Record-breaking Numbers Expected
The net migration figures for the UK, set to be published on Thursday, are predicted to surpass last year's historic high of 606,000.
Concerns for Downing Street
Downing Street is bracing itself for the release of what some are calling "dire" border data, coming less than 24 hours after the Autumn Statement.
Possible Exceeding of 700,000
There are even suggestions within the government that the number of arrivals compared to departures in the year leading up to June 2023 could exceed 700,000.
Challenges for Rishi Sunak
Another record-breaking increase in legal arrivals would be a blow to Rishi Sunak, who is already facing criticism for his handling of illegal migration.
Publication Proceeds Despite Suggestions
Although there were suggestions to delay the release of the provisional figures to avoid clashing with Jeremy Hunt's Autumn Statement, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has confirmed that publication will proceed as planned on Thursday morning.
Inclusions in the Figures
The snapshot of the last half of 2022 and the first half of 2023 will include a significant number of Ukrainian refugees and a surge in visa applications this year.
According to a Whitehall source, the upcoming figures are expected to be "dire," with another source adding that the numbers are consistently on the rise.