Migration by numbers: What’s really driving the surge in people coming to the UK?

Despite the government’s focus on students and small boats, they account for a small fraction of net migration. Lizzie Dearden and Holly Bancroft look at what’s behind the rise

Friday 26 May 2023 10:39 BST
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<p>Net migration to the UK has hit a new record high</p>

Net migration to the UK has hit a new record high

Net migration has hit a new record high, driven by workers from outside the EU moving to the UK, new figures show.

The surge in numbers to 606,000 in 2022 has been driven in part by the effect, in the short term, of government-run humanitarian schemes for people fleeing Ukraine, Afghanistan and Hong Kong, while the number of small-boat crossings in the English Channel has continued to rise.

Suella Braverman has targeted international students with a controversial crackdown on their right to bring family members to Britain while they study, but the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said most students leave when their courses end.

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