Brexit will unleash Britain’s potential vows Patel as she hints at new immigration reform

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The Home Secretary said the UK is “absolutely” about to enter a glorious new era. Brexit transition rules will end in December allowing the country to finally take back control. Ms Patel told the Daily Express: “January 1 is going to be one of those totemic moments in the history of this country, a landmark moment.

“We are ending free movement. We are a government that’s all about delivery.

“The points-based system is just the first step to big immigration changes, changes to border control.”

Ms Patel said the government is boosting economic investment in all parts of the UK.

“We want to get Britain moving again but we actually want to get Britain motoring,” she said.

“We want to see the renaissance of our regions, we want to level up.

“We have levers to do all that so this is just the start.”

Ms Patel was speaking during a visit to Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, to meet local police on the first anniversary of being made Home Secretary.

The Cabinet minister said the Conservatives are unapologetically the party of law and order.

“We have a first-class working relationship with the police,” she said. “I am absolutely shoulder to shoulder with them.

“We don’t stand behind them, we stand beside them. It is a journey for both of us in terms of the support we give and my commitment to them, but also through resourcing.”

Ms Patel revealed 90,000 people have applied to be police officers since last October and the government is well ahead of its police recruitment targets.

Police forces have received that largest uplift in funding in a decade at £1.1 billion.

“That is moving the needle on law enforcement,” Ms Patel said. “We love the police, we respect the police, we are here for the police, we are the party of law and order.”

Ms Patel, who visited the Blue Glove Boxing Academy, a gym for emergency services personnel, hailed police officers for their “exceptional” service during the coronavirus crisis.

She said there had been a “spirit of national unity” during the COVID lockdown and the police have been at the forefront of it.

Police have warned they will not be able to carry out widespread enforcement of new rules coming into force on Friday ordering the public to wear facemasks in shops.

Ms Patel said she did not believe that heavy-handed tactics would be necessary because people have been very conscientious about following the rules.

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She insisted enforcement is always a last resort.

“People will apply their common sense,” she said. “We don’t need police officers to go round in a pernicious way to act in an enforcement way.”

The Home Secretary said she did not expect there to be widespread flouting of the rules over the summer, despite recent problems such as overcrowding on Bournemouth beach.

She said “people have had pent up frustrations” in the last few weeks after lockdown.

She added: “That’s inevitable. That’s human instinct.”

But she insisted Britons “are sensible people.”

Ms Patel said she has used her first year to empower and equip police officers, including making stop and search easier.

Although some campaigners claim the measures leave young black boys and men disproportionately targeted, Ms Patel insisted it is not a divisive tactic.

She said: “I’ve spent plenty of hours, too many sadly, with parents that have lost their children to street violence. The parents have said to me repeatedly ‘we need more stop and search’.”

Officers have been actively using stop and search even during the COVID crisis over concerns about weapons on the streets, she said.

“When it comes to saving lives, we should be unapologetic,” Ms Patel added. “If we are saving lives then these are the types of measures we should be using.”

Ms Patel said tackling knife crime is a priority and told how machetes “half my height” are being pulled off the street.

“We need to stop that,” she said.

Hard cash is going into police forces in a targeted way to “keep the public safe”.

“Crime is coming down,” she said. “We are serious about getting violent crime down.”

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