Finance / Theresa May backs inclusion of students in net migration figures
Theresa May backs inclusion of students in net migration figures
4 April 2017
Theresa May has refused to back down over including students in migration figures in the face of calls from Tories for reform.
Around six Cabinet ministers are reportedly demanding people coming from overseas to study are excluded from the total.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox earlier this month said there was an "ongoing argument" among the top team over the calculation of the figures.
Excluding students could dramatically cut net migration totals and help the PM meet the Government's target of cutting numbers to the tens of thousands.
Mrs May said: "We have a very clear position in terms of net migration.
"We want to bring that down to sustainable levels. We have said those sustainable levels are the tens of thousands.
“The reason we want to bring it down is because of the impact it has on people, particularly in relation to the effect on jobs and incomes at the lower end of the income scale.
“Students are in the net migration figures because it is in the international definition of net migration and we abide by the same definition that is used by other countries around the world.
“What I’m pleased about in our relationship with India is following my trip to India last November we set up a working group with them and we are looking at issues that we can address, not just what a future trade agreement with India would be post us leaving the EU but actually what can we do now to ensure that we are improving our trade relationship with India.”