22.11.2019 The end of the 100,000 net migration target

22.11.2019 The end of the 100,000 net migration target

Last week, the government confirmed that the infamous target on net annual migration, the policy which was first introduced by David Cameron in the Conservative 2010 manifesto, has been scrapped.

The goal of cutting net migration to less than 100,000 a year continued to be a promise in the Conservative manifesto in the 2017 election, with Theresa May wanting to bring net migration down to the “tens of thousands”. But the government never came close to meeting the target and faced repeated calls to drop it.

The Security Minister, Brandon Lewis, said that the government was not going to set an “arbitrary target” for inward migration. He reiterated the Prime Minister’s support for a points-based immigration system, saying that it would give priority to skilled workers and suggesting that net immigration figures would fall.

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel stated that reducing net migration would remain a priority for a Conservative majority government after December 2019. The government intends to reduce migration through the implementation of an Australian style points-based immigration system, which will apply to all migrants after Brexit and give priority to those with higher skills. The Home Secretary stressed that the introduction of such a system would be a means to ‘control our borders and protect our public services’.

We shall wait to see what will come to replace the government’s previous attempt to limit immigration, but what is clear at this stage is that the long-standing promise to bring that figure down to 100,000 has been confined to history.