Emily Sheffield: Suella Braverman’s ‘dream’ of solving migrant boat problem will soon become a nightmare
Time will tell if the woman who helped Rishi Sunak win the ultimate prize to lead the country is the Achilles’ heel which could also weaken it. Suella Bravermanquick return to home office unsurprisingly dominated Ri-shuffle’s headlines this week. A new prime minister talks about integrity, then quickly recalls the cabinet minister who had been removed from office days earlier for breaking the ministerial code.
A less controversial minister would have made less headlines. But Braverman, the 42-year-old MP for Fareham, is a divisive figure, loved by the right but viewed with suspicion by centrist voters who felt deeply uncomfortable at the images of her speaking cheerfully. his “dream” and his “obsession” to send migrants to Rwanda at the Conservative Party conference.
It felt like prioritizing ideological obsession over compassion and pragmatism, especially since the Rwandan plan was already a failed strategy.
Braverman is seen as a hardliner who wants to keep immigration clean at tens of thousands, even as we battle huge gaps in our workforce, including in the NHS. His comments were not helpful to his cause as they left critics to paint the Tories as cruel to the vulnerable. But illegal immigration is a problem that cannot be ignored. It will also haunt Labor on the doorstep.
Boat crossings cost us nearly a million pounds a day, endanger innocent lives, line the pockets of violent traffickers and benefit young people and men. Dan O’Mahoney, Channel Clandestine Threat Commander for Border Force, told a House of Commons committee this week that many, once here, are adept at playing the system. Their actions breed resentment against those fleeing persecution.
I feel compassion for any human being who risks their life in a dinghy to pursue their ambition for a better life. But we can’t be blind to reality – it’s not mostly women and young people in these boats. The small boat industry, O’Mahoney asserted, is associated with criminal gangs, prostitution, trafficking in women and children, and the war on drugs. Some 12,000 Albanian migrants have arrived alone this year, he added, compared to 50 in 2020, after Albanian criminal gangs gained a foothold in northern France, facilitating crossings.
Once in the system, visa processing is complex (and designed to be). And our system is blocked. There are 120,000 stuck in a backlog. Only 1,000 applicants have been granted asylum this year. If Sunak is to prioritize his constituents’ Brexit concerns, his July ten-point plan will have to go further. He also wants to set targets for the number of boats leaving France. It was 50%, now it’s 46%. But it will have to be drastically reduced to prevent thousands from reaching here. They need to recruit staff to process people faster in order to reach their new six-month target or the one nearly £7m daily hotel bill for asylum seekers (including Afghans who have fled the Taliban) will continue to soar. Build larger Processing Centers, as conditions would be dire at Manston Airport, and ensure the Border Force has the resources it needs.
But the pressure for more money, when crumbling hospitals are ignoredand we desperately need more police on the streets, will only get tougher as our new Prime Minister desperately seeks his cuts. And it will be hopeless, make no mistake.
Meanwhile, many other refugees, including 10,000 here on a settlement deal from Afghanistan, languish in a land of nowhere, prevented from building a meaningful life.
But there is no quick fix in sight to deter crossings. They jump in dinghies because there’s no way to get here legally, so they take a chance. We do not process overseas applications. Sunak badly needs an interior minister who doesn’t just talk about “dreams” of Rwandan flights taking off, but offers an achievable strategy. And that is not easy. Currently, it is still a shadow of a plan, with only vague internal discussions about an overhaul of Australia’s offshore visa processing.
This same Home Secretary needs the skills to convince us, when he has developed a coherent approach, that it is compassionate and necessary. For many, Brexit was about taking back control of our borders.
It will not only be the economy on which the Prime Minister will be judged. Suella’s “dream” will soon be her and Sunak’s nightmare when bodies wash up on the beach again.
Why do you keep doing this to yourself, Prince Harry?
Spare. The scattered title of Prince HarryThe autobiography of is loaded with meaning. And I dread its arrival, not only because I suspect there will be very little that I will find captivating in any way – seriously, I’d rather discuss the movement of the snails on my doorstep – but because that already the loud cries of disgusted indignation began. And that’s before we’ve read the contents or stolen from its many pages the odd line or paragraph that can be turned into a devastating betrayal of his family, his heritage, and his grandmother.
Social media and newspapers are flooded with comments – here I do it myself! – and we only got the cover of the book and some quotes.
I dread the month of January, and from the 10th, to make matters worse, I will be drowned in the drama of the royal family and its supposedly sorry occupants, the snipers of anonymous courtiers with their hotlines to royal reporters, joined by Harry’s old friends, resentful and upset because they miss their pal as he wanders around California trying to find himself. Publishers, Penguin Randall House, tell us that his memoir is “finally his story.” With its raw and unwavering honesty, Spare is a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination and hard-won wisdom about love’s eternal power over heartbreak.
My recurring question to Harry is, why do you keep inviting this endless cycle of trauma into your life? In fact, don’t answer that.
Harry: My only advice, if you want to heal, stop sharing every detail of your pain, for money. It’s totally inauthentic, even if you donate bits to charity.
The most charitable act we could all benefit from would be for Meghan and Harry and their haters to talk about something else. You have become very boring. Please spare us.