Rishi Sunak has declared “enough is enough” and that the time has come to “get control of immigration once and for all”.
Home Secretary James Cleverly outlined the Government’s five-point plan to tackle rising net migration on Monday, which would top health and care workers bringing dependants and increase the skilled worker earnings threshold to £38,700, which would also be the minimum income for family visas.
The proposals would also prevent shortage occupations from paying 20% less and ensure the Migration Advisory Committee reviews the graduate immigration route to prevent abuse.
Immigration is too high.
Today we’re taking radical action to bring it down.
These steps will make sure that immigration always benefits the UK. pic.twitter.com/osz7AmcRgY
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) December 4, 2023
Writing in The Sun, the Prime Minister said there is “far too much abuse of our system” which is “not fair on the honest, hard-working British people”.
He wrote: “There are just too many people migrating to the UK. So we’ve launched a new plan to cut migration, with a simple message.
“If you can’t contribute to the UK, you are not coming to the UK.”
He said people were “rightly angry” net migration has continued to climb and politicians “have not been willing to take the hard decisions” to deliver on promises to control borders.
“Britain has a proud tradition of providing shelter for refugees,” he said. “We’ve welcomed with open arms people fleeing the war in Ukraine or persecution in Hong Kong.
“But that cannot come at the cost of not controlling our borders.”
He said the latest proposals would “deliver the biggest-ever cut in net migration and curb abuse”, as well as providing the “proper points-based system that was promised after Brexit”.
“Altogether, our five-point plan means that 300,000 people like those who came to the UK last year will no longer be able to come,” he said.
Mr Sunak also vowed to continue the fight against those arriving in the country illegally, including those on small boats.
“People looking at this country have got to know that if they come here illegally, they will be detained and swiftly removed to a safe country,” he said.
“I’m fed up with our Rwanda policy being blocked.
“I’ve got the Government working on emergency laws to end the merry-go-round so that we can fix this problem once and for all — and stop the boats.”
Mr Cleverly, who is visiting Rwanda to sign a new asylum treaty, said the Government was “taking the fight to the people smugglers” but also needed to reduce legal immigration.
Writing in the Daily Express, he said: “It is right that we prioritise investment and training for homegrown talent.
“The British people want and deserve a fair immigration system and sustainable numbers.”