The Prime Minister said the policy “hasn’t been watered down” but refused to offer a date when she will achieve the goal because she is “constantly working” to close immigration loopholes.Ahead of her address to the Conservative party conference on Wednesday, Mrs May was forced to defend her stance on immigration.
Speaking to BBC’s Radio 5 Live, she said: “First of all, the policy hasn’t been watered down.
“We still believe we want to net migration down to sustainable levels – that means in the tens of thousands – so the policy hasn’t changed.“Of course, what has changed, is when we leave the European Union we will able to bring control to the movement of people from the EU into the United Kingdom.“That is part of the immigration system we haven’t been able to have control over in the past, but as an independent sovereign country, of course we will be able to have that control.”
She was then challenged by presenter Rachel Burden to give a date when she would be aiming to deliver the promise for.
Mrs May replied:
“I think if you listen to any of the interviews I’ve given on immigration over the six years I was home secretary and those I’ve continued to give as Prime Minister I’ve always made the point that in immigration you actually have to be constantly looking at the issue, you have to be constantly working to make sure you’re closing any loopholes that people might try to find in the system.“That’s what we continue to do and continue to look at immigration from outside the European Union as well as looking at what would be the right controls to bring in the future movement from the EU.”
Despite not outlining an exact date, Mrs May’s Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Britain will not wait until Brexit to begin cutting levels of migration.Ms Rudd is expected to use her conference speech today to announce plans to limit the number of non-EU migrants in a bid to cut the level of net migration in the run up to Brexit.
Ministers have been examining plans to restrict student visas so that only the brightest and best foreign students can move to Britain to study.Speaking at a fringe meeting, Ms Rudd said that she believe immigration is a “good thing” but said it does not mean “we can’t control the amount of migrants we have coming here”.