Should the UK Scrap the Immigration Target and Focus on Managing UK Visas?

21 Jul 2019 | Posted by Carl Thomas

According to recent reports, the net immigration UK levels for 2019 are 1.4 million higher than they would have been if ministers had been able to achieve their goal of reducing immigration levels to less than 100,000 per year. According to a centre-right think tank named Onward, it's time for the Home office and the government to start re-thinking their approach to UK visas and British Naturalisation. Onward claims that the next prime minister needs to adopt a more detailed and transparent policy that leaves "failed" targets in the past.

Publication of the latest report, which has now been backed by two immigration ministers formerly of the Conservative party, has arrived just as Boris Johnson refused to commit to the net migration target initially announced in 2010. According to Onward, this might be the best step forward in an age where UK work permit issues and various other concerns are causing outcry from groups across the country.

The report also called for the development of a new office for Immigration UK decision responsibility. According to Onward, this office would help to keep the government and ministers honest about the impact of government forecasts on migration.

Over the years, Theresa May repeatedly refused to abandon her pledge to reduce net migration. The commitment featured in each of the Conservative party's election manifests since it originally appeared in 2010 - even though non-EU net migration has continued to rise at a significant rate. As a result, groups have stood up to urge the next prime minister to take a more realistic approach to a long-term sustainable immigration plan that can reduce levels of low and mid-skill migration.

According to former deputy head of Policy at number 10 and Onward Director, Will Tanner, the current target in place for UK Visas is nothing more than a visible statement of how the government has continuously failed to deliver. He noted that the constant reminder that the government has been unable to reach net migration targets means that it's no wonder that the public has a hard time trusting politicians when they share their stances on British Naturalisation and the UK work permit.