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UK home secretary vows ‘wholesale’ immigration shake-up

Published: (Updated: ) in European News by .

‘The immigration system is broken, but this country isn’t,’ Priti Patel will say as she launches proposals.

LONDON — U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel will pledge “wholesale reform” of U.K. immigration policy on Monday but warn the country’s “broken” system will not be fixed overnight.

The U.K.’s new legal migration and border control plan “welcomes those most in need of sanctuary and slams the door on dangerous criminals,” Patel will say in a speech at the Bright Blue think tank on Monday morning to launch her proposals.

“Anything short of that would not be fair, would not keep our country safe, and would not meet the demands of the British people whom I serve,” Patel will say, according to extracts of the speech released by the Home Office on Sunday.

“The immigration system is broken, but this country isn’t,” she is expected to add. “We can’t fix the system overnight, but we will fix it.”

Patel was a leading figure in the campaign to leave the European Union in 2016, which argued Brexit would allow the U.K. to have more control over its immigration system.

The Home Office said her speech would “outline the opportunities that the ending of free movement [within the European Union] brings to the U.K. to attract the best and brightest who want to contribute to the U.K.”

Asylum system costs that have reached more than £1 billion a year require urgent new legislation, Patel is also expected to warn, with a pledge to stop criminal gangs from profiting from people smuggling.

The speech comes after Patel announced plans for a U.S.-style electronic travel authorization system, counting people in and out of the U.K., which she vowed would be in place by 2025. Everyone wishing to travel, with the exception of British and Irish citizens, will have to seek permission before arriving in the U.K. under the proposal.

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Separate asylum plans unveiled by Patel earlier this year drew condemnation from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

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Source: POLITICO https://www.politico.eu/article/priti-patel-uk-immigration-reform-brexit/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication

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