UK Records Highest-Ever Net Migration Figures, Prompting Concerns Over Immigration Policies

UK Records Highest-Ever Net Migration Figures, Prompting Concerns Over Immigration Policies

…By Alan Peterson for TDPel Media. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has expressed his concern over the UK’s new immigration figures, which reveal a net migration of over 600,000 for the year ending December 2022.

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Although the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revised estimates indicate that this rate is consistent with the previous year, the figure itself is a record high.

Factors Contributing to the Increase:

Several factors have contributed to the rise in immigration numbers, including unprecedented world events throughout 2022 and the lifting of pandemic travel restrictions.

The ONS points out that special visa routes for individuals from Ukraine and Hong Kong have contributed 172,000 people, and over 200,000 are international students and their dependants.

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria:

The inclusion and exclusion criteria significantly impact the total immigration figures and are, to some extent, arbitrary.

For instance, excluding international students from the figures, as suggested by some Conservative MPs, could reduce net migration by a third.

While people seeking asylum are now included, seasonal agricultural workers are excluded.

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Deviation from Promised Levels:

The current level of net migration far exceeds the “tens of thousands” promised by David Cameron, indicating a deviation from the initial commitment.

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This trend is expected to persist in the foreseeable future.

Brexit’s Impact on Immigration:

The immigration figures come in the wake of government promises to “take back control” of the UK’s borders, particularly concerning the cessation of free movement from the rest of the EU.

The latest figures reveal reduced migration from the EU and even net outflows of European citizens.

This decline has been offset by increased immigration from non-EU countries, primarily due to the growth in international students and work visas.

The “New Normal” and Labor Market Demands:

The current work-based migration component is approximately 200,000 per year, largely driven by shortages in the UK labor market, such as the NHS and social care.

Despite Sunak’s call for reduced numbers, the system is functioning as intended, benefiting UK businesses and the economy.

The recruitment of non-EU workers addresses labor market gaps and generates substantial fees.

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Implications for Migrants:

For migrants, the new immigration system presents a different narrative.

The benefits of free movement, such as equal rights and labor mobility, are diminished under the costly and restrictive visa system.

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This exposes migrants to exploitation and vulnerability, as demonstrated by growing evidence of exploitation in the agricultural sector.

Addressing the Labor Market Gap:

Critics often accuse supporters of continued high levels of immigration of relying on cheap labor and neglecting the training of UK workers.

However, the real issue lies in the lack of worker protections and the absence of strategies to improve work standards and quality.

This situation has consequences for everyone.

Challenges with the Post-Brexit Immigration System:

The post-Brexit immigration system has been developed in a fragmented and ad hoc manner.

While it may seem beneficial for the UK economy in the short term, it further segments the labor market, criminalizes informal work, and exposes a significant number of people to the risks of exploitation and modern slavery.

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The new illegal migration bill worsens the situation by eroding the limited protections against modern slavery that were previously in place.

Long-Term Consequences and Fair Treatment:

Previous waves of immigration have demonstrated that what begins as temporary often becomes permanent, leading to lasting consequences.

Short-term fixes for labor market gaps should not prioritize only the interests of businesses but also ensure equal treatment for migrants and their families, who deserve proper consideration of their human rights.

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Conclusion:

The UK’s immigration figures have reached a record high, sparking concerns over the gap between political rhetoric and economic realities.

While the system benefits UK businesses and fills labor market gaps, it exposes migrants to exploitation and lacks a long-term strategy to improve work standards.

The kneejerk reactions and broken promises regarding immigration raise questions about the fairness and human rights implications of the current approach.

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About the Author:

Alan Peterson is a talented writer who creates engaging and informative content for TDPel Media. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, Alan has established himself as a respected authority in his field. He is a dedicated professional who is committed to providing readers with accurate and up-to-date news and information. Alan’s ability to distill complex ideas into easily digestible pieces has earned him a loyal following among TDPel Media’s readers. In addition to his writing work, Alan is an avid reader and enjoys exploring new topics to expand his knowledge and expertise. He lives in Scotlant, United Kingdom.

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