Making up the ‘hostile environment’ numbers
25 October, 2018
THE need to turn a profit enters so many spheres of life – including the government’s “hostile environment” policy aimed at reducing immigration from non-EU countries.
Investigating this murky area of human behaviour, I discovered that once the Home Office had drawn up plans to deport fixed numbers of immigrants they found themselves booking special charter planes to fly them off to Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.
The problem arose when they were forced to fill all the seats of planes that had been booked and, effectively, pre-paid for.
In short, to avoid making a loss, civil servants had to scour the various detention centres to complete lists of deportees. The plight of individuals, some at different stages of legal appeals, was brushed aside. Contracts had to be met, seats had to be filled. One of the many unintended consequences of a badly-thought-out policy, enamoured of Mrs May when she ran the department.
Meanwhile, the case of 15 protesters, charged under terrorism laws with attempting to block a plane taking off with 70 immigrants, was adjourned this week at Chelmsford Crown Court to allow the judge to meet other commitments.
The prosecution case has been made, and next week legal arguments will be made regarding the decision to raise the level of the charge of “terrorism” from a lower one of “aggravated trespass”.
As I reported last week, Raj Chada, a senior member of the Euston law firm Hodge Jones and Allen, is appearing as a defence lawyer.