Government tackled on migrant surge

Figures show a surge in net migration

Figures show a surge in net migration

First published in National News © by

Further evidence of a surge in immigration to the UK from within the European Union (EU) has undermined the Government's bid to keep a lid on new arrivals to the country.

EU citizens were largely behind a leap in the numbers of migrants coming to Britain in the year to March, which included a "statistically significant increase" in Romanians and Bulgarians.

The official figures - published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) - came as Eurosceptic backbench MP Douglas Carswell dramatically announced his defection from the Conservative Party to the anti-EU, anti-immigration Ukip.

Heaping further woe on the Government's handling of immigration policy, Mr Carswell said he was not against immigration but said it was "reasonable" to be able to decide who comes to the country.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May previously announced a goal to cut net migration - the difference between migrants leaving and arriving in the UK - to below 100,000 by the general election on May 7 next year.

But the latest figures showed overall net migration rose to 243,000 in the year to March, up from 175,000 the previous year.

Labour hit out at the Government for failing to take "serious action to tackle the root causes of anxiety about immigration" and claimed the net migration target was "in tatters".

Yvette Cooper MP, Labour's shadow home secretary, said: "David Cameron and Theresa May must now admit that their net migration target is in tatters and they have utterly broken their grand immigration promises."

She added: "This massive gap between Government rhetoric and the reality, as well as no serious action to tackle the root causes of anxiety about immigration, is destroying public trust and confidence."

Immigration increased 13% from 492,000 in the previous year to 560,000, the number of people leaving the UK remained stable at 316,000, t he ONS said.

Arrivals from within the EU increased by 44,000, or 25%, to 214,000 in the period, from 170,000 in the previous year.

Statisticians flagged another "statistically significant increase" in the number of Romanians and Bulgarians arriving in the UK, with immigration from the two Eastern European countries more than doubling to 28,000 in the year to March, from 12,000 in the previous year.

Restrictions to the labour market were lifted for Romanians and Bulgarians on January 1, prompting warnings of a looming surge of immigration from the two countries.

And a near three-year decline in the number of citizens from outside the EU immigrating to the UK appears to have ended, statisticians said.

The latest estimates for the year ending March show 265,000 non-EU citizens arrived in the UK, up from 246,000 in the previous year.

Immigration of non-EU citizens had been falling since the year ending September 2011, when an estimated 334,000 non-EU citizens immigrated to the UK.

Immigration and security minister James Brokenshire said: "Uncontrolled, mass immigration makes it difficult to maintain social cohesion, puts pressure on public services and forces down wages. That's why our focus remains on controlling migration at sustainable levels.

"Our reforms have cut net migration by a quarter since the peak under the last government - and have led to net migration from outside the EU falling to levels not seen since the 1990s.

"We are creating a system that is fair to British citizens and legitimate migrants but is tough on those who flout the rules.

"The Government has reformed benefits, healthcare and housing rules to make them among the tightest in Europe and we continue to see an increase in the number of British citizens in work.

"In the past, the majority of growth in employment was taken up by foreign nationals. In the last year, three-quarters of it was accounted for by UK nationals.

"The new Immigration Act continues our reforms by limiting benefits and services for illegal immigrants and making it easier to remove those with no right to be here by reducing the number of appeals."

Shortly after the figures were published, Mr Carswell announced his plans to resign as an MP, triggering a by-election, in which he would run as a Ukip candidate.

Addressing the issue of immigration, he said: "Just like Australia and Switzerland, we must welcome those who want to come here to contribute. We need those skills and drive," he said.

"There is hardly a hospital, a GP surgery, a London bus, a supermarket that would run without that skill and drive.

"We should speak with pride and real respect about first-generation Britons. But, like Australia, surely it is reasonable that we should be able to decide who comes?"

Tim Finch, associate director at think-tank Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), said: "Net migration has been in excess of 150,000 a year for every year over the last decade, apart from once, in 2012.

"The UK is now in a steady state of net migration of more than 200,000 per year, which can be expected to continue for the foreseeable future."

Carlos Vargas-Silva, senior researcher at the Migration Observatory at Oxford University, said: "Net migration has increased again, and is now close to the levels when the current Government took office, suggesting that the Government's net migration target of under 100,000 is now effectively impossible to hit.

"The UK's comparatively strong economic growth is attracting EU nationals, who have a right to live and work in the UK, to the British labour market - a very important factor in this increase."

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: "Getting the numbers down is proving even more difficult than expected, but either we get immigration under control or we accept that in the next 20 years we will have to build 12 new cities the size of Birmingham.

"Where can they possibly be put?"

Comments (16)

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5:59am Thu 28 Aug 14

Rita Jelfs says...

Pre-election damage control mode?
Pre-election damage control mode? Rita Jelfs
  • Score: 6

10:34am Thu 28 Aug 14

OckendonPaul says...

Half a million a year coming in! Will someone get a grip, we're losing our country.
Half a million a year coming in! Will someone get a grip, we're losing our country. OckendonPaul
  • Score: 22

11:11am Thu 28 Aug 14

skinthegoat says...

Immigrants including beggars, car washers, Big Issue sellers, fraudsters, rapists, health tourists, etc.
Emigrants mostly tax-paying hard working families and retirees of British culture......some exchange eh?
Immigrants including beggars, car washers, Big Issue sellers, fraudsters, rapists, health tourists, etc. Emigrants mostly tax-paying hard working families and retirees of British culture......some exchange eh? skinthegoat
  • Score: 29

12:10pm Thu 28 Aug 14

s&k says...

Ha, another Tory lie and swindle.
Ha, another Tory lie and swindle. s&k
  • Score: 3

12:52pm Thu 28 Aug 14

clarkebrighton says...

And this is only the one's we know about, and is the tip of the iceberg
what about the 100,000's of illegals that are getting through in the back
of lorries as we have seen within the last few weeks.
And Stupid MP's keep telling us on programmes like Question time
"THERE IS NOT A PROBLEM WITH ECONOMIC IMMIGRATION "
Just walk into any GP's Surgery, A & E Dept, School, or any High St
to see the Massive Problem growing daily.
And this is only the one's we know about, and is the tip of the iceberg what about the 100,000's of illegals that are getting through in the back of lorries as we have seen within the last few weeks. And Stupid MP's keep telling us on programmes like Question time "THERE IS NOT A PROBLEM WITH ECONOMIC IMMIGRATION " Just walk into any GP's Surgery, A & E Dept, School, or any High St to see the Massive Problem growing daily. clarkebrighton
  • Score: 16

3:15pm Thu 28 Aug 14

D_Penn says...

Hmmm, I wonder why wages are being held back. It couldn't possibly be anything to do with an over supply of labour whilst we already have over 2 million unemployed, could it? After all, the geniuses in Labour and the Lib Dems keep telling us that immigration is good, which, if you are a large corporate employer getting more work for less pay, I suppose it is.

That must also be why the conservatives are happy for it to increase year on year whilst they keep pretending they will reduce it. It must be because they secretly know it's good for us. Or was it that it's good for them? I can't really remember now. I've listened to so many lies over the last decade that it just becomes a jumble.

What is unarguable is that unless we get out of the EU, this one way traffic will continue until wages are so suppressed that the standard of living here drops to match that in Eastern Europe. At that point emigration to Britain from will virtually stop - but by then poverty will be the norm here, the NHS virtually useless, and cramped expensive homes the norm. That is the inevitable destination for Britain if we stay in the madhouse that is the EU political project.
Hmmm, I wonder why wages are being held back. It couldn't possibly be anything to do with an over supply of labour whilst we already have over 2 million unemployed, could it? After all, the geniuses in Labour and the Lib Dems keep telling us that immigration is good, which, if you are a large corporate employer getting more work for less pay, I suppose it is. That must also be why the conservatives are happy for it to increase year on year whilst they keep pretending they will reduce it. It must be because they secretly know it's good for us. Or was it that it's good for them? I can't really remember now. I've listened to so many lies over the last decade that it just becomes a jumble. What is unarguable is that unless we get out of the EU, this one way traffic will continue until wages are so suppressed that the standard of living here drops to match that in Eastern Europe. At that point emigration to Britain from will virtually stop - but by then poverty will be the norm here, the NHS virtually useless, and cramped expensive homes the norm. That is the inevitable destination for Britain if we stay in the madhouse that is the EU political project. D_Penn
  • Score: 9

3:25pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Counterview says...

Let's be fair. Cameron's aim was tens of thousands. His spin masters will no doubt say - objective achieved- down to 24 x 10000.
Let's be fair. Cameron's aim was tens of thousands. His spin masters will no doubt say - objective achieved- down to 24 x 10000. Counterview
  • Score: 0

4:37pm Thu 28 Aug 14

cosmick says...

Dear DAVE,
Please keep your head where it is, so the UKIP membership keeps growing.
Dear DAVE, Please keep your head where it is, so the UKIP membership keeps growing. cosmick
  • Score: 5

5:30pm Thu 28 Aug 14

ok,jared says...

I think that Yvette Cooper has a d*mn cheek, given that Labour not only opened the door to the poorer EU countries but also actively encouraged immigration by non-white peoples.

This effected destroyed this country's social fabric and contributed to the continued erosion of our ethnic composition.

We have to not only slam the door shut NOW, but ensure that for the next century or so, we see net migration from these shores. Stop issuing visas and permits - there are too many people living here, too many of whom are having kiddies and adding to the problem that their mere presence exacerbated.

After all, we cannot sterilise people who come here.

The country is in a mess, there is rampant over-crowding, racial tensions, etc, and we cannot cope.

Leave the EU, slam the door shut, and encourage migrants to return home.
I think that Yvette Cooper has a d*mn cheek, given that Labour not only opened the door to the poorer EU countries but also actively encouraged immigration by non-white peoples. This effected destroyed this country's social fabric and contributed to the continued erosion of our ethnic composition. We have to not only slam the door shut NOW, but ensure that for the next century or so, we see net migration from these shores. Stop issuing visas and permits - there are too many people living here, too many of whom are having kiddies and adding to the problem that their mere presence exacerbated. After all, we cannot sterilise people who come here. The country is in a mess, there is rampant over-crowding, racial tensions, etc, and we cannot cope. Leave the EU, slam the door shut, and encourage migrants to return home. ok,jared
  • Score: 6

6:56pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Counterview says...

"Encourage" migrants to return home? Which particular governmental measures can we expect to underpin this suggestion?
"Encourage" migrants to return home? Which particular governmental measures can we expect to underpin this suggestion? Counterview
  • Score: 1

7:35pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Border Terrier says...

D_Penn wrote:
Hmmm, I wonder why wages are being held back. It couldn't possibly be anything to do with an over supply of labour whilst we already have over 2 million unemployed, could it? After all, the geniuses in Labour and the Lib Dems keep telling us that immigration is good, which, if you are a large corporate employer getting more work for less pay, I suppose it is.

That must also be why the conservatives are happy for it to increase year on year whilst they keep pretending they will reduce it. It must be because they secretly know it's good for us. Or was it that it's good for them? I can't really remember now. I've listened to so many lies over the last decade that it just becomes a jumble.

What is unarguable is that unless we get out of the EU, this one way traffic will continue until wages are so suppressed that the standard of living here drops to match that in Eastern Europe. At that point emigration to Britain from will virtually stop - but by then poverty will be the norm here, the NHS virtually useless, and cramped expensive homes the norm. That is the inevitable destination for Britain if we stay in the madhouse that is the EU political project.
"Strange" But horrifically true!
[quote][p][bold]D_Penn[/bold] wrote: Hmmm, I wonder why wages are being held back. It couldn't possibly be anything to do with an over supply of labour whilst we already have over 2 million unemployed, could it? After all, the geniuses in Labour and the Lib Dems keep telling us that immigration is good, which, if you are a large corporate employer getting more work for less pay, I suppose it is. That must also be why the conservatives are happy for it to increase year on year whilst they keep pretending they will reduce it. It must be because they secretly know it's good for us. Or was it that it's good for them? I can't really remember now. I've listened to so many lies over the last decade that it just becomes a jumble. What is unarguable is that unless we get out of the EU, this one way traffic will continue until wages are so suppressed that the standard of living here drops to match that in Eastern Europe. At that point emigration to Britain from will virtually stop - but by then poverty will be the norm here, the NHS virtually useless, and cramped expensive homes the norm. That is the inevitable destination for Britain if we stay in the madhouse that is the EU political project.[/p][/quote]"Strange" But horrifically true! Border Terrier
  • Score: 2

7:37pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Border Terrier says...

Welcome to the Stone age UK.
Welcome to the Stone age UK. Border Terrier
  • Score: 1

8:49pm Thu 28 Aug 14

welshmen says...

Get UKIP in next election, or get more of the same with LIB/LAB/CON plus a few thousand Jihadies....
Get UKIP in next election, or get more of the same with LIB/LAB/CON plus a few thousand Jihadies.... welshmen
  • Score: 4

3:20am Fri 29 Aug 14

Rita Jelfs says...

Counterview wrote:
"Encourage" migrants to return home? Which particular governmental measures can we expect to underpin this suggestion?
Suddenly there is an extreme skills shortage that British industry says they need people to fill, so they can expand industry. If there genuinely are not enough skilled people, then where can they come from? British professionals and skilled migrants, especially in Government jobs, get much better salaries and conditions overseas, so they won't be returning to the UK, neither will their children. So if British families are not having enough children to provide the skilled people needed, and to replace their parents, where will the people come from to support a future old age pension for those people who do not have their own superannuation to provide in retirement? How is it sustainable in the future if two workers taxes will be needed to pay for the pension of one retiree? Are the British prepared to have more children? Or do the jobs to support the NHS, transport, etc?
[quote][p][bold]Counterview[/bold] wrote: "Encourage" migrants to return home? Which particular governmental measures can we expect to underpin this suggestion?[/p][/quote]Suddenly there is an extreme skills shortage that British industry says they need people to fill, so they can expand industry. If there genuinely are not enough skilled people, then where can they come from? British professionals and skilled migrants, especially in Government jobs, get much better salaries and conditions overseas, so they won't be returning to the UK, neither will their children. So if British families are not having enough children to provide the skilled people needed, and to replace their parents, where will the people come from to support a future old age pension for those people who do not have their own superannuation to provide in retirement? How is it sustainable in the future if two workers taxes will be needed to pay for the pension of one retiree? Are the British prepared to have more children? Or do the jobs to support the NHS, transport, etc? Rita Jelfs
  • Score: -3

8:44am Fri 29 Aug 14

Counterview says...

Rita. For me, one of the great problems with British industry is the constant whinge about skill shortage. The answer is simple. Train people. Their answer constantly seems to be - no, we'd rather someone else picks up the tab for training costs. Fifty or sixty years ago our attitude to training was totally different. There are undoubtedly hundreds of thousands of unemployed out there just itching to embark on a proper training programme. I agree with everything you say.
Rita. For me, one of the great problems with British industry is the constant whinge about skill shortage. The answer is simple. Train people. Their answer constantly seems to be - no, we'd rather someone else picks up the tab for training costs. Fifty or sixty years ago our attitude to training was totally different. There are undoubtedly hundreds of thousands of unemployed out there just itching to embark on a proper training programme. I agree with everything you say. Counterview
  • Score: 5

1:02pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Neaishqs says...

I'm a Eastern European. Came to the UK 4 years ago. Lived in London. At first I had to work for £30 a shift, it varied from 8-12 hours. As I got more experience the wage became normal- national minimum. Never been on benefits and never will! So my suggestion is this! If an immigrant is on benefits, the only way to deal with him is deportation. No appeals. No courts, just deportation. Benefits should even be cut for uk nationals who drive around in new cars and have more than one house in their name. I work two jobs. Can barely afford the necessities plus can put away £50 a week into savings and I'm paying for these lazy bastards who claim they can't work cause they're heads are messed up or whatever and still drive new cars and live in mansions and also have a nother baby on the way!!!
A kid is for life!!!
Not just for benefits!!!!
Go on now linch me if you want but you know I'm right!!!
I'm a Eastern European. Came to the UK 4 years ago. Lived in London. At first I had to work for £30 a shift, it varied from 8-12 hours. As I got more experience the wage became normal- national minimum. Never been on benefits and never will! So my suggestion is this! If an immigrant is on benefits, the only way to deal with him is deportation. No appeals. No courts, just deportation. Benefits should even be cut for uk nationals who drive around in new cars and have more than one house in their name. I work two jobs. Can barely afford the necessities plus can put away £50 a week into savings and I'm paying for these lazy bastards who claim they can't work cause they're heads are messed up or whatever and still drive new cars and live in mansions and also have a nother baby on the way!!! A kid is for life!!! Not just for benefits!!!! Go on now linch me if you want but you know I'm right!!! Neaishqs
  • Score: 2
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