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Why are the Tories making ridiculous promises about immigration?

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good morning. Immigration has traditionally been an area of ​​Conservative strength, electorally speaking. But over the past decade, it’s become a trickier area for them. Can Rishi Sunak’s pledge to reduce net immigration get them out of the hole? I doubt it, but here are some thoughts on what might be.

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Inside Politics is edited by Georgina Quach.Follow Stephen on Twitter @stephenkb Send your gossip, thoughts and feedback to . insidepolitics@ft.com.

Three challenges for the Conservative Party

As far as immigration is concerned, the Conservative Party has three problems. First, more people trust Labor than Conservatives when it comes to immigration.Click here for related Ipsos MORI charts and datataken November 4-8 (before the announcement of the new agreement with France on the Channel Crossing):

We believe this chart underestimates the political vulnerability of the Conservative government on this issue. Because when pollsters ask who they trust about immigration, far more people say they don’t trust either party or they say, “I don’t know.” If Nigel Farage decides to return to active politics (a real possibility), the Tories’ position could be even worse.

The private argument we hear from many Conservatives is that while they are not going to manage to cut net immigration to the UK by the next election, voters at least the Conservatives I want They do not have such views on labor, but to reduce immigration. Maybe, but all available evidence suggests this is not true.

The second problem is that voters don’t trust you on “unimportant” issues — issues they don’t think are very important. But immigration is now America’s No. 3 problem. Ipsos MORI Long Term Issues Indexbehind only the economy and inflation.

IpsosMori's long-term problem index ranks immigration as the third most important problem facing the UK today.

Now: The good news for Conservatives is that historically, immigration concerns remain relatively low. Record high over 500,000 In the year to June 2022, Ipsos MORI will: Change in level of concern over time:

The bad news is the Conservative Party’s third problem. Jeremy Hunt’s fall statement means substantial cuts to the Department of the Interior.

I don’t think it takes a genius to understand why the politics of immigrants, once a reliable source of electoral joy for the Tories, has turned so against them. We know he has been making unattainable policy promises for over a decade. Words on how Britain faces ‘invasion’ Or in spite of other highly condemned phrases, visibly immigration to the UK not only remains high, but is higher than ever before.

Rishi Sunak promised to reduce net immigration — a Ridiculous promises made by David Cameron And now it’s even more ridiculous. Ultimately, the UK government has no control over the various factors that contribute to Britain’s ‘net’ immigration numbers.

One of the reasons the UK has hit record highs this year is the arrival of a large number of refugees from Hong Kong, Ukraine and Afghanistan, along with a small number of Syrian and Eritrean refugees. With a new wave of crackdowns in Hong Kong, would Sunak really say ‘sorry, we’re full’? If Ukraine’s military success is reversed in 2023, will Ukraine declare that he will shut down the UK until 2024?

Other factors driving the UK’s record levels of migration — post-coronavirus recovery, the number of vacancies in the UK labor market — are likewise not under the control of any government. And many of the levers that states can pull directly have politically undesirable effects. The UK government can squeeze the capacity of UK universities to recruit international students, but given that many universities rely on the flow of international student tuition to remain solvent, this is not the case. is a costly policy.The UK is more free to hire from abroad to fill vacancies in the NHS and other public services, but that comes at the cost of direct pressure on the ability to provide these state provisions. It costs.

Better skills training and further education could reduce the number of vacancies the UK economy has to fill from abroad. Areas where the UK currently lags Many of its associates, as reported by Bethan Staton. Providing adequate funding for government lifelong learning qualifications and reversing cuts to continuing education can improve this. Also.

We have seen the consequences of decades of promises that politicians cannot keep on immigration: high levels of public mistrust, a very tough Brexit, and made those impossible promises. Destruction of many politicians.

How can Sunak avoid that fate himself? First, he and his government can stop talking about net immigration and instead talk about what his government can actually control. The only way to become a country where illegal immigration does not come to fromSpeeding up the processing of asylum applications is one of the clearest and most feasible ways his party can show that he is achieving something on the issue, generating bad headlines and polls. not only.

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I haven’t seen the World Cup moment. To be honest, I decided to boycott it, so no. Holding the World Cup in the middle of the club football season, even if the men’s team was taken from me, could be fixed by looking at Arsenal Women, but holding it when the season is over is a different matter. It doesn’t have the same charm. that’s all.

But one of the things I do enjoy is congressional press conferences. 10 team tournament, the very best way to follow international football. It’s a very fun game, run by Paul Waugh and now thanks to his son his website is so polished that anyone who wants to play it at home can play it.

I can now confirm that I am the highest ranked political journalist in the internal press gallery league called “Stephen Bush”.

Have a great weekend no matter how you spend it.

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  • Past Prime Ministers Participate | | Boris Johnson and Liz Truss took part in the Tory Rebellion It was designed to end the de facto ban on new onshore wind farms, creating new headaches for the current prime minister, Rishi Snak.

  • Michelle Morne’s revelation | | UK ministers have been asked to release all correspondence about how the government has acted. Won more than £200 million in contracts of personal protective equipment to a company called PPE Medpro in 2020 guardian survey It has been suggested that it brought considerable financial benefits to Baroness Pierre Michel Morne of the Tories.

  • war in ukraine | | In an exclusive interview with the FT, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed: there will be no lasting solution to war Unless Russia withdraws from all occupied territory. He said Russia’s new strategy of destroying Ukraine’s infrastructure and plunging it into darkness would not weaken the country’s resolve.

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