Sunak Vows To Cut Immigration As UK Figures Hit New High…
Written by City Radio on May 25, 2023
Net migration in the UK hit a record 606,000 in 2022, official figures showed on Thursday, heaping pressure on the government, which has pledged to cut dependency on foreign labour.
Responding to the figures, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described legal immigration levels as “too high”.
Measures announced earlier this week to tighten the number of international students allowed to bring their families with them would have a significant impact, he added.
Immigration has long been a key political issue in the UK and was one of the main battlegrounds of the Brexit referendum in 2016, which saw the country leave the European Union.
Jay Lindop, director of the centre for international migration at the Office for National Statistics (ONS), said world events such as the end of the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine played a part in the increase.
China’s squeeze on civil rights in Hong Kong, which led to the UK relaxing entry rules for holders of British overseas passports, also had an impact.
Brexit brought an end to the policy of free movement of people from EU member states, which many businesses have since blamed for a shortage of workers.
Among those hardest hit have been agriculture, and the health and social care sector, prompting the government to relax immigration rules to try to plug the gap.