Brexit Bill: Boris Johnson on brink of ‘pretty big row’ says expert
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Last week saw Mr Johnson barely survive a no confidence vote in which 41 percent of his own party voted against him. Now, analysts argue Mr Johnson has failed to deliver the Brexit voters wanted – and has in fact produced the total opposite. This, they argue, is primarily due to high rates of immigration over the last two years – widely seen as one of the key motivations behind 2016’s successful Leave vote.
There was a 25 percent increase in non-EU migrants in the last year than in 2019, according to the Home Office’s immigration figures, with 239,987 work-related visas granted.
Indians represented the largest contingent, with 67,839 work visas granted last year – a 14 percent rise from 2019.
Jonathan Portes, professor of economics at King’s College London, believes Mr Johnson’s more liberal approach to immigration was the primary driver behind the climbing numbers.
Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of Conservative think-tank the Bow Group, told Express.co.uk: “If you look at Boris’ favourability ratings, he lost 27 points pre Partygate, and 12 points post Partygate.
“Both drops are clearly considerable, but it is his catastrophic failure to deliver on what Brexit voters want that has caused him the most damage.
The political commentator argued that Mr Johnson’s Government “isn’t a Brexit Government and it isn’t a conservative Government”.
He added: “Boris is making the mistake of thinking he can announce policies like a ‘points based system’ and Rwanda in the hope of distracting people from the fact that annual immigration to this country increases year on year, and is now at all time record numbers, likely close to two million a year in totality.
“This Government doesn’t only let in substantially more immigrants than the last Labour Government, it lets in substantially more immigrants than any Government in history.
“Boris’s only hope is to deliver on his mandate of patriotic conservatism and recover in the polls.
“People are worse off under this Government, and Conservatives are spending more, borrowing more, and taxing more than the last Labour Government.”
Robert Oulds, chairman of eurosceptic think-tank the Bruges Group held similar criticisms for the PM, telling Express.co.uk: “He has not delivered the Brexit the British people voted for. It’s quite incredible.
“It would be a national scandal were it not for being masked by the Covid lockdown and the problems it created.
“He’s been serving the interests of big businesses who want to create a pool of cheap labour and undermining the interests of ordinary people in this country.
“It’s absolutely shocking.”
Mr Harris-Quinney went on to deliver a warning to the PM, saying: “Boris has great charisma, and gives great speeches.
“He’s been clever enough to see Brexit requires talking about a radically different approach, but not clever enough to see it requires employing a radically different approach.
“He has mere months left to wake up to that reality – or else.”
The morning after seeing off the Tory rebellion, ahead of meeting his Cabinet, Mr Johnson said: “This is a Government that delivers on what the people of this country care about most.
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“We have pledged £37billion to support households with their finances, made our communities safer through hiring 13,500 more police officers, and tackled the Covid backlogs in the NHS by opening nearly 100 Community Diagnostic Centres so people can access care closer to home.
“Today, I pledge to continue delivering on these priorities. We are on the side of hard-working British people, and we are going to get on with the job.”
Responding to the high numbers of immigration to the UK, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Immigration has enriched our nation through the ages and continues to do so. People hailing from every corner of the globe are here in the UK contributing to our country in many ways across our economy, society and culture.
“Our exit from the EU has led to the biggest change in our approach to immigration for decades, implementing a new points-based immigration system.
“This delivers on a key commitment to the public to take back control of our borders and put in place an immigration system that works in our national interest.”
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