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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How Brexit will take the Home Office to breaking point

The state of unpreparedness of the UK Government for Brexit has once more been graphically underlined, this time with an article in the Independent in which the former head of immigration enforcement argues that the Home Office will struggle to cope with the challenge without more resources.

David Wood, who was director general of immigration enforcement at the Home Office until 2015, has raised concerns with MPs about the scale of the task facing immigration officials after Britain leaves the EU. He told the Home Affairs Select Committee that extra border checks on EU citizens after Brexit will heap “considerable pressure” on stretched staff:

MPs also heard that more than a million illegal immigrants are unlikely to ever be removed from Britain, as Mr Wood admitted there are "enormous difficulties" in removing overseas nationals who are in the country unlawfully.

Mr Wood echoed politicians' concerns over the Home Office’s ability to deliver on Theresa May's Brexit plan to register the estimated three million EU nationals living in the UK, saying it would result in backlogs or a need to bring in staff from other departments.

Asked about the capacity to deal with immigration changes, Mr Wood said: “I don’t think they can cope with it.

“Right across the immigration system - I don’t think it’s ever been greatly well resourced - it’s becoming tighter and tighter and budgets are getting reduced and reduced.

“So I don’t think under current resources that that challenge of Brexit can be met and certainly not met smoothly.

“There’s no doubt in my mind of that.”

He conceded that rising pressures on staff could increase the chance of errors, after high-profile mistakes by the Home Office where more than 100 people were mistakenly told they would be deported.

Yet another mess of undeliverable promises, scaremongering and lies that the Brexiteers have got us into. They made the referendum about immigration without apparently once considering how they could deliver on their rhetoric. I doubt if, in the majority of cases, if they even cared.
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