Chester MP, Stephen Mosley has today welcomed figures which show a fall in net migration to the UK.
Figures released this week show that estimated net migration fell to 216,000 in the year to December 2011; down from 252,000 in the year to December 2010 as a raft of recent reforms to the immigration system start to bite. The figures also showed a sharp drop in the number of student visas, which fell by 30% in the year to June 2012. Meanwhile, there was a 3% increase in tourist visit visas, and in the vital Chinese market there was a 28% increase in visitors. This shows that immigration control is compatible with the growth agenda.
Stephen Mosley MP, commenting on the new figures, said:
“This is another promise that the government is delivering on. We campaigned for lower levels of immigration, and thanks to our reforms, this is what we are seeing. It is important that migration remains at controllable levels, to ensure that our public services can cope, whilst ensuring that economic growth does not suffer. I am delighted that the latest figures demonstrate that our approach to immigration is working!”
Figures also revealed that, despite a 7% fall in overall work visas, skilled work visas rose by 4%, ensuring that we continue to attract the brightest and the best workers, essential to ensure our economy remains competitive.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said:
“We are now starting to see the real difference our tough policies are making, with an overall fall in net migration and the number of visas issued at its lowest since 2005.
“At the same time, there are encouraging signs that we continue to attract the brightest and best and to support tourism in the UK.
“We will continue to work hard to ensure that net migration is reduced from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands by the end of this Parliament.
“We are doing this by improving the selectivity of our immigration system and increasing enforcement activity to prevent people coming into the UK illegally and removing those with no right to be here.”
The Government has pledged to continue its migration reforms, to try and ensure that immigration is down to the tens of thousands by 2015.