Net migration to Britain rises by more than a fifth

THE Conservatives’ election pledge to slash net migration from “hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands” faces an uphill battle, after official figures yesterday showed a 22 per cent rise in the number of people settling in the UK.

Meanwhile, the number of people emigrating fell in 2010, by 15 per cent, according to the statistics.

Net migration in the year to June 2010 reached 226,000, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated.

The government is unlikely to meet its target, the Institute for Public Policy Research has said. And the proposed cap on migration from outside the EU will harm the economy and education sector, it argued.

Referring to possible restrictions on student visas, the IPPR said: “Tens of thousands of genuine international students could be turned away from universities and colleges, costing the UK billions of pounds, in pursuit of an artificial target.”