May's Lies Will Not Win the Day Because #WeAreInternational

Theresa May's ongoing deception has been exposed

August 31, 2017

It turns out that Theresa May, the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, may go down in history as one of the most diabolical figures of all time in England.

Her ongoing assertion that more than 100,000 international students were overstaying their student visas in the UK has turned out to be completely false (the actual number is 4,617).

This "scandal" began when she was the UK's Home Secretary and has continued into her tenure as PM. When David Cameron called for a referendum (the Brexit vote) it's safe to say that May's outright deception about international students contributed to the leave vote "winning" the day.


Whilst it is true that May voted to remain, her singular vote means a lot less when compared to the thousands of UK citizens who voted to leave based on inflated immigration figures that included the erroneous 100,000 international students figure.


It may sound a bit soap operatic, but the fact remains that May twisted the truth as Home Secretary in a way that both damaged the UK's higher education sector and set up the xenophobes (e.g. Nigel Farage) to spread all sorts of grotesqueries about non-citizens residing in the UK.

And, as if to pour salt into an open wound, the UK government has, as of August 24th of this year, commissioned a study on the social and economic impact of international students in the United Kingdom. I know what you're thinking...they are doing this now?! After the referendum. After the triggering of Article 50. After so much damage has been done to the reputation of the UK as a place that is welcoming to immigrants and international students.


It's worse than a scandal. It's intentional political maneuvering that has damaged the country and kept countless students from studying in the UK. This isn't a scandal. It's betrayal at the highest level.

Home Secretary Theresa May insisted that overseas students had to be included in Britain’s net migration numbers. Her reason was simple: around 100,000 of those students, she claimed, remained in the UK illegally once their visas expired. Based on a survey conducted at airports, the figure was always considered highly suspect across Whitehall. But repeated attempts by the Treasury, Foreign Office and Business department to get the Home Office to investigate the accuracy of the numbers were rebuffed — the then Home Secretary thought it was better to stick with false information than get the real facts, which might force her to change the policy.”

Brexit is directly connected to this deceitful claim.


Thankfully, the #WeAreInternational campaign that began at the University of Sheffield is going stronger than ever. While a single campaign, even with the support of the entire higher education community, cannot undo what has been done, it can assist in providing a sense of healing and a path to a future that isn't dominated by bigotry and lies.




Dear Theresa May, an apology is not enough for what you've done.

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