UK at risk of forgetting ‘how to do things for ourselves’, home secretary to say as she calls for net migration cut

Politics

Britain is at risk of forgetting “how to do things for ourselves”, the home secretary will warn, as she increases pressure on Rishi Sunak to cut net migration.

The home secretary will use a speech at the National Conservatism Conference today to call for the Conservatives to renew their 2019 manifesto commitment, which promised “fewer lower-skilled migrants” and that “overall (migrant) numbers will come down”.

Ms Braverman is expected to tell the conference: “I voted and campaigned for Brexit because I wanted Britain to control migration, so that we all have a say on what works for our country.

“High-skilled workers support economic growth. Fact.

“But we need to get overall immigration numbers down, and we mustn’t forget how to do things for ourselves.

“There is no good reason why we can’t train up enough HGV drivers, butchers or fruit pickers.

“Brexit enables us to build a high-skilled, high wage economy that is less dependent on low-skilled foreign labour.

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“That was our 2019 manifesto pledge and what we must deliver.”

Ministers braced for migration figures

It comes as ministers are reportedly braced for official figures expected to show net migration of between 650,000 and 997,000.

This would be more than the previous peak of 504,000 in the year to June 2022.

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Ms Braverman will say: “It’s not xenophobic to say that mass and rapid migration is unsustainable in terms of housing supply, service and community relations.

“Nor is it bigoted to say that too many people come here illegally and claim asylum, and we have insufficient accommodation for them.”

‘It’s not racist for anyone to want to control our borders’

She will also use the speech to insist that there is nothing wrong with someone from an ethnic minority background – like herself – making such arguments.

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“I’m not embarrassed to say that I love Britain – no true conservative is. It’s not racist for anyone, ethnic minority or otherwise, to want to control our borders.

“I reject the left’s argument that it is hypocritical for someone from an ethnic minority to know these facts, to speak these truths.

“My parents came here through legal and controlled migration. They spoke the language. They threw themselves into the community, embraced British values.

“When they arrived they signed up to be part of our shared project because the UK meant something to them. Integration was part of the quid pro quo.”

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Migration bill ‘morally unacceptable’

Row increases pressure on Sunak

The row over immigration will increase pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who recently saw his party lose nearly 1,000 councillors at local elections.

His government’s plan to deal with the increasing number of migrant boats coming from France has also been criticised in recent days, after the Archbishop of Canterbury labelled it “morally unacceptable and politically impractical”.

The Illegal Migration Bill aims to ensure that people arriving in the UK without permission will be detained and swiftly removed, either to their home country or to a third country such as Rwanda.

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