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Government’s migration target should be “put out of its misery”

Statistics published by the Office for National Statistics last week shows that migration to Britain surged by 68,000 in the past year to 243,000, leaving the prime minister’s promise to reduce the figure to below 100,000 by next May’s general election almost certainly unachievable.

In response, Mark Hilton, London First’s Head of Immigration Policy told media, including the FT, Guardian, Telegraph, Independent, Sky News, and BBC 5Live that the net migration target should be “put out of its misery”:

“With the general election fast approaching, the government is running out of time to hit its ‘tens of thousands’ target,” he said. “The danger is ministers will take the only real steps open to them and clamp down on skilled non-EU migrants – who bring much-needed skills into the country – and students, who are not only a £10bn market for us, but a key plank in Britain’s global influence in terms of ‘soft power’,”

“At the very least, the government should heed the calls of a long line of politicians, committees, and experts, and drop students from the net migration target,” he added.

Provision of higher education is one of the UK’s largest exports, and it remains a London First priority to see international students removed from the target. Towards the end of the year, we’ll be publishing research into the precise value of this economically valuable group to support our argument.

Contact: Mark Hilton, mhilton@londonfirst.co.uk

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