Migration falls in 2012
Migration fell significantly in the year to June 2012, the Office of National Statistics has found.
Records show a net flow of 163,000 migrants over the year, "significantly lower" than the 247,000 in the year ending June 2011.
Immigration minister Mark Harper said the numbers showed Britain now had a "more selective" immigration system. He claimed more people were coming to perform skilled work on the tier two visa:
"We’re getting fewer people overall, but we’re getting the right people who are coming to add things to the country – the best and brightest from around the world, as the Prime Minister said recently.”
But Chris Bryant, Labour's shadow minister, claimed the Government was doing nothing to tackle illegal immigration:
"The Prime Minister's policy is failing to convince the public that he is focussed on the right things. Illegal immigration is still getting worse, international graduate students are being discouraged yet more people are coming as short term students with fewer checks and UK citizens are being driven away."