Charlotte Street Partners



Windrush in one ear and out the other

Written by Sam Buckley, associate
Edited by David Gaffney, partner
22 March 2022

Good morning,

On 22 June 2022 London will celebrate National Windrush day by erecting sculptures of the generation that the nation forgot. For those lost in the bureaucracy of hostile environment immigration policies, this concrete recognition is a symbolic moment.  

But the question remains: can the current UK government say that it has so firmly learned the lessons from this scandal 

It depends on what you think the lessons were. 

The victims of the Windrush Scandal had their citizenship revoked by mistakes rooted in unaccommodating immigration policy. Today, the UK government is creating routes to legally achieve the same effect with the Nationality and Borders bill 

The Lords have voted to amend clause 9 of the bill which allows the government the power to revoke British citizenship more freely, as was done to ‘ISIS bride’ Shamima Begum in 2019. However, the bill returns for review in the House of Commons today and there are concerns about how it will affect Ukrainian refugees. 

It should be noted that Russia advised the Assad regime during the Syrian civil war, before formally intervening in 2015. Here it developed the controversial tactics that caused the Syrian migrant crisis, which are now causing Ukrainians to flee their homes too. The difference is that the 2014 and 2016 immigration acts were able to implement the ‘hostile environment’ without labour collaborating with conservative rebel MPs; there was no open letter to the PM from conservative peers and backbenchers; Syrians did not received an open welcome; and today Afghan refugees still await support promised nearly a year ago.  

Where has this concern for refugees come from? 

It has been argued that racial bias is affecting how western countries relate to white Ukrainian refugees. It may also be politically easier in this instance because our foreign policy is not directly entwined with the cause of the migration. 

There is no doubt that Ukrainian refugees deserve our support and Ukraine needs diplomatic assurance against Russian aggression. It is therefore troubling to see that even Ukraine refugee schemes are struggling with seemingly familiar bureaucracy. 

Has the government learned its lesson from the Windrush scandal? The attempt to include powers to strip citizenship (Clause 9) in the proposed bill suggests they learned that it’s better to do so overtly rather than covertly.  

Democratic processes may dent the government’s plans today, but its appetite for a more compassionate immigration policy has not budged. It can be argued that lessons of Windrush appear to have gone in one ear and out the other. 


A Boeing 737 “plummeted 30,000 in two minutes” to crash into the mountains of Southern china. State broadcasters are said to have confirmed that there were no survivors. 

Conservative MP Alastair Burt is calling for an inquiry into why the UK government did not repay the £400m debt to Iran to release Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe sooner. There are concerns that the US Trump administration was a significant barrier. 

With some pupil exams due in the coming weeks, a number of central Scottish councils have warned that they may have to revert to remote learning. Covid rates are said to have caused significant staff shortages. 

Business and economy

Columns of note

Rising inflation saw the UK government interest payments hit a record high, whilst pressure grows for the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to tackle the “soaring” cost of living. Government borrowing is down from February 2021, though still the second highest since records began in 1993.  

Oil prices have dropped since the initial spike caused by the war in Ukraine. The AA has accused fuel retailers of being slow to pass these cost reductions onto consumers. 

After committing to pulling out of the Cambo oil field in the North Sea after COP26, Shell is reconsidering this decision. The potential change comes amidst an appetite to reduce reliance on Russian oil and a significantly changed economic and regulatory environment since it made the decision three months ago. 

Writing in the Scotsman, Brian Wilson states that “Britain is in thrall to the worst despotisms of the middle east” and that it should do more to challenge P&O’s Saudi Arabian owners over the controversial sacking of its employees. It contrasts Boris Johnson’s lack of criticism to human rights abuses there to his previous abstention from critiquing Russian Oligarch’s in London, highlighting the risks of appeasement. 

Lea Ypi used her piece in the Guardian, to recount her experiences of communist Albania and how economic isolation did not undermine that government. Therefore, she believes that sanctions on Russia will have little effect. Instead, she advocates for having hope and creating a dialogue to “envisage political projects that are genuinely inclusive”. 


What happened yesterday?

Strong showing from energy heavyweights and gains in the mining sector saw London stocks close in a mixed state. The FTSE 100 was up 0.51% at 7,442.39, while the FTSE 250 fell 0.71% to 21,006.56. 

Reports of the Russian siege of the Ukrainian port city Mariupol, alongside increasing threat of sanctions against Russia, have meant European stocks had a similarly mixed day. 

The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended up 0.04% to 454.79, with a 0.30% gain for the FTSE Mibtel to 24,294.71. The German Dax fell 0.60% to 14,326.97 and France’s Cac-40 lalso was in the red by 0.57%, to 6,582.33.  

Sterling rose 0.18% on the dollar to $1.32, whilst finishing up 0.27% against the euro to €1.20. 

In company news:

LSE Group will divest its wealth technology platform BETA+ to investment firms Motive Partners and Clearlake Capital Group for $1.1bn.  

In an asset swap deal between Landsec would acquire British Land’s  50 per cent share of Meadowhall in Sheffield, and British Land would take Landsec’s ten retail parks in return. 

Tullow Oil reported that completion of the pre-emption of its Deep Water Tano component in Ghana will see an added equity that will increase its expenditure by £30m to £380m. 

What’s happening today?

Final results 
Spectral Md  
Vh Global Sust.  
Bigblu Broadb. 

Interim results 
Plexus POS 

Source: Financial Times

did you know

The Caribbean Windrush generation brought to the UK between 1948-1971 were named after the boat that carried them, the ‘Empire Windrush’. Britain had captured the boat from the Nazis, who had previously used it to deport Norwegian Jews. 

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

Oral questions 



Consideration of Lords amendments 

Consideration of Lords Amendments to the Nationality and Borders Bill 



Prioritisation of NHS capital spend and health inequalities 

Scottish parliament 

Topical questions 

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking in light of reports of potential international food shortages and rising food prices 


To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to ensure that Ferguson Marine is competitive, in light of the reported decision to award the contract to build two new CalMac ferries to the Turkish ship builder, Cemre Marin Endustri 


First minister’s statement 

Covid-19 update 


Ministerial statement 

Developing a Catching Policy to Deliver Sustainable Fisheries Management in Scotland 


Scottish Government debate 

COVID-19 – Scotland’s Strategic Framework Update 

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