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The folly of the “tens of thousands” migration pledge

Theresa May, unlike her predecessor, could deliver on it. But if she does, Britain will be poorer

By Jonathan Portes  

©Steve Parsons/PA Wire/PA Images

For the past four decades, UK prime ministers, of both parties, have put the economy first. That is, they have thought their primary job, and the most important factor determining their political success, was to deliver steady growth and rising wages. And they have taken the view that the best way to achieve that was to pursue broadly “liberal” policies. It’s difficult to imagine two politicians more different than Gordon Brown and Margaret Thatcher—but they shared a hero in Adam Smith.

Theresa May has changed…

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