Surprising, but welcome, to see this argument for Remain in the Daily Heil.
This is the default position of the British Establishment towards the most contentious and emotive issue in politics. Don’t mention the ‘I-word’. Don’t debate the ‘I-word’. Don’t build your policy agenda around the ‘I-word’. It’s a position that’s been eroded, and – as the EU referendum looms ever closer – has finally collapsed. For decades people have been demanding an ‘open and honest debate on immigration’. Now, at last, they have their wish.
In the past, whenever the ‘I-word’ has been uttered, the ‘R-word’ – racism – has swiftly followed. It’s 50 years since a notorious General Election when a Tory candidate said: ‘If you want a n***** for a neighbour, vote Labour.’ This has since been updated to ‘Would you want a group of Romanians to live next door?’
The leaders of Vote Leave know this. They are honest and open people. And they know that while they are criticising the Prime Minister for pledging and failing to control migration, their own plan would be equally unworkable. But they keep pushing it anyway.
If we want honesty and openness, so be it. Johnson and Gove know their policy of pulling up the immigration drawbridge will serve no purpose other than their own. Providing the keys to Downing Street in the case of Boris Johnson – and the key to rescuing a faltering campaign in the case of Michael Gove.
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