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Bright Blue, the independent think tank for liberal conservatism, is calling for new data, targets and debate on immigration.

Commenting on today’s ONS migration figures, director of Bright Blue Ryan Shorthouse said:

“We really need new data, targets and debate on immigration in this country. Time for thoughtful Theresa, not tough Theresa again. Brexit and a new Government gives her and the Home secretary the space to rethink immigration policy.

“The net migration target, which is arbitrary and indiscriminate, has consistently been missed since its introduction. It has helped to contribute to a feeling that recent immigration in this country has been detrimental. This is a myth. For most people, immigration has had a modest positive or no effect on them, economically and socially. There are a very small proportion of communities that have struggled to provide the capacity and resources to deal with the volume of migrants. Government can and should do much more to support them.”

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.