Full marks to Theresa May. The Home Secretary’s decision to bring the dysfunctional Border Agency back into the Home Office – and, therefore, under ministerial control – comes not a moment too soon. Immigration should never have been devolved to an arms-length organisation in the first place – let alone in an attempt to fix a directorate already branded “not fit for purpose”. Sure enough, the agency’s management has been serially incompetent and its performance woeful.
It will take more than a new organogram to solve the myriad problems with Britain’s borders. The Home Secretary will need to get her hands dirty. She is to be applauded for assuming responsibility so personally – it can only be hoped that other ministers follow suit. But if she does indeed harbour leadership ambitions, so public a test, against so intractable a challenge, will tip the scales one way or the other.