Get real! Patel tells left-wing critics to ‘face reality’ on immigration: ‘You’re wrong!’

Priti Patel says it ‘took a referendum’ for politicians to listen

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The Home Secretary hit back as she outlined plans for widespread reform to the border system. Ms Patel pledged to deliver a system that works for the “law-abiding majority” and against those who seek to “abuse our hospitality and generous spirit”.

Rejecting accusations she is anti-immigration, the Home Secretary said the public had been ignored for too long on the issue.

Giving a keynote speech, she said: “People across the country do not want their communities and way of life to change beyond recognition and yet acknowledging this is not to be anti-immigration.

“Neither I, the Prime Minister, or our great country are anti-immigration, and to those who say that I am: they are wrong.

“Instead they are seeking to sow dissent rather than address the very concerns raised by the British public.”

In her speech to a conference organised by the Bright Blue and British Future think tanks, Ms Patel added: “It is a fact that successive governments have failed to control immigration, and there are a whole number of reasons as to why.

“The problems and unhappiness amongst the public became impossible for any politician to ignore.

“The British people voted to take back control of our borders in the 2016 EU referendum, they then drove the message home again at the 2019 general election.

“Political parties of every hue have an obligation and a responsibility to face reality.”

Unveiling the UK’s plans for its post-Brexit immigration system Ms Patel said laws would be toughened to deny refugee status to any asylum seekers who have passed through a safe country before reaching Britain.

A new Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) which requires visitors to the UK to obtain an electronic permit before travelling will also be implemented.

ETAs will be required by anyone without a visa or immigration status, with the Home Office claiming the system will be held to make the UK’s borders more secure.

“In 2016 the British people withdraw their consent to one governed in part by the European Union, they also withdrew their support for a broken immigration system.

“We therefore have a democratic mandate and imperative to fix it,” Ms Patel said this morning.

The Home Secretary said immigration helps enrich Britain as she touched on her own personal story, speaking of her parents who came to the UK from the east African country of Uganda in the 1960s.

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She spoke of her pride at her heritage but said it did not mean she did not believe in the need for tough measures to block illegal immigration.

She said: “My family were forced from Uganda and they had the privilege to make a home in the UK.

“They worked ferociously hard to keep a roof over our heads and secure a life for my family. I owe them more than I can ever say.

“I am a proud as a Briton and I am proud of my parents and of my British-Indian background.

“And I join the millions of British Indians and children of migrant families who have established a life in one of the greatest countries in the world.

“But there are many who struggle with this concept.

“In particular, those on the political left who have the audacity to think they own the monopoly of thought on the issue of race and immigration.

“But let me make one thing absolutely clear, they do not.

“Neither do they speak for the silent majority who look to their Government to establish appropriate measures and controls on who comes to and settles in the UK.

“I believe in fairness and in law and order.”

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