Matt Cavanagh

‘Guest worker’ plan would hurt the economy

The economists who advise the Home Office on immigration policy have come out against a plan to turn economic migrants into ‘guest workers’. Last week, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published their response to the government’s proposals on restricting settlement rights for skilled workers from outside the EU. With all the debate around David Cameron’s

Britannia waives the rules

Today’s immigration headlines have a familiar feel. Twenty four hours after embarrassing revelations about a hundred thousand asylum case files being quietly written off, we now learn that at certain times over the summer, UK Border Agency staff were told not to bother checking people’s passports, or checking them against watch lists for crime and

Voters support lower immigration, but not the government’s policies

A major new survey of public opinion on immigration, published today by the recently-established Migration Observatory, should prove troubling reading for realists inside the Conservative party. As yet, the opposition are not threatening them on the issue – Labour still find it easiest to get noticed when they are apologising for their own record –

Right to reply: Why do so many “new jobs” go to foreigners?

On Monday, we published a post on George Osborne’s “jobless recovery” — the point being that 90 per cent of the recent rise in employment can be accounted for by foreign nationals. Here’s a counterpunch to it from the IPPR’s Matt Cavanagh, who should already be familiar to CoffeeHousers from his previous posts and articles

Missing the target

It has been a mixed week for Parliamentary Select Committees: they have regained some of their bite, but recent events have also served to remind us of their supine performances in the past. Yesterday it was the turn of the Defence Committee to seek our attention, briefing their latest report on the British military campaign

Where we are in Afghanistan

I wrote back in November that as we approached the July deadline when President Obama promised to start drawing down troops from Afghanistan, the tensions between politicians and military would re-emerge, as “the military ask for more time to get it right, and Obama tries to hold them to the deal he thought he made

How to fix the National Security Council

The National Security Council was a sound idea. But it has disappointed, both inside and outside Whitehall. The Ministry of Defence has complained that it “failed to give strategic direction”. Among previous supporters in the media, Con Coughlin has commented sourly that “all it has achieved so far is the replacement of Blair’s much-derided ‘sofa

Operation amnesia

Britain’s failings in Afghanistan have as much to do with short memories as shortages of troops When Liam Fox visited Afghanistan in January, he was, like the defence secretaries before him, keen to tell the story of a country moving towards peace and stability. So he stopped by the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, seen as