606,000: Net Migration Surges to Fresh Record, Again Demolishing Tory Lies on Border Control

The United Kingdom’s ostensibly ‘Conservative’ government’s claim that it is controlling immigration is “laughable”, campaigners say, as official figures reveal yet another record for net arrivals set, with the figure rising to 606,000 in 2022.

A record-high 606,000 more people entered the United Kingdom than left in 2022, the government’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) have said. The figure comprises the difference between 1.2 million long-term arrivals and 557,000 people who emigrated in the year to December.

The figure beats the earlier record set by the previous year of around 500,000 and comes despite endless hollow rhetoric from the governing Conservative Party about border control.

Migration Watch, a UK pressure group representing the interests of the majority of UK residents who believe immigration should fall, said on Thursday as the figures were released that: “If net migration is allowed to continue at anything like the current rate of 606,000 per year there will be a massive impact on our population and society”.

Announcing a new ‘Campaign to Cut Immigration’ and accompanying petition, the body pointed out that the huge immigration levels experienced by the United Kingdom this century is a key factor behind stretched public services and the housing crisis. That the government was claiming to be controlling immigration has been demonstrated to be “laughable”, said Migration Watch.

The body also emphasised the otherwise little-noted point that the ONS has made methodological changes to the way they count immigration this year, and claim this means “these numbers appear lower than they otherwise would have been”. The ONS for their part said the numbers are estimates which are “provisional, experimental and have a degree of uncertainty around them.”

Alp Mehmet, Chairman of Migration Watch, said: “The Prime Minister has abandoned any effort to cut immigration from these stratospheric levels. So, we will now campaign for the public to sign a petition calling for net migration to be cut to less than 100,000 a year.

“This will be an opportunity, at last, for the public to express their concern about the fundamental changes to the nature of Britain. We really are standing on the edge of the cliff.”

A great deal of the growth in arrivals comes from those outside the European Union, the figures show, which includes those being welcomed to the United Kingdom for humanitarian reasons from Ukraine and Hong Kong. Nevertheless, the sustained rise over years is far too large to be explained by that alone.

The record net migration figures underline not only the degree to which the Conservative Party has failed on its very long-held promises to cut immigration — including outright lies on the matter, as has been gloated about in the past — but also failed to grasp the opportunity of Brexit to remake Britain in a new image approved of by the voting public. Rather than using Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union to reform immigration to control arrivals, more people now arrive in the United Kingdom a year than at any other time in human history.

On the stark illustration of the government’s failure to deliver on its own rhetoric, Brexit leader Nigel Farage said today: “These figures are a total breach of trust between voters and this government. The population explosion continues, our quality of life is declining and all the government will do is to give us more lies.”

Present Conservative Party leader Rishi Sunak has done much talking — and made many promises — over immigration in recent months. Although it could be argued that as a reasonably new Prime Minister, the arrival figures of 2022 aren’t all his fault, the fact remains that the United Kingdom has been ruled by Conservative leaders non-stop for over 13 years, every single one of which has promised to control immigration and failed.

Just this week, Sunak said: “On the topic of legal migration let me be crystal clear: I think the numbers are too high and I’m committed to bringing them down… we’re considering a range of options to bring numbers down and we’ll have more to say on that shortly”. Nigel Farage responded bluntly that “I don’t believe a word of it. The Great Immigration Lie continues, this time perpetrated by Rishi Sunak.”

While discussion about illegal immigration is undoubtedly important, it ignores the fact the vast majority arrive within the rules set by the Conservative Party, and nothing has been done to control that. In fact, controlling legal arrival numbers has been effectively prevented after the government introduced a new ‘points-based’ immigration system copied on the Australian model.

Unfortunately the system missed one of the key features of the Australian: the mechanism by which arrival numbers was limited.

As reported in 2022:

Migration is also firmly in the public eye because electors may reasonably feel like they had voted for border control at several successive elections, only to find the border-control promising parties in power taking no effective action for many years. Parties and causes speaking the language of border control came first in national elections in 200920102014201520162017, and twice in 2019, yet immigration is now higher than ever.


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