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Tortoise Media’s new offices in Berners Street, London. 13/9/20. Photo Tom Pilston.
This week in Tortoise: Immigration after Brexit

This week in Tortoise: Immigration after Brexit

Tortoise Media’s new offices in Berners Street, London. 13/9/20. Photo Tom Pilston.

Immigration. For many, it was the starting point for the politics of Brexit and the reason for rejecting the establishment, experts and elites. Now, it’s 2021. The UK has left the European Union. Free movement of people is over. So, what is Britain’s answer to immigration now?

Tortoise starts the year with an investigation into immigration: how the UK treats people crossing the Channel; the personality and politics of Priti Patel, the home secretary and potentially next Conservative party leader; the long road to the promised points-based immigration system; and, by the numbers, the asylum seekers.

We begin today with the Slow Newscast: Basia Cummings speaks to Jack Shenker, who spent a large portion of last year in Kent, the landing place for many immigrants crossing the Channel to Britain. Jack’s reporting – which you’ll be able to read in full tomorrow in “Fortress Britain” – takes him to Napier Barracks, the old army base surrounded by wire fences that serves as Britain’s welcome mat to asylum seekers and the frontline in Patel’s fight against illegal immigration. And on Wednesday, our ThinkIn takes the subject head-on: does Britain have an answer to immigration now?

This week sees our first ThinkIns of the new year. First, at 6.30pm this evening, is an act of collective prediction: what, we’ll be asking, is coming up in 2021? Tomorrow morning, we’ll consider the marketing of the vaccine: how do we persuade people to have it? On Wednesday, immigration. And, on Thursday, we’ll be joined by Ed Caesar, author of the recent book The Moth and the Mountain, to explore why we climb mountains.

All that and, of course, the usual Open News meeting (tomorrow) and Sensemaker Live (on Friday). We’d love to usher in 2021 with you, Tortoise-style.

(In case you missed them over the Christmas break, there’s also our latest series of Slow Reviews and our attempt to uncover the good things that happened in 2020.)

That only leaves me to say I wish you a happy, healthy and entirely new year.


James Harding,
Editor & co-founder