AN annual cap on migrants is being considered as part of a “serious package” to slash the numbers, the immigration minister said yesterday.

Robert Jenrick said there were “strong arguments” for a hard ceiling on arrivals causing “untold pressure” on Britain.

He said “the time for tinkering is over” and that a suite of tougher measures would have come last Christmas if he had his way.

But Tory MP Sir Edward Leigh said: “We know he is on the right side. He just has to persuade the Prime Minister now.”

Rishi Sunak has been under pressure to act since it was recently revealed net migration hit a record 745,000 last year. 

Urgent reforms are being drawn up which are thought to include a crackdown on dependents and raising the salary threshold for visas.

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In the Commons yesterday, Conservative deputy chairman Lee Anderson said: “Isn't it about time, minister, that we had a cap on migration and put some clear divide between us and that lot over there?”

Mr Jenrick replied: “There are definitely strong arguments for using caps, whether in general or on specific visas, but these are conversations that we need to conclude within Government.”

However it is believed such a curb will not make the final cut because of the restraints it places on the economy. 

Mr Anderson’s demands were echoed by fellow Red Wall MP Marco Longhi, while Tory Tom Hunt branded last week’s numbers a “truly shocking state of affairs”.

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Mr Jenrick has been privately pushing for the harsher measures championed by former Home Secretary Suella Braverman.

The minister told MPs the public were “sick of talk” and added: “My plan would have been brought to the House before last Christmas if I could have done."

Downing Street said they did not know which specific plan Mr Jenrick was referring to. 

Meanwhile No10 downplayed reports that an idea to disapply European Human Rights law to the Rwanda plan had been scotched by lawyers. 

They said nothing was off the table and Mr Sunak still hoped to get flights going by the Spring.

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