Japa: UK Net Migration Hits New High, Pressuring PM Sunak to Take Action

Japa: UK Net Migration Hits New High, Pressuring PM Sunak to Take Action

Net migration to the United Kingdom has reached a record high of 745,000 in 2022, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This surge in immigration has piled pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who has vowed to reduce new arrivals. Immigration is a contentious issue in Britain and is expected to be a major battleground in the upcoming general election.

The ONS released the revised figures in May, citing “unexpected patterns” in migrant behavior. The estimated net migration for the year to June 2023 was lower at 672,000, but still indicates a significant increase from previous years. Home Secretary James Cleverly downplayed the latest figures, stating that they are “not showing a significant increase from last year's figures and are largely in line with our own immigration statistics.”

Prime Minister Sunak has long described regular immigration levels as “too high” and has promised to “take back control” of the UK's borders by leaving the EU and ending the free movement of people from member states. However, his government has struggled to curb irregular arrivals crossing the Channel from northern France on small boats, with over 28,000 making the dangerous journey this year. The government has deemed such crossings illegal, but its plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda have been blocked by the courts.

The ONS estimate reveals that 1.2 million people came to Britain in the year ending June 2023, while 508,000 left. The majority of new arrivals were from non-EU countries, a trend that has continued since the 2016 Brexit referendum.

The Conservative government, which has been in power since 2010, lags behind the main opposition Labour Party in opinion polls ahead of an election that must be held by January 2025. The issue of immigration is likely to be a major factor in the election, with the Tories facing pressure to address the surge in net migration and deliver on their promises to reduce immigration levels.

In conclusion, the record high in net migration to the UK has put pressure on Prime Minister Sunak and his government to take action on immigration. With the upcoming election, the issue is likely to be a major battleground and the government's handling of it may be a deciding factor for voters. The government must find a way to balance its promise to control immigration with the need to attract skilled workers and address the ongoing labor shortages in the UK.

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