In a recent interview conducted at the Nissan plant, Chancellor Rishi Sunak declined to apologize for the government’s inability to fulfil the 2019 Tory manifesto pledge of reducing immigration. However, he reiterated his belief that current immigration levels were excessively high.
Expressing his stance, Sunak stated, “I’m very clear that the levels of migration are too high, and they’ve got to come down to more sustainable levels. I’ve been clear about that.” While he acknowledged the Office for National Statistics’ recent affirmation that migration rates were slowing, he emphasized the need for further progress.
Highlighting his commitment to addressing the issue, Sunak pointed out the stringent policy he announced in May. This measure aimed to restrict the number of dependents accompanying students entering the country, representing the most rigorous action taken in a long time to curtail legal migration. He assured the public that additional actions would be taken if the system continued to be exploited.
However, when questioned about his support for the reported proposals put forth by Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick, such as implementing a higher minimum salary threshold for work visa recipients and enforcing a cap on NHS work visas, Sunak evaded a direct response. Instead, he reiterated his previous statements, refraining from providing a clear stance on the proposed measures.
Despite the government’s failure to honour the immigration reduction promise outlined in the 2019 Tory manifesto, Rishi Sunak remains resolute in his commitment to decreasing migration levels. As the debate surrounding immigration policy continues, the Chancellor’s refusal to endorse specific measures leaves room for speculation on the government’s future approach.