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Bright Blue, the independent think tank for liberal conservatism, calls on the Government to abandon the net migration target whilst controlling migration and to support communities that have suffered from excessive immigration.

Commenting on today’s ONS migration figures, James Dobson, senior researcher of the liberal conservative think tank Bright Blue said:

“Today’s figures show, yet again, the urgent need for new targets and debate on immigration in this country. The ongoing Brexit negotiations – and Britain’s impending withdrawal from the EU – offer the Government the political space to rethink Britain’s immigration policy

“The net migration target has been missed in every since quarter since its introduction in 2010. It is arbitrary and indiscriminate, and the consistent failure to meet it has contributed to a belief that immigration is ‘out of control’, and detrimental to this country.

“Immigration has huge economic and social benefits. Only a small number of communities – where the rate of change has been too quick – have suffered from excessive immigration. The Government can do more to support such communities, but it must not come at the cost of an achievable immigration policy or growing economy.”

Bright Blue has been calling for the following policies:

  • Government to abandon the net migration target;
  • Government to introduce new targets to control migration – on gross numbers and the visa process – for different categories of migrants;
  • International students to be removed from the net migration target;
  • Migrants to pay a new class of National Insurance for two years, which would provide extra funding to help local communities struggling with substantial levels of immigration.
  • For further details on these policies, see our report, A manifesto for immigration.