‘Policies led to explosion of migration’
A SENIOR government adviser has stated that high levels of arrivals into the UK are caused by “deliberate government policy”.
Figures released today are expected to show legal migration reached at least 700,000 in the year to December 2022.
Professor Brian Bell, chairman of the Migration Advisory Committee, said: “If you look at the figures, the reason that net migration is rising this year in particular, is because of deliberate government policy.
“It’s a controlled decision to offer humanitarian schemes for Ukrainian and Hong Kong citizens.
“But that inevitably raises net migration. You can’t have it both ways.”
Nearly 175,000 migrants have arrived under the Government’s Ukraine scheme as of May 15, Home Office data shows.
Some 105,200 migrants came from Hong Kong from January 31, 2021 to the end of December 2022, after the Government’s opening of new immigration routes.
Other key factors may include students from abroad, an end to Covid travel rules and the resettlement of Afghan refugees.
The Prime Minister this week announced plans to ban overseas students, apart from postgraduates on research schemes, from bringing dependants to the UK from 2024.
Immigration minister Robert Jenrick said this “ensures we protect our public services and housing supply against undue pressure”.
However, Prof Bell said of the policy: “It will make some difference – we know about 15 per cent of students stay permanently.
“[But] if you want to get net migration down to the tens of thousands, this won’t get you there.”