UK 'struggling with the basics' of immigration

23 Jan 2015 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The UK is still failing to “get the basics right” on immigration, according to the country's former chief inspector of borders and immigration, John Vine.

Speaking to the BBC's Radio 4 on 'PM', Mr Vine accused the government and the Home Office of struggling to put the required systems in place to keep things under its control. He also called for “much more toughness in some areas” when it comes to enforcing existing regulations.

Mr Vine left his post at the end of last year and was speaking publicly for the first time since then. He remarked: “There is still much more room for improvement in getting the basics right; ensuring that staff know their powers under the law.

“There is also tremendous room for improvement in terms of enforcing rules and regulations that exist in order to make sure that there's much more toughness in some areas of immigration.”

The former chief inspector also questioned the government's plans to implement a net migration cap, stating that it will be “very difficult” to do so when “you are not in control of all the factors”. His point was in reference to factors that are “outwith the control of anybody, really”.

The government has stated that it would reduce net migration to the “tens of thousands” before the next general election. However, with voting just months away the figures look very unlikely to add up.

Responding to Mr Vine's comments, a spokesperson for the Home Office said: “The British public wants to see immigration reduced and controlled.

“That's why this government is restoring order, clamping down on abuse, and building an immigration system which works in the national interest.”