“I DON’T think, under current resources, that the challenge of Brexit can be met, and certainly not met smoothly.” David Wood’s verdict on the Home Office was damning. On October 10th Mr Wood, who until 2014 was head of immigration enforcement at the department, told a parliamentary committee of his grave doubts about his old employer’s ability to deal with Britain’s exit from the European Union. John Vine, a former chief inspector of borders who also gave evidence, said that at the Home Office “management of change was always an issue”. That does not bode well for a department about to face its biggest upheaval in recent times.
As the department responsible for immigration and customs controls, among other things, the Home Office will shoulder a good chunk of Brexit’s administrative burden. Yet a number of indicators suggest that the department is already under strain. Last year, of those of its immigration decisions that went to appeal, 43% were overturned, compared…Continue reading