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Mass migration skeptic Suella Braverman reinstated as Home Secretary

Suella Braverman, ‘shamelessly’ anti-open borders, was reinstated as home secretary just over a week after stepping down from her post, in a potential signal from the newly installed Sunak government to conservative voters that it might in fact seek to suppress mass migration.

While most of the selections for Rishi Sunak’s new cabinet have been establishment picks from the Johnson and Truss governments, one choice has raised eyebrows among Westminster watchers: Suella Braverman’s reinstatement in the Home Office. , the government department responsible for setting and enforcing immigration policy for the nation.

Just last week, Braverman resigned from the Truss government after saying she had “serious concerns” about the government’s intention to honor the 2019 manifesto pledge to reduce overall immigration and to put an end to the crisis of illegal migrants in the English Channel.

During her brief tenure as Home Secretary under Truss, Braverman, an immigrant daughter herself, publicly took a hard line on immigration, saying she would work to finally deliver on the long-promised but never realized conservatives to reduce legal migration to the “tens of thousands”.

The stalwart Brexiteer, who was previously backed by Nigel Farage in the summer leadership race to replace Boris Johnson, also made waves when he told the Conservative Party conference: ‘It’s not racist for anyone , ethnic minority or otherwise, to want to control our borders. It is no exaggeration to say that there are too many asylum seekers abusing the system. It is not xenophobic to say that mass and rapid migration puts pressure on housing, public services and community relations.

“We have to stop the boats crossing the English Channel,” Braverman continued, acknowledging: “This has been going on for far too long.”

His return as interior minister may indicate that Sunak may be serious about his previous promises to “take back control” of the country’s borders, given that Braverman would likely have received assurances from Sunak that to give him the opportunity to actually accomplish such a task. However, as happened under the Truss government, it is likely that a square between the Open Borders team led by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Braverman will take place.

Mr Hunt, who essentially became de facto Prime Minister at the end of the Truss administration, ditching all his key policies at will and pushing Braverman aside, has been a proponent of the theory that mass migration increases GDP. Braverman argued that there are other factors to consider when it comes to immigration, such as the pressures it places on housing supply, the nation’s healthcare system and cohesion. social.

She said earlier this month that she would seek to limit the number of visas issued to foreign students and foreign workers.

As Sunak faces fierce criticism from the small-c conservative wing of his party’s base, Braverman’s selection as home secretary may offer clues to his strategy to hold on to power , namely taking a neoliberal globalist line on the economy, while offering the red meat of immigration curbs to appease conservative members.

Both Braverman and Sunak backed the Johnson-era plan to send illegal migrants to East African country Rwanda to have their asylum claims processed abroad rather than on British soil in the hope that this will deter other illegal migrants from trying to enter the country. country.

During the summer competition to replace Boris Johnson, Sunak also presented a plan to set a cap on the number of refugees per year, as well as limit limits on who can apply for asylum. He also proposed to suspend foreign aid from countries that refuse to accept the return of criminal foreigners.

One of the first big battles to watch over who will prevail on the issue of mass migration will take place in negotiations with India for a post-Brexit trade deal. Negotiations reportedly broke down after Suella Braverman openly opposed the inclusion of increased visas for Indian nationals as part of the trade deal. Sunak, whose family is from India, is likely to press ahead with the trade deal to secure a quick victory as the country’s first Asian-born prime minister. Whether that will include concessions on migration remains to be seen.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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