The Office for National Statistics has released its quarterly update on UK net migration. This time the figure, 183,000, is ‘favourable’ for the UK government. This is a drop of about 25% from the previous quarter, mainly the result of the increase emigration of Britons is search of better opportunities abroad (this is what migration is mostly about) and the recent UKBA’s scaremongering campaign against universities and further education colleges (e.g. London Met) that has made the UK a less attractive destination of overseas students. But what exactly ‘favourable’ means here? As I have argued in the past on this blog, the UK government’s decision to use the quantum of net migration as an indicator of its success or failure in relation to the governance of migration is questionable for multiple reasons. I discussed this in a talk on ‘Unwanted’ immigrants and the liberal state I gave last year at the Alumni Weekend at the University of Oxford. My talk starts at 17’52”.
migration and mobility, politics