Theresa May pledges to limit UK net immigration

July 4, 2016 6:00 pm

British Interior Minister addresses a press conference in central London on June 30, 2016. (AFP)

Home Secretary Theresa May
has vowed to limit immigration into Britain as the country takes the
necessary measures to leave the European Union (EU).

May told the ITV on Sunday that
Britain needs to bring immigration levels under control in order to
maintain its security following the EU referendum on June 23 that saw 52
percent of British voters opting to leave the 28-member bloc.
“If
we’re looking ahead over the coming months and years once we get the
issue of the EU negotiation sorted, the right deal for Britain, we may
very well see in the run-up to that, people wanting to come here to the
UK before that exit happens, so there are factors you can’t always
predict what the timing and numbers of those will be,” she said.
May,
who is running to replace David Cameron as prime minister, added,
“There’s still a job to be done” in order to cut net immigration to the
tens of thousands that the ruling Conservative party had promised upon
Cameron’s election.
Back in 2010, Cameron announced a series of
new measures to tackle illegal migration and pledged to reduce net
migration into Britain to below 100,000. But he announced his plan to
quit office following the Brexit vote.
According to the UK’s
Office for National Statistics, the net migration to the UK, the
difference between the number of people entering the European country
and leaving it, rose to 333,000 in 2015.
“We need to bring control
into movement of people coming into the UK from the EU. So we’ve got to
move ahead looking across immigration dealing with both those sides of
types of immigration,” May said, adding that the government should focus
on reducing immigration to sustainable levels.
She also noted
that London needed to adopt a clear negotiating position with the EU
before triggering Article 50, a law which allows EU members to leave the
bloc in accordance with their own constitution.
However, the secretary said the process would not happen before the end of this year.
The
issue of migration was a key battleground in the run-up to the EU vote,
with ‘Leave’ campaigners arguing that outside the union they would take
back control over the borders.
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