There’ll be little agreement on solutions but Brendan Cox’s analysis of the absurd immigration targets culture is spot on.
If Leave win on Thursday. Their immigration campaign will come back to bite them. Principally because they will be no more successful than David Cameron in ‘taking control’ of the issue.
The most sensible immigration policy is one that matches demand for labour with supply. While ensuring compassion and capacity for genuine refugees. Enabling them to be part of the solution to their plight, not just a burden on those that host them.
Neither element of that benefits from a quota. Quotas in economic migration are either irrelevant (if high) or damaging (if low). The notion the state can plan the ‘right’ number is as absurd here as it is in every other policy area.
With refugees capacity matters, and capacity can change in reaction to events. There is no objectively right number unrelated to the circumstances of the day.
In both cases you also need to look at why the UK finds it so difficult to cope with migration. We are not full, 97.5% of our land is undeveloped. There is no good reason why public services should not cope with expansion. You don’t hear businesses moaning about having more customers, why does the NHS?
Nor do we have to pander to the myth that immigration is only hard because of rampant racism from ‘stupid Sun readers’. Integration isn’t easy. But it isn’t helped by tribal politics and sneering elitism. Fascists and anti-Fascists screaming abuse at one another do not represent the core of any debate on community relations. Daily Express headlines have not turned us into a fertile ground for the BNP. Anti-racist hate tactics in political campaigns do not encourage tolerance.
And so on…an honest dialogue about immigration would be welcome. It might start though with a bit more understanding between factions as to where their views on the subject and the public come from… rather than assumptions.