Britain will not wait until Brexit to begin cut level of migration, the Home Secretary is expected to say as she unveils a crackdown on people coming to the UK from outside the EU.Amber Rudd is expected to use her conference speech to announce plans to limit the number of non-EU migrants in a bid to cut the level of net migration in the run up Brexit.
It comes after Theresa May announced that Britain will trigger Article 50 and begin the formal process of leaving the EU in March next year, meaning Brexit will not take place until 2019.Ministers have been examining plans to restrict student visas so that only the brightest and best can come to study at reputable universities in Britain.
Speaking at a fringe meeting yesterday Mrs Rudd said that she believes immigration is a “good thing” but said it does not mean “we can’t control the amount of migrants we have coming here”.She said that she will be judged “harshly” if she fails to reduce the level of net migration to tens of thousands, but suggested it is more important that Britain has “control”.
She said: “Some people do come up to me and say all we want is control, we don’t mind so much about the numbers. We want to make sure we have got control.”However she warned that any curbs to free movement of EU migrants could not be allowed to “damage” the economy, amid suggestions that highly-skilled and key workers will be exempted.
Asked if she agreed with Leave campaigners who want to see more immigration from the Commonwealth, Ms Rudd, who is in charge of immigration policy, replied: “I don’t think it’s helpful to refight the campaign.”She also appeared to criticised Theresa May for suggesting that a parliamentary vote on Brexit would “subvert” democracy. “Those aren’t the words I would use,” she said.
She also warned that more children are being trafficked to the “Jungle” camp in Calais as she defended Britain’s border controls.The Government has come under pressure to accept more child refugees from the camp, which the French authorities are preparing to destroy.
However Mrs Rudd said: “There is a view that the average age of children in the camp has come down recently. That may be because they know we are going to be taking some of these children.”You have to be so careful not to encourage the traffickers who are the people preying on these vulnerable children. There is a very very brutal, nastry trade in people going on.
“I think it is crucial that the message we sent is that we will take people from the camps in Syria and Libya and continue to give the message that just because you come over to France and you’re illegal, you cannot necessarily get to the UK. Otherwise we do not help people.”
She also suggested that the sexual harassment of young women should be considered a hate crime by the police. The Home Secretary said she “really welcomes” police forces which have had the “strength to call out” harassment.