal framework that the UK follows for human rights, versus just 27% saying the ECHR Large numbers of voters support the Rwanda policy, including clear majorities of 2019 Conservative voters (56% support vs 19% oppose) and Leave voters (60% vs 16%)