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.
Speaking 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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