Former UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman has stated that the demand on public services from migration is “unsustainable,” despite data indicating record levels last year. The former home secretary stated that the government must “act now” to reduce the number of people entering the UK.
According to UK ONS data, net migration – the difference between the number of individuals coming to live in the UK and those departing – reached a new high of 745,000 last year. No. 10 acknowledged that migration was “far too high,” but it was taking steps to reduce it.
According to the prime minister’s official spokesman, this includes tightening restrictions on dependents of students visiting the UK and raising visa fees.
Mrs. Braverman, who was fired from her ministerial position last week, said the record numbers were “a slap in the face to the British public who have voted to control and reduce migration at every opportunity.”
“The pressure on housing, the NHS, schools, wages, and community cohesion is unsustainable,” she added. When do we say, “Enough already?”
UK Need to Reduce Migration
Mrs. Braverman stated that as home secretary, she advocated for policies such as an annual restriction on net migration, the closure of the graduate visa route, and a cap on health and social care visas.
“Brexit provided us with the tools.” “It’s time to put them to use,” she continued.
Other Conservative MPs, notably former cabinet ministers Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg and Sir Simon Clarke, have advocated for stronger action to reduce migration. The New Conservatives, the party’s right wing, defined the matter as “do or die” for the party.
“We all made promises to the voters.” “We do not believe such promises can be ignored,” said the group, led by Miriam Cates, Danny Kruger, and Sir John Hayes, in a statement.
Lord David Cameron, the former Conservative Prime Minister who was appointed Foreign Secretary in last week’s reshuffle, committed in 2010 to reduce net migration to 100,000 – a goal that has never been attained.
The party’s 2019 manifesto also committed to reduce total numbers with the implementation of post-Brexit border controls, without specifying a particular target.
According to reports, the UK government is considering new measures to reduce migration, including:
- Limiting to one the number of relatives that health and social care workers are allowed to bring with them
- Raising the minimum salary threshold for work visas
- Abolishing the system allowing employers to pay less where there are recognised shortages
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) updated its prior predictions for net migration in 2022 from 606,000 to 745,000 earlier on Thursday.
It warned that its forecasts could be changed again, and preliminary data through June of this year suggest that net migration may be declining.
According to statistics, net migration fell back to 672,000 in the year to June, after 1.2 million individuals came to live in the UK for at least a year and 508,000 left.
The ONS, however, stated that it was too soon to tell whether the latest dropping net migration data marked the start of a declining trend.
The vast majority of those entering (968,000) were from countries outside the European Union.
Students made up the largest group of non-EU migrants, as they did last year.
However, the ONS reported an increase in workers arriving with visas to replace chronic personnel shortages in the NHS and social care.
The ONS said that humanitarian arrivals had declined from 19% to 9% during the same period, with the majority of these consisting of Ukrainians and British Nationals (Overseas) arriving from Hong Kong.
Home Secretary James Cleverly stated that the government was dedicated to lowering lawful migration and eradicating visa system abuse.
He stated that the ONS data did not show a “significant increase from last year’s figures” and cited “a number of important and positive changes” that influenced them.
“The biggest drivers of immigration to the UK are students and healthcare workers – [they] are testament to both our world-leading university sector and our ability to use our immigration system to prioritise the skills we need,” the prime minister said.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described “shockingly high” net migration as a “failure not only of immigration, but also of asylum and the economy.”
“The Westminster obsession with net migration figures only strengthens the need for Scotland to have full powers of independence and control over migration,” said Alison Thewliss, the SNP’s home affairs spokeswoman.
“The Tories are simply hiding the fact the UK government is failing to attract the talent we need in key sectors to boost our economy and NHS through their obsession with these figures.”