Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Immigration: Robert Oulds' TalkTV Interview with Mike Graham


In a recent interview with Mike Graham on TalkTV's 'The Independent Republic of Mike Graham', Director of The Bruges Group Mr. Robert Oulds spoke on Immigration, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's priorities before the next General Election, and what can be done to stop the boats.

Mr Oulds said that for the Prime Minister to retain the trust of many of the Red Wall and working class voters - many of whom voted Conservative for the first time back in 2019 - action on immigration needs to be taken. Mr Oulds said that while it was a step in the right direction that the PM recognised the issue, there were significant obstacles in the way. "The bureaucrats in the Home Office and, of course, the lawyers are determined to get in the way of this"

There was also the issue of people with criminal records being able to receive British citizenship. "All the benefits we have in this country, it being relatively safe and enlightened, and mostly prosperous - yet, of course, it's open to anybody around the world, which is making it harder for the least well off to earn a decent wage."

"It used to be said that to be English was to win the lottery of life - indeed it is, and should be. But it shouldn't be open to everybody to have those opportunities until they can show they've earned it and benefit those already here." - Robert Oulds

The question of why unbridled immigration was supported by so many, under the belief that borders should be held open for anybody that wishes to come for any reason - was also addressed. Mr Oulds spoke of those who see and economic interest in ensuring that low-skilled labour is able to come to the UK, so that British citizens can be paid less. He even noted the views of Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee on immigration policy in Britain - that it benefits the most well-off at the expense of the least well-off.

Immigration also brings out questions about social cohesions, and while the goals of assimilation in immigration should be pursued, having vastly different mindsets living alongside each other puts British values to the test. On a safety level, controlling immigration is also about making sure people in Britain are safe and that new members of the British family remain safe and integrate as members of the community. There was a story brought up about a man from Albania, who was working at a carwash and didn't want to return home due to fears of retribution - he confessed to murdering his wife. Mr Oulds noted that such a situation presents several problems. Firstly, that someone who had committed such a crime was able to stay in this country, questions the safety of the general public. Secondly, somebody like him who had committed such crimes would be easily subject to exploitation due to his past crimes and hence uncertain visa arrangements. 'Virtual slavery' is a key part of the illegal immigration chain, and an unfortunate byproduct of not clamping down on illegal immigration.

"We need to be stopping people making perilous journeys across the channel, we need to be tough about this...we need to be very strong on this."

The use of the former Royal Air Force base, Wethersfield, was also brought up as an example of how using such buildings as temporary housing facilities has a negative impact on the town its located in. When news of the Home Office's plans broke, they were met with resistance from local residents. The negative impact of such housing on the local environment and existing locals was highlighted.

Opening up Britain to economic migrants who come by illegal means isn't compassion, it's leaving it susceptible to exploitation by those who do not mean Britain or the migrants themselves well. Yes, non-refoulement claims and refugee law makes clear those with a sizable risk of persecution or torture at home will be permitted to stay, if the U.K. is their first safe country - but it isn't. Action must be taken to stop all forms of exploitation of migrants on British soil. 

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Director : Robert Oulds
Tel: 020 7287 4414
Chairman: Barry Legg
The Bruges Group
246 Linen Hall, 162-168 Regent Street
London W1B 5TB
United Kingdom
Founder President :
The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS 
Vice-President : The Rt Hon. the Lord Lamont of Lerwick,
Chairman: Barry Legg
Director : Robert Oulds MA, FRSA
Washington D.C. Representative : John O'Sullivan CBE
Founder Chairman : Lord Harris of High Cross
Head of Media: Jack Soames