Rishi Sunak makes huge migration prediction in bombshell BBC Panorama interview | Politics | News

Rishi Sunak has revealed net migration will halve in the next 12 months.

The Prime Minister said “the biggest, strictest” immigration reforms “we’ve seen” are closing loopholes and vowed to go further if he wins the next election.

Mr Sunak declared he will reduce net migration “year on year” and said a new cap on the number of migrants coming to the UK will drive the fall further.

He told the BBC’s Nick Robinson: “The numbers are too high.

“I’ve been very clear about that, but people can judge me as well on what I’ve done as prime minister, where I’ve put in place the biggest, strictest reforms to bring down immigration that we’ve seen.

“What the forecasts now show is that the levels of net migration are due to halve over the next 12 months or so.

“The number of visas that we issued at the beginning of this year is down already by a quarter, so that shows we’re now on the right track and if I’m re-elected, what we will introduce is a legal cap on migration that parliamentarians will vote on every year, so that not just will we halve the levels of net migration, we will continue to reduce them year on year.”

Mr Sunak has vowed to introduce a cap on the number of migrants coming to the UK.

The Prime Minister said Parliament will vote on a number recommended by Government on advice of the Migration Advisory Committee.

Net migration surged to a record high of 764,000 in 2022.

But former Prime Minister Boris Johnson had pledged to reduce the figure from 226,000 in 2019.

Work was the biggest driver of migration in 2023, overtaking study, for the first time since 2019.

There was a substantial increase in the number of people arriving from outside the EU on work visas last year, particularly from India or Nigeria most commonly on health and care worker visas.

And dependants – who were typically children – outnumbered main applicants on these types of visas.

Home Secretary James Cleverly has insisted the plan to “deliver the largest-ever cut to legal migration” is working, with loopholes exploited by migrants to move to Britain being closed.

The number of foreign workers applying to come to the UK through the health and social care route visa has fallen by 76 per cent.

New figures published by the Home Office show the number of applications to come to the UK on this route fell from 50,900 in January to April 2023 to 12,400 over the same period this year.

And the number of foreign students applying to bring their family members with them has fallen by 79 per cent, from 38,900 to 8,300.

The increased salary threshold of £38,700 – compared to £26,200 – would lead to the number of foreign graduates staying in the UK to work falling from 70,000 to 26,000, Professor Bell said.

BBC presenter Nick Robinson challenged the Conservatives‚ record on immigration, saying it was „massively higher than the promise that was originally made“ when the party was elected.

And Mr Sunak told him: “ But you said – your point to me was that I hadn’t done anything about it.

„That’s not right. I’ve instituted reforms that last year meant the numbers were down by 10 per cent, as we’ve seen, but this year the number of visas issued are down by a quarter.

„The forecasts are now for net migration to halve and again, yes that’s the past, this election’s about the future.

„I’ve got a clear plan with a legal migration cap to guarantee that the numbers continue falling. Labour have not matched that. They don’t have any plan to bring the numbers down and, indeed, oppose the measures that I’ve already taken and that’s the choice facing people on migration at this election.“

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