Immigration, from being the great unmentionable of British politics, is turning into the issue that dominates the political agenda. Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, admitted last week that his party had failed to heed voters’ concerns about the impact of immigration on employment, and on the provision to native Britons of services such as housing, health and education. He promised to do something to address those worries, although he did not say exactly what. But given that New Labour, for most of its 12 years in power, dismissed anyone who raised concerns about its dismantling of barriers to immigration as a closet racist, Mr Miliband’s apology constitutes a major U-turn.
A similarly agonised reappraisal is happening across Europe. A couple of weeks ago, EU governments adopted a measure that would allow them to reintroduce border controls, “when the control of an external border is no longer assured due to external circumstances” – a vague phrase which allows countries to impose controls more or less whenever they like…
The EU should “do its best to undermine” the “homogeneity” of its member states, the UN’s special representative for migration has said.
Peter Sutherland told peers the future prosperity of many EU states depended on them becoming multicultural.
He also suggested the UK government’s immigration policy had no basis in international law.
He was being quizzed by the Lords EU home affairs sub-committee which is investigating global migration.
Mr Sutherland, who is non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International and a former chairman of oil giant BP, heads the Global Forum on Migration and Development, which brings together representatives of 160 nations to share policy ideas…
Needless to say, Sutherland is a former EU commissioner and quite a bit besides. His views, and the views of oligarchs like him, are likely to count for more than Milliband’s hesitant and stumbling steps in the direction of repentance.