U.K. Sets an Immigration Record That the Tories Could Do Without

Legal immigration into Britain climbed to almost three-quarters of a million people in 2022, official statistics showed on Thursday, a new and unwelcome record for the country’s governing Conservative Party after it promised to use its post-Brexit powers to curb the number of arrivals.

The latest figures on net migration were a new setback for the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, prompting anger within the party, as he also struggles to stop asylum seekers arriving in small boats on the British coast, revive a slumbering economy and deal with dismal polling numbers.

“In every election since 1992 we have promised to reduce migration,” Neil O’Brien, a Conservative lawmaker and Brexit supporter, said on social media, adding that Thursday’s “extraordinary numbers” meant that the prime minister “must now take immediate and massive action” to do so.

The figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, the country’s official statistical agency, revised net migration figures for the year ending December 2022 — previously estimated at 606,000, itself a record — upward to 745,000.

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