Suella Braverman warned uncontrolled immigration is an ‘existential’ threat to the West today as she attacked ‘absurd’ international refugee rules.
Highlighting the Channel boats crisis, she warned that unless governments found a way of controlling their borders they would ‘not endure’.
She also delivered a stinging rebuke to those who dismiss people alarmed about immigration as ‘idiots or bigots’, arguing that the ‘failure’ of multiculturalism was evident from the streets of Paris, Brussels and Leicester. She insisted migrants could no longer be allowed to come to the UK and ‘live parallel lives’ rather than integrating.
The intervention came as Ms Braverman called for an overhaul of the UN Refugee Convention to help end the Channel crisis – and took another swipe at the European Convention on Human Rights.
She branded the system ‘unsustainable’, complaining that it creates ‘huge incentives for illegal migration’.
Insisting being trafficked as a sex slave is completely different from paying a gang to smuggle you across the Channel, Ms Braverman raised the prospect of rewriting the UN’s 1951 treaty to raise the threshold for asylum claims.
Taking aim at advocates of multiculturalism, the Home Secretary said she supported immigration, having been the child of immigrants herself, but claimed that uncontrolled migration risked a threat to nationhood and national security due to a lack of integration.
She said migration had been ‘too much, too quick’ to the UK in the past 25 years, with ‘too little thought given to integration and the impact on social cohesion’.
‘Uncontrolled immigration, inadequate integration, and a misguided dogma of multiculturalism have proven a toxic combination for Europe over the last few decades,’ she said.
‘Multiculturalism makes no demands of the incomer to integrate. It has failed because it allowed people to come to our society and live parallel lives in it. They could be in the society but not of the society.
‘And in extreme cases they could pursue lives aimed at undermining the stability and threatening the security of society.
‘We are living with the consequence of that failure today. You can see it play out on the streets of cities all over Europe. From Malmo, to Paris, Brussels, to Leicester.’
Mr Braverman added: ‘If cultural change is too rapid and too big, then what was already there is diluted — eventually it will disappear.’
Pressed on how her views square with her background as the child of migrants from Mauritius and Kenya, the Home Secretary said: ‘What you’re suggesting is because I’m the child of immigrants, I have to adopt a position which is pro-migration and pro the status quo, and I totally and fundamentally refute that.
‘I think that is totally at odds with the challenge that we are facing today, unprecedented levels of people coming into our country illegally with no right to be here. They are gaming our system, pretending to be refugees, pretending to be fleeing persecution to come to the country illegitimately.