Annual Net Migration to the UK Hits Record High of 745,000, Prime Minister Sunak Calls for Decrease
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has expressed concern over the record high level of migration into the United Kingdom, stating that it needs to be reduced to more sustainable levels. Sunak’s comments follow the release of data on Thursday, which revealed that annual net migration to the UK reached a record high of 745,000 last year.
Commenting on the issue, Sunak emphasized the need for a decrease in migration, stating, “I’m very clear that the levels of migration are too high, and they’ve got to come down to more sustainable levels.”
The figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate a significant increase in net migration compared to the previous year, which stood at 313,000. This surge has raised concerns among policymakers and the public, with calls for stricter immigration policies and a reassessment of the country’s approach to migration.
Net migration represents the difference between the number of people coming to the UK for at least a year and those leaving the country for the same period. The 745,000 figure includes both EU and non-EU citizens who came to the UK for various reasons, such as work, study, family reunification, or seeking refuge.
The data also reveals a shift in the pattern of migration, with an increase in the number of non-EU citizens arriving in the UK for work and study purposes. This demographic now constitutes a larger proportion of the overall migration figures.
The record-breaking numbers have sparked debate and raised questions about the impact of migration on the UK economy, infrastructure, and social cohesion. Proponents argue that migration brings economic benefits, filling labor shortages and contributing to innovation and cultural diversity. Critics, on the other hand, express concerns about the strain on public services, housing, and wage suppression.
The issue of migration has been a contentious topic in UK politics for years, with different parties and politicians holding contrasting views. The government’s ability to control migration has been a prominent aspect of the Brexit debate, with leaving the European Union seen by some as an opportunity to implement stricter immigration policies.
The prime minister’s call for reduced migration reflects the government’s commitment to addressing public concerns and managing immigration in a way that is in the best interest of the UK. However, finding a balance between controlling migration and ensuring the country remains open to those who can contribute to its society and economy remains a significant challenge.
As the debate around migration continues, policymakers will need to consider various factors, including economic needs, social consequences, and public sentiment. The government’s approach to immigration will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the future of the UK’s relationship with the rest of the world and its ability to attract and retain talent from abroad.
More detail via Reuters here… ( Image via Reuters )