Suella Braverman labels migration package ‘too late’, urges government to ‘go further’

The government has introduced measures it says will deliver the biggest ever cut in net migration after the release of figures last week showed levels had reached a record high. 

Home secretary James Cleverly announced the “five-point plan” in a statement to the House of Commons yesterday in a bid to curb immigration, which he said was “far too high”.

The figures published last month revised up previous estimates for net migration for 2022 from 606,000 to 745,000. The ONS said in the year to June net migration fell back to 672,000.

Among the changes is the proposal to hike the minimum salary needed for skilled overseas workers from £26,200 to £38,700.

“Enough is enough”, Cleverly told the commons yesterday. 

He added: “We are curbing abuses to the health care visa. We are increasing thresholds, cutting the SOL discount, increasing family income requirements, and cutting the number of student dependents”.

‘Enough is enough!’: Cleverly reveals five point plan to ‘curb immigration abuses’

Reacting to the plan yesterday afternoon, former home secretary Suella Braverman said the package was “too late”. 

In a post on X (formerly Twitter) she said: “I welcome the measures announced today to cut net migration. They are a step in the right direction. But we need to be honest. This package is too late and the government can go further”.

She added: “If the salary threshold rise only takes effect in Spring 2024, we won’t realistically see its impact until the 2025 ONS numbers. Had this been introduced a year or even 6 months ago, we would start to see a fall in the numbers before the next General Election”.

“As well as these proposals, we should go further: shortening the graduate route – not just reviewing it again; & we need an annual cap, set by Parliament, across all visa routes, so we don’t get into this terrible situation again & government can be properly held to account”.

“I put forward similar measures 6 times in the last year.  I’m glad that the PM has finally agreed to introducing some of them now but the delay has reduced their impact”.

It came after shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper accused the prime minister of veering around like a “shopping trolley” on migration in the commons yesterday. 

Cooper said: “The previous prime minister was accused of being a shopping trolley, veering around from one side to the other. The current prime minister is clearly veering, but he certainly isn’t steering.

“He’s just climbed into someone else’s shopping trolley and he’s being pushed around all over the place. So can the home secretary tell us where is the workforce plan on social care, on engineering, on bricklaying, on all the shortage occupations that their total economic failure has left us with?”.

She added: “The Conservatives are in chaos. They’ve got no serious plan for the economy, no serious plan for the immigration system, no serious plan for the country. Britain deserves better than this”.

Yvette Cooper: ‘The PM is veering around like a shopping trolley on migration’

SNP home affairs spokesman Chris Stephens warned the plan would cause “irrevocable harm” to the care sector, as he questioned why children would be included in the category of dependants who now need to earn £38,700 before being allowed to enter the UK.

Despite Braverman’s criticism, Conservative MPs who have been critical of the government’s migration policy largely welcomed the proposals last night. 

Former cabinet minister Sir Simon Clarke said on X that the changes were a “massive step in the right direction”. 

The New Conservatives group of right-wing MPs, led by Miriam Cates and Danny Kruger, said it was “brilliant to see that common sense has prevailed”. is the UK’s leading digital-only political website, providing comprehensive coverage of UK politics. Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.