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Immigration now seen as biggest issue, but our measure of it seen as ‘not fit for purpose’

Joseph O’Leary, from independent fact checking organisation Full Fact, blogs on immigration statistics.


For the first time in almost six years, Immigration has topped the list of issues people see as the most important facing Britain today, beating the economy into second place.


It comes just a day after the Chair of the Public Administration Select Committee, Bernard Jenkin, reiterated the body’s view that the figures we have on immigration are:


“blunt instruments for measuring, managing and understanding migration to and from the UK, and they are not fit for purpose”


In spite of this, those same figures have previously been described by the UK Statistics Authority as the “best available measure” of net migration “given the existing statistical sources”.


That’s why there were calls from MPs yesterday for new sources to be used – including passenger travel data from the upcoming Border Systems Programme (formerly ‘eBorders’).


We’ve outlined the issues surrounding how reliable our migration figures are in our spotlight, published today.


Full Fact is an independent fact checking organization which  provides free tools, information and advice so that anyone can check the claims we hear from politicians and the media.  020 3397 5140.  [email protected]