The Prime Minister is to take control of a new immigration taskforce, which has been set up to find ways of reducing the number of people migrating to the UK from both within and outside the European Union.
David Cameron is taking responsibility for the group which will work on issues including the Conservative pledge to reduce the UK’s net migration to “tens of thousands”. It is one of 10 taskforces set up by the new Government to focus on particular tasks.
The previous Coalition Government, headed by Mr Cameron, failed to meet the net migration target it set itself and was widely criticised for aiming for an unrealistic figure.
However, the Prime Minister has said that the tens of thousands figure is still his aim, even though net migration to the UK rose by 50 per cent in 2014 to reach 318,000, the highest figure in 10 years.
The immigration taskforce will also include a number of senior Government figures. Home Secretary Theresa May, Chancellor George Osborne and the Government’s policy tsar Oliver Letwin are among its members.
In addition to working towards reducing the net migration figure, the immigration taskforce will also concentrate on reducing the use of migrant workers in the UK, reforming the welfare policy for EU migrants and controlling how many people are allowed to come to the UK from other EU member states. The latter issue will be a key part of the Government’s talks with EU leaders prior to the UK referendum on membership of the EU, which is scheduled to take place before 2017.
The Prime Minister is also taking personal charge of a Cabinet committee set up to look at issues surrounding the forthcoming in/out referendum.