Not-So Conservative: UK Govt Granted Record 1.1 Million Visas Last Year Despite Brexit Promises

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosts a reception for the winners of the Points of Light Award in Downing Street on August 9, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Nicholls - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Peter Nicholls - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The so-called Conservative Party in Britain has once again proved unable or unwilling to bring immigration down despite promising to reduce it after leaving the European Union, with a record 1.1 million visas being issued to foreigners over the past year.

With non-EU immigration soaring under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “points-based” immigration system, the year to June saw the highest number of visas granted in recorded history (1.1 million) for those wishing to come to the country to work, study, or via chain migration — so-called “family reunion” or reunification.

This is up from around 720,000 visas issued in the pre-pandemic and pre-Brexit year of 2019, government statistics revealed.

Out of the 1.1 million, the government issued 331,233 work-related visas, up by 72 per cent from 2019. Many voters who supported the 2016 referendum to leave the European Union did so under the belief that the Conservative government would cut migration will note that this has been far from the case, with the number of migrants — both illegal and legal — increasing, particularly from non-European nations.

Of those who received work visas, nearly half (46 per cent) came from the subcontinent of India — a total of 102,981 migrants; up 80 per cent over 2019. This was followed by Nigeria at 15,772 and the Philippines at 12,825.

In comparison, there were 32,413 work-related visas granted to people from Switzerland and the European Economic Area, which includes the EU and non-EU countries Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway — comprising just 10 per cent of work-related visas.

The previous year has also seen a massive 71 per cent increase in the number of student visas granted over 2019, with 486,868 sponsored study visas issued. Indian nationals represented the largest group at 117,965 — an increase of over 80,000, or 215 per cent, compared to 2019.

Chinese students represented the second-largest group with 115,056 visas granted. Nigerians made up the largest proportional increase, increasing by 57,545 (686 per cent) to a record high of 65,929.

Finally, there were 303,553 visas and permits issued to people wishing to move to the country for family-related reasons,  an increase of 61 per cent over 2019. Out of these, 226,400 visas were issued to family members of people who were on visas themselves in Britain rather than full citizens — an 180 per cent increase over 2019.

In comments provided to Breitbart London on the staggering increase of visas issued by the government, Migration Watch UK chairman Alp Mehmet said: “Another set of astonishing figures that show the total absence of immigration control. A record 1.1 million visas to come and live in the UK makes it ever-clearer that the government had no intention of delivering on their promise to control and reduce immigration. This is a betrayal of our communities and an assault on the environment and services – already under unbearable pressure. This is what broken promises mean.

“The government are deliberately ignoring 60 per cent of the public who wish to see immigration reduced. This is shameful and they will pay a heavy price for it at the next election.”

Brexit leader Nigel Farage quipped: “Take back control of our borders said Boris Johnson. Well, the latest figures say 1.1m people were given visas to live here in the last year!”

In addition to the number of visas granted, the United Kingdom has also approved the highest proportion of asylum claims in over three decades, with 76 per cent of all applications being granted — the highest percentage since 1990.

With record numbers of illegal migrants pouring over the English Channel, the vast majority of whom apply for asylum once on British soil, the government recorded 63,089 asylum applications over the past year, a 77 per cent increase over 2019 and the highest since 2003.

The minister for illegal migration, Simon Baynes, said: “The significant increase of people making dangerous small boats crossings continues to pressurise the UK’s asylum system and our ability to make timely casework decisions.

“Anyone who is travelling through safe countries to reach the UK should claim asylum there instead of giving money to evil criminal gangs.

“Our new plan for immigration, including our migration and economic development partnership with Rwanda, will fix the broken system, crack down on those who enter illegally and allow us to support those in genuine need,” he claimed — although Home Office ministers have been talking about “fixing the broken system” with respect to bogus asylum seekers and illegal immigration while things get increasingly worse for years now.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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