Questions on Immigration

Immigration is an issue which I know my constituents rightly care a great deal about, so I took the opportunity last Wednesday to ask the Home Secretary, Theresa May MP, about immigration policy and progress.

I am pleased that the Minister was able to confirm that net migration is indeed falling by a third since the beginning of the parliament, and that the fall is a result of fewer people coming here. I hope that the Government continues to build on this progress with the recent reforms to the welfare system announced by the Prime Minister, which aim to reduce welfare tourism.

An account of my exchange with the Home Secretary is below:

Nigel Mills MP: “What progress her Department is making in reducing net migration to the UK.”

Theresa May MP (Home Secretary; Maidenhead, Conservative): “As has already been referred to this afternoon, the latest statistics show another significant fall in net migration—down almost a third since June 2010. This shows that we are bringing immigration back under control. Our tough policies continue to have an effect, and this marks a further step towards bringing net migration down from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands by the end of this Parliament.”

Nigel Mills MP: “I welcome the fall in net migration. Can the Home Secretary confirm to the House that it was caused by fewer people coming to the UK and not more people leaving, as some have suggested?”

Theresa May MP (Home Secretary; Maidenhead, Conservative): “My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The figure for net migration is reached by looking at the numbers leaving and the numbers coming in. The Office for National Statistics has been absolutely clear about the statistically significant fall in immigration and net migration, and it is the fall in immigration that has led to the fall in net migration.”