Tell the truth, Tories: you’re the party of mass migration

Another year, another betrayal on mass migration.

The ONS has announced the latest legal migration numbers, at 672,000 in the year to June 2023. I’d say these numbers are shocking. But we shouldn’t be shocked. In fact, importing hundreds of thousands of migrants – and smashing new records for the level of inward migration into the UK – has been par for the course for the Conservative Government.

Rishi Sunak has sought to style himself as a different kind of politician, breaking away from the chaos of the Truss and Johnson years. But when it comes to our borders, he’s the perfect continuity candidate.

It’s been politically useful for the government to give the impression that they take net migration seriously: take the appointment (and removal) of Suella Braverman as Home Secretary, dubbed “Cruella” by the Left-wing press for her seemingly tough stances on border control.

But Suella Braverman’s rhetoric turned out to be just that – rhetoric. Measured on the numbers, she proved herself to be the most pro-immigration Home Secretary the country has ever had.

Boris Johnson – the hero who oversaw our withdrawal from the European Union, and our last directly elected prime minister – bears a significant proportion of blame for today’s figure. After all, it was under his leadership that the state relaxed many of the visa requirements responsible for our current surge.

The introduction of the social care visa, reduction of the salary threshold for workers, and relaxation of student visas have all contributed to today’s number. Yes, the party of ‘taking back control’ managed to triple immigration from our pre-Brexit peak.

Mass immigration has fundamentally transformed Britain. In 1991, around 7 per cent of people living in Britain were born abroad. According to our latest census data from 2021, that share has risen to 16.8 per cent.

This transformation has always been pursued without public consent – and in many instances operated in direct opposition to it. No government since 1997 has been elected on anything other than a platform of controlling legal migration. And yet, within months of taking office, their manifesto promises would be unceremoniously shelved.

New Labour oversaw the first explosion in legal migration, as we all know. But it wasn’t until the election of David Cameron in 2010 that the flinging open of Britain’s borders was embraced as a permanent feature of political office. The then Prime Minister promised to “take net migration back to the levels of the 1990s – tens of thousands a year, not hundreds of thousands”.

The opposite proved true: net migration over five years averaged 247,000, whilst new arrivals passed 600,000 in 2014. When the party faced the electorate again in 2015 and 2017, they repeated the “tens of thousands pledge”. In fact, average net migration would average 251,000. Perhaps Boris Johnson felt some twinge of embarrassment when he quietly shelved the commitment to “tens of thousands” in his own manifesto, instead vaguely gesturing a desire to bring overall numbers down.

Any politician serious about ending the endless cycle of border capitulation will face an uphill battle: with the Treasury, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department of Health and Social Care, the Department of Education – and yes, the Home Office. It’s not that mass migration has made Britain rich – it hasn’t – but rather that our short-termist politicians have become addicted to it. It reveals their preference for cheap labour over capital investment, the lowering of institutional standards over expensive (and electorally unpopular) reform, and negligible GDP growth over per-capita improvements.

And what about culture? Suella Braverman was right to say that multiculturalism has failed. It is simply impossible to integrate millions of people from radically different cultures, especially when our own political, cultural and media class deride our culture as wicked and steeped in violent oppression. A Global Britain is one expected to constantly erase its own history.

Integration has proven to be a false God, anathema to the liberal values that built our nation. The result of this failure is clear: we have seen weeks of hate marches where some people who have come to Britain openly support terrorism; an institutional cover-up of Asian grooming gangs throughout England; and multiple terrorist attacks. Legislation seeking to calm community tensions has emboldened police officers to arrest citizens over naughty tweets and swollen the diversity and inclusion blob.

As continental Europe rides a wave of nationalist populism, emboldened by voters sick and tired of their conventional political class shamelessly discarding their democratic mandates, a question arises here: will we have our own anti-immigration movement? Who would lead it? And could it smash the two-party consensus in Britain once and for all?

The Conservatives are the party of mass immigration. Regardless of what is promised over the next few days, it’s vital that we remember that.

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then enjoy 1 year for just $9 with our US-exclusive offer.