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General election – Conservatives cling on – immigration policy – human rights

General election – Conservatives cling on – immigration policy – human rights

  • 11/06/2017
  • Answered by Red Square London’s Immigration Specialist, Oliver Westmoreland – Ответил наш Специалист по Иммиграционным Вопросам, Оливер Вестморлэнд
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IMMIGRATION BLOG

General election – Conservatives cling on – immigration policy – human rights

11 June 2017

The general election got rather exciting. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party was steadily coming up on the inside rails, eating away into the initial huge lead in the opinion polls enjoyed by Theresa May’s Conservatives.election

It rather reminded us of the Battle of Agincourt (25 October 1415, in case any readers have forgotten), in which the dogged English and Welsh archers (in this case represented by the Labour Party) inflicted fatal damage on a large and apparently powerful French army (the Conservatives), who were unwisely confident of victory.

But, sadly for the Labour Party, the replay wasn’t precise: they did a lot better than expected but the Conservatives managed to cling on to power, with help from some friends over the water (specifically the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a party from Northern Ireland with whom they have made a parliamentary alliance).

But without any doubt the Prime Minister regrets calling the election in the first place, which she thought would enable her to increase her majority in the House of Commons to strengthen her hand in the Brexit negotiations. As it turned out, she lost her majority.

Rather strangely, the Conservatives lost seats in England but gained a few seats in Scotland, and as the most famous Scotsman Robbie Burns might have observed:

The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/Gang aft a-gley

(In case there are any readers who can’t understand Scots, we can helpfully provide a modern vernacular translation and interpretation of his prescient words: “plans can always go wrong, especially when they are based on opinion polls”.)

Anyway, this is all very interesting, but where does it leave government immigration policy? It seems that the DUP are pretty much in tune with the Conservatives, both on Brexit and on immigration control. Maybe they prefer a slightly “softer” Brexit (ie more flexible) but the differences may be in practice fairly minimal. There is an important political mechanism operating here: the DUP thoroughly detest and distrust Jeremy Corbyn because of his alleged sympathies with Irish Republicans, and they will do just about anything to keep him out of power.

Thus the Conservative/DUP alliance may well prove to be strong and enduring, and we should not expect the DUP to cause any significant change in the government approach to immigration.

However, one thing does seem to have recently changed, but nothing to do with the election result. We previously reported (Immigration Blog, 22nd May) that the Prime Minister had, for the moment at any rate, abandoned plans to repeal the Human Rights Act.

But now, after the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and on London Bridge, the Prime Minster has changed her tune about this somewhat. In a speech she has indicated that the Government was now considering revisiting human rights laws. According to media headlines she has threatened to variously “tear up” or “rip up” human rights laws. Actually, we can’t find any evidence at all that she used either of these expressions; she said something rather more nuanced.

Which just goes to show that this is the place to visit if you want really accurate information about immigration issues.

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