by Max Chambers
"When the economy was creating so many jobs, and British unemployment had plummeted so low, it became clear that, when it comes to numbers, it didn’t really matter what tightening measures you devised. The strength of the economy always seemed to trump any clampdown; indeed, the only time we got anywhere close to tens of thousands was in 2012, when the economy was still close to recession. As logic would suggest, when there are fewer jobs, fewer people arrive, and many more leave in search of greener pastures.
When sensible measures don’t work, and you have an undeliverable net migration target to demonstrate progress towards, eventually there is huge pressure to dream up more draconian measures, such as making firms list their foreign workers. David Cameron recognised where this would lead – to proposals that could badly damage key sectors of the economy, but still wouldn’t get him anywhere near his target. Succumbing would supply a short-term political fix, but would ultimately be bad for Britain."