Rishi Sunak backs down on his Tory pledge to bring net immigration below 250k
RISHI Sunak last night withdrew his Tory pledge to bring net immigration below 250,000.
Ministers are braced for next week’s official statistics are expected to show net arrivals will reach almost one million in 2022.
The rising number is being compounded by the easing of visa requirements, more foreign students and their families, and Ukrainian and Afghan refugees fleeing the war.
While the Prime Minister insisted he wanted to lower the number of arrivals into the UK, he declined to reiterate his party’s pledge to cut them below 2019 levels.
The Conservative Manifesto said: “There will be fewer low-skilled migrants and the total number will fall.”
“And we will ensure that the British people are always in control.”
But en route to the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, Mr Sunak backed down on that promise – refusing to reveal the number he would like to see.
Downing Street had previously distanced him from former Prime Minister David Cameron’s promises to reduce the numbers to “tens of thousands”.
But Mr Sunak yesterday insisted Britain “is in control of why people are here”. . . Make sure they contribute to public services like the NHS.
Earlier this week, the Prime Minister said seasonal work visas were available for up to 55,000 pickers.
And Chancellor Jeremy Hunt yesterday told the British Chamber of Commerce he will ensure its members get the visas they need for foreign workers – risking a new row with Brexiteers.