Davidson Calls On May To Scrap Immigration Target
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson (pictured above) has called on Theresa May to scrap her target to reduce net migration to the UK to below 100k, saying that the move would restrict Britain’s ‘Brexit growth potential’. The Scots politician is currently the most popular Tory in the country according to a recent poll of Conservative party members, which placed her on 81%, well ahead of all other senior conservatives with the exception of David Davies, who scores in the high seventies.
The move comes despite the Prime Minister promising during the election campaign to stick to the pledge to slash the numbers.
In her latest intervention, Ms Davidson said it was time for the party to have a “mature conversation” about immigration.
“This isn’t about slogans on mugs or Breaking Point posters; this is about the need for a rational discussion around economic growth, workforce planning, the capacity of public services and public consent,” she wrote in The Telegraph yesterday.
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Brexit, she argued “is a big reset button” for the issue and should make it easier for the government to get to grips on the issue.
But she did admit that because of immigration quadrupling under the last government, housing, public services and growth were all affected, leaving Brits disillusioned.
She went on to argue that “with the country on the road to full employment, potential for growth is facing ever greater limitations”.
She also suggested international students should be taken out of the migration targets – a hotly debated issue in the cabinet in the past.
“If people don’t think that students should be included in the net migration numbers, let’s take them out,” she said.
Just 24 per cent of the public consider them to be immigrants, polling shows.
Ms Davidson, who gained 12 seats for the Tories in June’s election, also questioned whether the time limits for gaining a post-study work visa were long enough – opening the door to giving students more time after they graduate to secure a job in Britain.
Since the poorer than expected result for the Government, Ms Davidson has used her influence to push for a rethink on Brexit, with a greater emphasis on jobs and the economy.
She also mocked Mrs May’s admission that the naughtiest thing she had ever done was run through a field of wheat, by taking photos of herself doing the same thing.
Davidson’s views are currently highly sought after and there is no doubt that her intervention will produce an internal debate within the party about the benefits of continuing with the current policy.
Westmonster Dave is the editor of alt-politics.com