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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > July 2017 > Fantasy island

Fantasy island

The immigration debate is at once cynical and delusional

Theresa May probably really does believe one can build a “cohesive society” post- Brexit by reducing annual net migration to “the tens of thousands.” It was in her manifesto, where she also promised to “bear down” on non-EU migrants. Many people— including all university vice chancellors, the CBI and the Institute of Directors and, allegedly, some of her cabinet—think not. Even the laziest of PPE undergraduates will tell you that the economic consequences of an arbitrary, uncosted setting of migration figures is probably not going to be good. Some are asking when taking back control came to mean signing up to the numerological fantasies of a suicide cult.

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In Prospect’s July issue: Steve Richards, Rachel Sylvester and Shiv Malik—as well as Chris Hanretty and Julian Glover—cover the fallout from the recent general election. Richards looks at how the assumptions of centrist politics were upended and how Labour managed to stun the nation—a point that Chris Hanretty explores in more detail, explaining how Corbyn turned the tide for social democracy. Sylvester questions how Theresa May managed to squander her majority—Julian Glover says it wasn’t just May’s failure, the ideas were flawed, too. Shiv Malik explores the remarkable surge in the youth vote and says parties can no longer ignore their concerns. Also in this issue: Dexter Dias argues that to understand terrorism we need to better understand human nature, Paul Wallace looks at the state of the state and asks whether the government is capable of fulfilling large scale changes to the way the state works and Sam Tanenhaus profiles Mike Pence—should we be worried about him becoming the next president?
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