Fresh crisis for Rishi Sunak as net migration figures 'to reach 700K' in historic high

Rishi Sunak

UK net migration could reach more than 700,00 in figures to be published on Thursday, in what would be a historic high

Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke

Published: 21/11/2023

- 15:16

Updated: 21/11/2023

- 17:07

The figure would be more than double pre-Brexit levels of migration

UK net migration could reach more than 700,00 in figures to be published on Thursday, in what would be a historic high.

Net migration figures for the year up to June will be published this week. They are expected to beat last year's figures, which reached a record 606,000.

The last figure already represented an increase from pre-Brexit immigration levels, with most of the migrants coming from non-EU countries.

Net migration for the year ending June 2015 - the year before the UK voted to leave the EU - was 336,000.

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Sources told the Mail that this year's figure will top 700,000, bsaed on internal Home Office forecasts.

This would be yet another knock for the Government, which was dealt a blow when the Supreme Court deemed its plan to send migrants to Rwanda unlawful.

All five justices unanimously agreed with the Court of Appeal’s conclusion that the Rwanda policy was unlawful.

Giving a press conference later that day, the Prime Minister said he will introduce emergency legislation declaring Rwanda a safe country.

Speaking about the judgement, he said: “I do not agree with this decision but I respect it and accept it. The rule of law is fundamental to our democracy. We have prepared for all outcomes of this case. And so we have been working on a new international treaty with Rwanda.

“This will provide a guarantee in law that those who are relocated from the UK to Rwanda will be protected against removal from Rwanda and it will make clear that we will bring back anyone if ordered to do so by a court.

“We will finalise this treaty in light of today’s judgment and ratify it without delay.

“But we need to end the merry-go-round. I said I was going to fundamentally change our country, and I meant it. So I’m also announcing today that we will take the extraordinary step of introducing emergency legislation. This will enable Parliament to confirm that with our new treaty, Rwanda is safe.”

Sunak added: “We must be honest about the fact that even once Parliament has changed the law here at home, we could still face challenges from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

“I told Parliament earlier today that I’m prepared to change our laws and revisit those international relationships to remove the obstacles in our way.

"So let me tell everybody now, I will not allow a foreign court to block these flights.

“If the Strasbourg court chooses to intervene against the expressed wishes of Parliament, I am prepared to do what is necessary to get flights off.


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“I will not take the easy way out.

“Because I fundamentally do not believe that anyone thinks the founding aims of the European Convention on Human Rights was to stop a sovereign Parliament removing illegal migrants to a country deemed to be safe in parliamentary statute and binding international law.”

The Home Office has been contacted for comment.

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