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Immigration keeps country running says Article 50 author, Lord Kerr

If you’re not entirely convinced that the government isn’t in chaos over Brexit, you’re not alone. It looks like the author of Article 50, Lord Kerr, thinks so too. In a discussion at the Institute for Government yesterday, he said that he did not think many people in government believed in it.

I can’t think of an example like Brexit where the government was working to a single aim that so few people in government actually believe in.”

Lord Kerr

On immigration, he said that the debate over the issue had gone “beyond” evidence and was based on false perceptions. He warned that if the government continued to pursue immigration control as their main priority, the country would be headed for a “hard and very unpleasant Brexit”.

The argument that won the referendum was immigration but the problems faced by the NHS would be much greater if not for immigration. Migrants are less dependent on welfare than non-migrants.”

Supposing we did stop all immigration from the EU, we still wouldn’t meet the off-the-cuff 100,000 net target David Cameron set as prime minister. We native Brits are so bloody stupid that we need injections of intelligence. Immigration is what keeps this country running. Evidence-based policy, please.”

Lord Kerr

There’s, perhaps, a better way of phrasing that last comment! There are, however, signs that Brexit is already impacting negatively on the NHS.

Get back to evidence-based policy

Lord Kerr urged governments to “get back to evidence-based policy”. However, this may be trickier in the post-truth world that we’re living in now. He has also previously told the BBC that Article 50 was “not irrevocable”. This is an argument that it’s suggested the government may use in their Supreme Court appeal.

Lord Kerr was speaking as part of a panel on a discussion about the rise of populism in western democracies at the Institute for Government.

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    Written on May 28, 2017

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