The main Home Office-related stories in the media today cover comments by the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, Max Hill QC, and a report from Migration Watch on future immigration policy.
Max Hill QC comments
There is widespread coverage of comments made by the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, Max Hill QC, during a speech at the human rights charity Justice yesterday. Many of the papers say that Mr Hill directly challenged the government's ambition to introduce new laws which target hate preachers and those viewing terrorist content online.
Mr Hill is quoted by the papers as saying that “we do not, and should not, criminalise thought without action or preparation for action”. It is reported he added that “while we can all agree that there should be nowhere for real terrorists to hide, we should also agree that legislating in the name of terrorism when the targeted activity is not actually terrorism would be quite wrong”.
Our statement on this issue is below.
A Government spokesperson said:
Max Hill is independent of Government and his role is one of oversight rather than the formulation of policy, which is for Government.
The Government has a responsibility to protect the public from terrorism. But we also have a responsibility to protect the public from all of the harms – in addition to terrorism – which extremists pose to our society. We want to defeat all forms of extremism, wherever it occurs.
To support the Government to defeat extremism we’re setting up a new Commission for Countering Extremism. The Commission will advise the Government on whether new powers, including offences, are needed. Its advice will be informed by engagement with government, the wider public sector and civil society groups.
Migration Watch report
The Times and Mail cover a report by Migration Watch which says that plumbers, bricklayers and electricians should only work in the UK for up to three years after Brexit. The report adds that firms should pay a fee of around £6,000 for every foreign worker to “wean them off” cheap foreign labour. The Times reports that foreign workers of this type would, under Migration Watch’s plans, have no access to in-work benefits or any path to permanent settlement in this country.
Our statement on this is below.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
After we leave the EU, we will put in place an immigration system which works in the best interests of the whole of the UK.
As part of our work to develop this system, we have asked the independent Migration Advisory Committee to assess the economic and social impact of EU citizens in all parts of the UK.
We are carefully considering the options for the future immigration system and will set out our plans later this year.