No 10 rejects call for new immigration department
Downing Street has dismissed a proposal to create a dedicated department for dealing with immigration policy.
A report from Policy Exchange today calls for a reorganisation that would see the policing and crime moved to the Ministry of Justice, with the remainder of the Home Office being rebranded as the department for immigration and integration.
The thinktank said the department would be needed to give immigration policy a louder voice in Government in the wake of the Brexit vote.
“Given how important the issue has become in the past two decades a dedicated department is overdue, several European countries have them,” the report said.
“It is true Whitehall has a strong immune system and tends to reject foreign bodies. But there is a powerful national mandate to both reduce immigration in general and make the economically desirable short-term flows work more efficiently, this mandate needs to be heard louder throughout government.”
But No 10 this morning rejected the idea.
Theresa May’s spokeswoman said: “This Government has been clear that we want to bring migration down to sustainable levels.
“It’s now important that we look at what further action can be taken to do so, recognising the challenges that we face.
“But the Home Secretary and the Home Office are responsible for immigration and will be taking forward that work.”
The Policy Exchange paper also calls for a new “population register” that would be able to distinguish between permanent and temporary residents of the UK.
Report author David Goodhart said: “The Government needs to get a grip on who is coming into Britain, where they are living and what public services they are accessing.
“A British population register which differentiates between full and temporary citizens will help the Government concentrate rights, benefits and integration efforts on those who are making a full commitment to the country.”