I, too, place on record my thanks to all the organisations that have supported and advised MPs during the passage of this Bill. We have had a passionate and thoughtful debate and we have one final, brief chance to debate further, so I intend to take it.
Some would wish to criticise the Immigration Minister in the light of the latest abject failure to make any progress on the net migration target, but not us: we are critical of the net migration target itself, which long precedes the Minister. On Second Reading, I described the net migration target as unhelpful and unachievable. Last week’s announcement suggests that my description was far too understated. The immigration target is, frankly, total bunkum, complete baloney, and utterly bogus. There is no research or plan that explains why tens of thousands is the right target or an achievable target. Indeed, we learned today that the Chancellor’s spending plans appear to depend entirely on the net migration target being spectacularly missed. Without forecast inward migration, we will not be able to see through the spending plans that he set out last week. It is time for an honest debate on immigration about what is desirable and what is achievable.