Brexit Won’t Achieve Migration Target Of ‘Tens Of Thousands’, Majority Of People Believe

The report comes ahead of new immigration statistics published on Thursday morning, which are expected to show net migration remains far above the annual “tens of thousands” David Cameron pledged in 2011.

The commitment came to haunt his premiership as regular statistical updates showed net migration – those arriving minus those leaving – was reaching record highs, generating embarrassing headlines.

Madeleine Sumption, Director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, said the number of people arriving from outside the EU alone meant Brexit alone would not achieve

In 2015, EU citizens accounted for 44% of people who came to live in Britain, including British citizens who returned.

Sumption told HuffPost UK: “Restricting EU immigration after Brexit would not, on its own, be enough to meet the ‘tens of thousands’ net migration target – because even with EU net migration of zero the target would still not be met.

“If the target is ever met it probably won’t be a result of Government immigration policy but would be more likely to be a result of economic factors.”

Sunder Katwala, director of British Future, said public trust in governments’ ability to manage immigration was at “rock bottom”. 

He added: “Until we know what Brexit looks like, no-one can sensibly predict what immigration levels would be best for Britain.”

British Future’s poll revealed that, when people who don’t know are removed, 54% of people thought meeting the migration target within five years was unlikely while 46% thought it likely.

On Wednesday, ex-Ukip leader Nigel Farage told an American radio station that concerns over immigration were the “absolute key” to Brexit’s victory in the June referendum.

He said: “The silent majority of the British people thought we had to get back control of our borders… I don’t think there was any one incident, I think this was a gradual thing that what people saw were unrecognisable, rapid changes in their community.”

The British Future polling also revealed Leave voters have much the same attitudes as the general population on highly-skilled workers coming to Britain.

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