W2W - taking back control of our borders

THE 31st December will be a defining moment in the history of our nation.

For, as the transition period ends, so too does free movement.

The new system will be firm but fair, with EU citizens already granted settled status able to remain.

Importantly, the points-based system, enshrined in the Immigration Bill currently going through Parliament, will emphasize the skills that someone has, rather than where they are from.

It is crucial that we give access to those who can contribute to our country, rather than be a burden to it.

Of course, there will be exceptions for asylum seekers, who have always been able to apply through separate channels.

There will also be specialist visas for those who work in areas like health, care and agriculture.

Surely, control over who comes here is common sense.

The majority of people voted for this in the EU referendum and we are now delivering on it.

It’s perhaps this imminent change that has seen record numbers of migrants crossing the Channel in small boats.

Sunday saw at least 180 arrivals, with 32 more on Monday, just a few of the 2,660 confirmed by the Home Office this year.

At the weekend, Home Secretary Priti Patel signed a deal with France to crack down on the people-smuggling criminals responsible.

The French have already intercepted and returned hundreds of migrants, but numbers continue to rise, as they risk all in the world’s busiest shipping lane.

The warmer weather and calmer seas are probably encouraging these dangerous journeys.

We have always been a tolerant and welcoming country, and will remain so, but it’s time to take back control of our borders.

The current pandemic has exposed the EU’s free movement policy for what it is: flawed.