Will Tories Uphold ‘Tens Of Thousands’ Net Migration Pledge?

The Prime Minister has strongly indicated that the Conservatives will once again set a ‘tens of thousands’ target on net migration in their election manifesto.

austinSpeaking in Harrow on Monday, Theresa May told journalists that the government is committed to bringing net migration down to ‘sustainable levels’, adding: “We believe that is the tens of thousands.”

The comments came just a day after Home Secretary Amber Rudd seemed to suggest that the target could be dropped. Asked on BBC Radio 5 Live whether the Conservative manifesto would include the target, Ms Rudd said: “It’s not going to be identical to the last one.”

Net migration – the difference between the number of people moving to the UK for more than a year and the number of people leaving the UK for more than a year – stood at 273,000 in the year to September 2016.

The ‘tens of thousands’ target was a commitment repeated by the Conservatives in 2015, despite being repeatedly missed since it was included in their 2010 manifesto.

The Conservatives have been widely criticised over the target. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the Tories hadn’t got “anywhere near it on any occasion at all”, whilst Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said it was a product of political manoeuvring and “meant very little”.

The Independent recently reported that a poll of 1,000 people taken by Ipsos MORI found that only 18% thought the Government will achieve its goal of cutting net migration to the ‘tens of thousands’.

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Brexit – What Will This Mean For UK Immigration?

Final Call

Following the result of the UK’s EU referendum, which the Leave campaign won with 52% of the vote, there are many questions and uncertainty about the future UK immigration landscape.

The landmark result, which saw more than 30 million people vote, the highest turnout since 1992, has raised a number of concerns for EU nationals living and working in the UK.

Dearson Winyard is confident that any outstanding or ongoing immigration applications presently with the Home Office for consideration will be unaffected.

Based on our extensive experience of UK immigration laws, it is unlikely that legislative changes will be implemented retrospectively. Under normal circumstances, the government would implement a transitional period; however, given the uncharted territory in which the UK now finds itself, such an event cannot be guaranteed.

The BBC reports that, moving forward, the ability of EU nationals who want to work in the UK depends on whether the UK government decides to introduce a system of applying for work permission, similar to Tier 2 of the points-based system that applies to non-EU citizens.

Dearson Winyard is disappointed by the EU referendum result. Yet, like everyone else, including those in government, we simply do not know what is next for UK immigration policy.

What we do know is that, in theory, the minimum period for the UK to leave the EU will be two years. In practice it may take longer, depending on negotiations around new trade relationships with the EU.

During the ‘leaving’ period, the UK will continue to abide by EU treaties and laws, but not participate in any EU decision-making.

The referendum result has led to the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron, who will step down by October.

As always, Dearson Winyard will keep you informed with news and updates as developments occur over the coming weeks and months.

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This overview is not exhaustive and does not substitute for actual advice based on specific circumstances. Different employer and individual circumstances will require bespoke advice.  Readers are reminded that immigration laws are fluid and can change at a moment’s notice without any warning.

For further information, please get in touch with Dearson Winyard.