Politics

UK migration figures soar above pre-Brexit level

Suella Braverman: We have failed control of our borders

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The latest figures, published this morning, show that net migration rose to 504,000 in the year to June 2022. The latest figures are 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.

Yesterday, Ms Braverman told MPs: “We have failed to control our borders. That’s why I and the Prime Minister are absolutely determined to fix this problem.”

The statistics published today also show that there are still 9,242 Afghan refugees in hotels – 15 months after the evacuation.

Just this morning, Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove defended Home Secretary Ms Braverman, saying she is doing a “good job”.

Speaking to GB News, he added: “Yes actually, I believe that Suella is doing what is necessary in order to ensure effective and appropriate border controls and deal with the question of asylum and migration.”

GB News presenter Isabel Webster challenged Mr Gove on what she described as a “woeful” performance from Ms Braverman at the Home Affairs Select Committee yesterday.

The Home Secretary was challenged about the UK asylum system but appeared lost when asked to explain the specific process for seeking asylum from certain countries.

Defending Ms Braverman, Mr Gove said: “I saw that there was an exchange between Suella and a Conservative backbench colleague.

“I think it was the case that Suella explained clearly the situation. There are, as we know, routes which the UK generously maintains.£

He added: “Suella in the House of Commons was clear there are challenges we need to address. There is more to be done to deal with the criminal gangs that are dealing in human misery.”

At the committee, Tory MP Tim Loughton had asked Ms Braverman: “Just a bit of role play: I’m a 16-year-old orphan from an East African country escaping a war zone and religious persecution. I have a sibling legally in the United Kingdom at the moment. What is the safe and legal route for me to come to the United Kingdom?”

He added: “Let’s just theoretically talk about an African country which is going through a period of turbulence, which is persecuting its citizens, including an innocent 16-year-old like me.”

Ms Braverman responded: “Well, we have an asylum system and people can put in applications for asylum.”

Mr Loughton then pressed her: “How would I do that?”

She replied: “Well, you can do it through the safe and legal routes that we have. We have offered 390,000 places to people seeking safety from various countries around the world…”

The exchange saw Ms Braverman struggle to provide specific details of the process for entering the UK legally, instead passing the question to Matthew Rycroft, permanent secretary at the Home Office.

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