Fury as Experts Predict Net Immigration Numbers for 2022 Will Surpass 700,000
Christian Calgie and David Maddox, Daily Express, May 3, 2023
A respected centre-right think tank has predicted that 2022’s net immigration figure is likely to have surpassed 700,000, sparking allegations that the Home Office has “lost control” of Britain’s borders. The Centre for Policy Study’s internal estimate from the policy boffins comes ahead of the Home Office publishing the annual influx figure on May 25.
Between June 2021 and June 2022, net migration hit a record 504,000 people, thanks to 1.1 million immigrants and 560,000 long-term departures.
At the time, the half-a-million figure caused outrage among those calling for Britain to shore up its borders. Nigel Farage said the “Tories deserve to be wiped out” as a result of the record high number.
This year, however, that figure is set to substantially increase to “unprecedented levels”.
CPS director Robert Colvile has now revealed that his internal estimate suggests net migration for 2022 will be “at least” 700,000.
This would represent double the record recorded prior to Britain’s departure from the EU.
The expected stark rise in net migrants will be a major headache for Rishi Sunak and the Home Office (Image: Getty)
Even the CPS’s 700,000 prediction could prove an underestimation, however.
If the number of people leaving Britain declines, possibly settling after Brexit encouraged some EU workers to return home, the figure could be even higher, approaching three-quarters of a million new residents in Britain in just one year.
Senior CPS researcher Karl Williams told The Express: “We don’t yet know how many people left the UK in 2022. But unless that number has risen, the increase in visas issued means that net migration will be substantially higher”.
“We think the level will be at least 700,000 if emigration levels are unchanged, and potentially even higher if they have fallen back to the levels of the 2010s.”
If 2022’s migration figures are as high as predicted, it could prove disastrous for Rishi Sunak’s relations with Tory backbenchers.
Reacting to the forecast, a former senior Tory minister told the Express that ministers in the Home Office are “losing control” of both the small boats crisis, and legal net migration.
A number of Red Wall MPs told express.co.uk they are sceptical the Government will bring the issue under control in time for an election next year.
One said: “Time is fast running out. Sorting out legal migration and ending the small boats crisis will be the difference between us winning and losing.”
Tory backbenchers remain furious at the Government’s broader handling of asylum and illegal migration.
Senior MPs privately reacted with horror to 13 illegal migrants escaping from an asylum centre in Bedford over the weekend.
One former Cabinet Minister pointed out that similar scandals had in past years led to the resignations of Home Secretaries including Labour’s Charles Clarke and the Conservative Michael Howard.
One senior Tory MP described the situation as “beyond a joke.”
The Home Office refused to comment on the CPS’s net migration prediction, though told the Express: “The public rightly expect us to control our borders and we remain committed to reducing net migration over time, while ensuring we have the skills our economy needs.”