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May says sticking to net migration target of less than 100,000 a year
April 20, 2017 / 4:20 PM / 5 months ago

May says sticking to net migration target of less than 100,000 a year

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech to Conservative Party members to launch their election campaign in Walmsley Parish Hall, Bolton, Britain April 19, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Yates

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to stick to her pledge to reduce annual net migration to below 100,000 a year, she said on Thursday, as her governing Conservatives put together their manifesto for a snap election in June.

May has previously backed her predecessor David Cameron’s pledge to cut the figure to the “tens of thousands”, but there had been speculation in British newspapers the Conservatives might not include the promise in their manifesto.

Earlier on Thursday a senior government minister and close ally of May told Sky News it was “not about putting numbers on it”.

Net migration has consistently been running at around three times the government’s target, with the latest figures in February putting the level at 273,000.

When asked during a visit to a business in London on Thursday if she would include the number in the manifesto, she told the BBC: ”We want to see sustainable net migration in this country, I believe that sustainable net migration is in the tens of thousands.

“Leaving the European Union enables us to control our borders in relation to people coming from the EU as well as those who are coming from outside the EU.”

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Michael Holden

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