What’s new today?
We saw the latest official statistics on immigration. This is the last batch we will get before the election and it’s not good news for David Cameron.
The Office for National Statistics said net migration – that’s people coming in minus people leaving the country – was 298,000 in the year ending September 2014, up from 21,000 in the previous 12 months.
Outlining the government’s new immigration policy in 2011, David Cameron said: “I believe that will mean net migration to this country will be in the order of tens of thousands each year, not the hundreds of thousands every year that we have seen over the last decade.”
The phrase “no ifs, no buts” is sometimes thrown back at the prime minister in relation to this speech, although to be strictly accurate, he didn’t say: “No ifs, no buts – net migration below 100,000.”
He said: “Borders will be under control and immigration will be at levels our country can manage. No ifs. No buts.”
Nevertheless, net migration is clearly still in the order of hundreds of thousands, and today’s news is being reported as a humiliating failure for the Conservatives (the Lib Dems never endorsed it). (more…)