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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Wednesday June 12, 2024
Wednesday June 12, 2024

Sunak promises annual cap on migration to Woo voters

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak aims to reduce foreign worker numbers, introducing a new cap on visas to address voter concerns ahead of the general election

In a bold move to address rising voter concerns about immigration, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged to implement an annual cap on immigration visas. This policy aims to reduce the number of foreign workers and their dependents entering the UK. The announcement comes as the Conservative Party seeks to regain control over net migration numbers, which recently hit a record high of 764,000. The proposed cap will apply to various visa categories, including skilled workers, family reunions, and graduates while exempting temporary and seasonal workers, as well as refugees arriving through safe and legal routes.

Sunak’s promise to cap immigration is a strategic effort to solidify support among core Conservative voters who have grown increasingly frustrated with high migration levels. The plan, which will require Parliament to vote annually on the visa cap, is designed to ensure a steady reduction in immigration numbers over the next five years. This move also positions the Conservatives as the only party willing to take decisive action on immigration, contrasting sharply with Labour’s stance, which Sunak claims lacks a clear plan to reduce net migration.

The introduction of this policy comes in the wake of mounting pressure from Nigel Farage’s Reform UK party, which has also promised to take a hard line on immigration. Farage’s return to politics and the growing influence of Reform UK has added a new dimension to the upcoming general election, highlighting immigration as a pivotal issue. As the Conservatives and Reform UK vie for voter support, the debate over how best to manage immigration is set to dominate the political landscape in the weeks leading up to the election.

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The Telegraph:

The Telegraph article focuses on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement of an annual cap on immigration visas. The new policy is designed to reduce the number of foreign workers and their dependants entering the UK. Sunak’s plan aims to address voter frustration over high migration levels, which reached a record high of 764,000. The cap will apply to skilled workers, family reunions, and graduates but will exempt temporary and seasonal workers, as well as refugees arriving through safe and legal routes.

Sunak’s proposal includes an annual parliamentary vote to set the visa cap, ensuring a gradual reduction in immigration numbers over the next five years. This move positions the Conservatives as the only party committed to taking bold action on immigration, contrasting with Labour’s perceived lack of a clear plan. Sunak’s announcement also responds to pressure from Nigel Farage’s Reform UK party, which has promised to implement a migrant tax on companies that rely on foreign workers.

The Telegraph highlights that the government’s migration advisers will set the cap to bring down migration to “sustainable” levels. The article also notes that previous measures, such as banning non-PhD students from bringing dependants and raising the skilled worker salary threshold, are expected to reduce immigration by 300,000. The plan includes separate caps for different sectors, potentially preventing a glut of applications at the start of the year.

The article further details the political context, mentioning Nigel Farage’s recent announcement to run as a candidate for Reform UK, which has increased pressure on the Conservative Party. The article contrasts Sunak’s plan with Labour’s stance, emphasizing that Labour’s shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, dismissed the announcement as “meaningless” and criticized the Conservative Party for failing to deliver on previous promises to reduce net migration.

The Independent:

The Independent reports on the Conservative Party’s pledge to impose an annual cap on immigration visas as part of their general election campaign. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the policy amid rising voter concerns about immigration and increased competition from Nigel Farage’s Reform UK party. The new policy aims to reduce the number of foreign workers and their dependents entering the UK by setting a yearly limit on visas.

The cap will apply to skilled workers, family reunions, and graduates but will exclude temporary and seasonal workers, as well as refugees arriving through safe and legal routes. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) will recommend the level of the annual visa cap, which will then be considered by ministers before being put to Parliament for a vote. The cap is expected to decrease year-on-year over the next parliamentary term.

The Independent highlights the political rivalry between the Conservatives and Reform UK, noting that Farage has positioned the upcoming election as an “immigration election.” Farage’s return to politics and his challenge to Sunak’s leadership have intensified the focus on immigration as a key election issue. The article also mentions Labour’s criticism of the Conservative plan, with Yvette Cooper calling it a rehash of failed policies from previous Conservative leaders.

The article provides context on the current state of migration, noting that net migration fell by 10% last year, primarily due to a decrease in the number of people arriving from Ukraine and Hong Kong on humanitarian visas. Despite this reduction, Sunak emphasized that migration levels remain too high and reiterated the need for further action. The article concludes with a mention of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s recent commitment to reducing net migration and addressing skills shortages through new training and workforce plans for British workers.

BBC:

The BBC coverage of the Conservative Party’s new immigration policy focuses on the announcement of an annual cap on visas. The policy, unveiled by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, aims to reduce the number of foreign workers and their dependants entering the UK. The cap will be determined by Parliament based on recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) and will decrease year-on-year over the next parliamentary term.

The BBC highlights the political implications of the announcement, noting that it comes as Nigel Farage’s Reform UK party intensifies pressure on the Conservatives with its hardline stance on immigration. Farage’s return to politics and his focus on immigration has made the issue a central topic in the upcoming general election. The BBC reports that Sunak’s plan is part of a broader effort to address voter concerns about high migration levels, which reached a record high of 764,000.

The article also includes reactions from other political figures, with Labour’s shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, dismissing the announcement as “meaningless” and criticizing the Conservative Party for failing to deliver on previous promises to reduce net migration. The BBC provides context on recent government measures to reduce immigration, such as banning non-PhD students from bringing dependants and raising the skilled worker salary threshold.

The coverage concludes with a mention of the upcoming televised debate between Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, which will likely address immigration among other key election issues. The debate presents both an opportunity and a risk for Sunak, as it will be a chance to reach millions of voters but also a potential platform for gaffes that could be replayed in the media.

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