On Wednesday 5 January 2022, the Prime Minister told Parliament that ‘net immigration since we took back control has gone down’ (see video).
This is being economical with the truth to put it mildly. In fact, it is deeply misleading.
No official net migration figures have yet been published for the period since December 31 2020 (when the Brexit transition period, and free movement, ended) so how can the PM say net migration has gone down?
On the other hand, visa figures have been released which suggest there has likely been an increase since late 2020.
Since the start of 2021, 57,000 people from Hong Kong have been granted the right to come here under the government’s new scheme, and thousands have come here in the course of a few months from Afghanistan – with 12,000 people still housed in hotels because (as the Home Secretary has said) ‘we simply do not have the infrastructure or the accommodation’ to house people (see testimony by Priti Patel to House of Lords, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, 27 October 2021).
This in addition to over 500,000 work, study and family visas issued since the start of 2021.
There were nearly 40,000 asylum claims by main applicants in the year to September 2021 – the highest since 2004.
We also know that since the beginning of 2021 (when we supposedly ‘took back control’) just under 28,500 people have come here illegally across the Channel – more than triple the year before (we’ve had 40,000 boat entries since January 2018).
Reports stemming from the Home Office also suggest that at least 9,000 people have come hidden in the back of lorries during 2021.
The scale of overstaying is unknown since the Home Office refuses to release their exit checks analysis, blaming Covid.
The Channel crisis means the UK has become a magnet for undocumented, failed asylum claimants from all over Europe (see blog). This puts public safety at risk and there have been too many examples of terror attacks and crimes committed by those who abused the asylum system.
Looking back longer, the Channel crisis is only the tip of the iceberg as net migration by non-UK citizens was about 300,000 per year since 2001.
In the last twenty years, mass immigration accounted for about 7 million of the total 8 million population growth (from 59 to 67 million). About 84% of the total rise in population since 2001 is attributable to mass immigration – directly and indirectly.
Meanwhile, as well as opening a number of mass resettlement schemes from Afghanistan and Hong Kong at a time of health and housing crisis, the government’s allegedly ‘Australian-style’ points-based system has done away with a cap on the numbers of work permits that can be issued each year, has lowered education and salary thresholds for skilled work visas and no longer requires companies to advertise at home before recruiting abroad. Although tightening up on EU entries, the system makes it easier for the citizens of 80% of the world’s countries to come here. That doesn’t include the new visa for foreign students to take up low-pay jobs after graduation and stay on for two years – with no salary threshold and no cap on numbers.