The United Kingdom recorded an increase in net immigration to its territory over the 12 months to the end of June with 672,000 entries, according to official data published on Thursday, compared to 607,000 over the same period last year.
British Home Secretary James Cleverly said on Thursday the government was “fully committed to reducing legal immigration levels”.
“We must reduce the overall number of migrants by eliminating abuse and exploitation of our visa system by businesses and individuals,” he said in a statement.
The Office for National Statistics also revised upwards the net immigration figure for the twelve months to the end of December 2022, to 745,000, a new record and an increase of 139,000 on the previous estimate.
“While it is too early to tell whether this is the start of a new downward trend, these more recent estimates indicate a slowdown in immigration coupled with an increase in emigration,” said the ONS.
For more than a decade, the rate of legal immigration has dominated Britain’s political landscape, and was one of the driving forces behind the 2016 vote to leave the country from the European Union.
The immigration data is more than double the 329,000 recorded in 2015 before the Brexit vote, bad news for Richi Sunak’s Conservative Party ahead of an election scheduled for next year.
Although the Prime Minister has focused on reducing illegal immigration, he also wants to reduce the number of people arriving legally. However, labor shortages in some sectors, as well as the need to accommodate people arriving from Ukraine and Hong Kong via special visas, make this goal difficult to achieve.
This article is originally published on zonebourse.com