The Coalition Government’s “flagship immigration pledge is in shreds,” Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, has said.
Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that recent net long-term migration to the UK has remained stable but fallen by a third since its peak in 2005.
In the year ending December 2013, net long-term migration to the UK was estimated to be 212,000, an increase from 177,000 the previous year.
Responding to the latest immigration figures from the ONS, Ms Cooper said Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May “promised ‘no ifs, no buts’ to get their net migration target down to the tens of thousands by the end of the Parliament, and the actual figure is over twice that.
“By making such loud promises and failing to meet them, Theresa May and David Cameron have further eroded trust on immigration and undermined confidence in a government’s ability to address people’s concerns.”
She accused the Tories of failing to keep their own promise. “Yet they are preventing the best and brightest overseas students coming to our universities, at the same time as illegal working is ignored, more people abscond at the border where controls aren’t strong enough and there is no action on exploitation of EU migration that undercuts wages and jobs.”
Ms Cooper added: “By treating all immigration as the same and focusing only on the net migration target, the Government is failing to deliver a system that is fair for Britain or has public confidence.”
While both Mr Cameron and Ms May have been claiming that they would cut net migration to the tens of thousands by the end of this Parliament, the latest figures show they are far from meeting the target.
“They have no policies to deliver it and the public know there is a huge gap between Tory rhetoric and the reality,” Ms Cooper said.