Patrick O’Flynn Patrick O’Flynn

Britain’s borders have become a joke

(Photo: Getty)

Were anyone still in doubt about the wholesale abuse of our asylum system by would-be economic migrants then the ever-changing make-up of the Channel boat arrivals should seal the argument.

Last year Albanians were among the leading nationalities of those suddenly finding themselves in fear for their lives in war-torn France. Many of them also claimed to have been subjected to ‘modern slavery’ as defined by the do-gooding legislation of one Theresa May. Belatedly, the UK government appears to be getting to grips with the Albanian racket.

The right-wing economist Milton Friedman observed that a country could have open borders or a welfare state, but not both

Yet a new racket is already underway. So far this year, it is Indian nationals who are dominating the dinghies, with the Times reporting that 250 have crossed the Channel to claim asylum in the UK already in 2023, more than came via the route in the first nine months of 2022. As was the case in respect of Albania, it should be noted that India is not at war with anyone and is a reasonably functional democracy.

But plans by the UK government to limit student admissions from India to those winning places at top universities and to reduce entitlements to bring in family members alongside them mean the exploitation of the student visa route for wider migration purposes could be coming to an end. Arriving on a dinghy and lodging an asylum claim also means getting to the UK without having to pay international student tuition fees averaging around £15,000 a year to an accredited higher education establishment.

It was the right-wing economist Milton Friedman who observed that a country could have open borders or a welfare state, but not both. While he favoured the former, the British electorate has tended to vote for the latter.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.

Or

Unlock more articles

REGISTER

Comments

Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in