UK net migration hits record high of 606,000

Net migration has hit a new record high of 606,000, with more than 1.2 million people arriving to live in the UK.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics on Thursday have fuelled accusations that the government has “lost control” of migration just a few years after it was aiming to bring net figures below 100,000.

Suella Braverman announced a controversial crackdown on visas for international students’ families on Monday, which she claimed would cut net migration.

But official figures show several factors contributing to the total, including wider economic migration driven by shortages in sectors dominated by EU workers before Brexit.

Although a small fraction of the overall total, English Channel crossings also hit a new record in the year, and government schemes for Afghans, Ukrainians and British nationals in Hong Kong also brought in significant numbers of people.

Labour’s shadow immigration minister Stephen Kinnock told LBC Radio: “It will say that they’ve lost control of the issue. They have failed to have a strategy in place for our local labour market, and as a result of that, employers are being forced to reach for overseas immigration.

“We need a much more balanced approach, ensuring that we have the immigration we need of course, but that there’s much more opportunity for skills, productivity training, workforce planning to get our economy firing on all cylinders again.”

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