UK: Net Migration Reaches Record High of 500K

    Photo: aljazeera

    The Facts

    • According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), net migration to the UK reached 504K in the year to June 2022 — a vast increase from 173K the same time the year prior.

    • The increase is largely attributed to a series of "unprecedented world events," including the war in Ukraine, a new visa route for British nationals moving from Hong Kong, the resettlement of Afghan refugees, an influx of students from outside the EU, and the end of COVID lockdowns.

    The Spin

    Right narrative

    The Conservatives are failing to deliver Brexit or get a handle on immigration as the party is being sabotaged by its own senior members who can't even fulfill core right-wing pledges, such as reducing taxation. Its woeful execution has turned Brexit into little more than a farce — Brexiteers have been failed.

    Left narrative

    The Conservatives are not only failing their own voters by not delivering on election promises but also failing vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers. Criminal gangs are still profiteering from migrants driven desperate by the conservatives' mismanagement of the immigration and asylum systems. The backlog on asylum applications has exceeded 140K — this crisis is the direct result of years of poor Tory governance.

    Cynical narrative

    While these figures are undoubtedly concerning, we need to be cautious not to give in to the sensationalist headlines, which fail to note the complexity of the numbers. A considerable portion of the increase was made up of students who, prior to Brexit, weren't required to obtain visas, and the remainder was largely caused by unique circumstances.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 50% chance that at least 1.88K migrants will die or go missing in 2022 while trying to cross the Mediterranean, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Political split



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