Piers Morgan: 'If you don’t have a border, you don’t have a country. Voters this year will punish the leaders who get this wrong'

Wednesday 17 January 2024

By TalkTV's Piers Morgan

There are two massive elections this year in which immigration will be a decisive factor.

Here In the US, there is an escalating crisis at the southern border. More than 300,000 people were processed in December alone.

Tens of thousands of migrants are being pushed around the country by bus and by plane. Border towns have declared a state of emergency.

In the UK, net migration is higher than at any time in recorded history. And the government is struggling to meet its core pledge to stop illegal immigrants crossing the English channel in small boats.

The big difference here is that voters believe the conservative Republicans can fix it.

Immigration was the number one issue in Iowa, where voters just propelled Donald Trump to an historic landslide victory.

Donald Trump won this week's Iowa caucus, solidifying him as the lead Republican nominee in the first balloting of 2024.

Back at home the Conservative Party has presided over the collapse of our immigration system.

And it continues to tear itself apart over a single gimmick policy which has never, and will never, make any noticeable difference at all.

Tonight the government looks as though it has narrowly survived another test for its crackpot plan to send a handful of illegal immigrants to Rwanda.

The Rwanda plan should now move to the House of Lords.

Inevitably it’ll end up back in the courts. The bottom line is that, whatever happens, it’s never going to work.

Tens of thousands of people are crossing the channel illegally every year. They enter a broken and chaotic system, kneecapped by chronic backlogs.

Sending a tiny number of people to East Africa, at a cost of £169,000 per person, was never a practical or humane solution.

So why the repeated self-inflicted chaos?

We’ve seen rebellions, resignations, and legal ramifications galore. But more journalists and ministers have flown to Rwanda than migrants.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak looks like a hapless cartoon character repeatedly stepping on a rake as the handle whacks him in the face.

MPs Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith and parliamentary secretary Jane Stevenson resigned from their party positions, in support of changes to the Safety of Rwanda Bill.

Sunak made a smart deal with the Albanian premier to send illegal Albanian migrants back home. The number of Albanians crossing the channel has now fallen by 90 per cent.

That’s the kind of pragmatic, intelligent solution we expected from a sharp, business-minded Prime Minister.

We need more of that. The statesman-like thing to do is admit this is wrong and get on with fixing the mess.

It’s not like the Labour Party has any better ideas. Right now they’re just cashing in on the chaos.

The poisonous paradox in Britain is that the Conservatives have talked up immigration as a crisis, while simultaneously jacking up legal migration to cover gaps in the workforce.

Their bluff is now being decisively called.

And on both sides of the Atlantic, this is not a case of xenophobia, racism or voters being “anti-immigration.”

Both countries are almost uniquely welcoming to migrants. We need their skills, their labour and their ideas. We should be open to people fleeing wars, especially when they’re wars we’re involved in, and the evidence says that we are.

But it has to be sustainable. If you don’t have a border, you don’t have a country. And voters this year will punish the leaders who get it wrong.