Figures released yesterday by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) show the financial crisis engulfing the euro-zone has driven tens of thousands of migrants into the UK. The surge is due to EEA citizens from southern European countries such as Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus is another blow to UK ministers whose efforts to cut UK migration have stalled, as we reported yesterday.
DWP UK Migration Figures: What they show
The number of Spaniards registering for a National Insurance number soared from just over 30,000 in 2011-12 to more than 45,500 last year, a jump of 50%. There was also an acute increase in arrivals from Italy (up 35% to nearly 33,000) and Portugal (up 43% to 24,500) which was shown by newly released UK migration figures by the DWP.
Spain has a jobless rate of more than 26% contrasted with Britain’s 7.8%. These figures exemplify how citizens of countries with widespread unemployment are heading to Britain in the hope of finding work.
Results of European Economic Crisis
Robert Rowthorn, professor of economics at King’s College, Cambridge, said the influx from southern European countries would continue as long as their economies remained in trouble.
“The position of some of these people, particularly the young, is quite desperate” he said. It will continue into the future so long as economic conditions are better here in the UK, where there is still relatively strong demand for labour.
Once you have had immigration at these levels it will carry on for some time. That is because you will also get ‘chain’ migration because communities build up as people come to where they have friends and relatives.”
UK Migration: Europeans Arriving to Work
In addition, Chairman of MigrationWatch UK, Sir Andrew Green said:
“This is a significant increase in the number of south Europeans coming to Britain to search for work.”
There has been a slight rise in the number of eastern European immigrants applying for NI numbers and this was dominated by the surge in arrivals from the rest of the European Union. Further, there has been a 44% rise in the number of Greeks coming to Britain to work, though numbers were far smaller at 8,680 last year according to the newly released figures from the DWP.
Asylum applications are also on the rise, with an increase of 3,500 (18%) in the year ending June this year. In all there were 23,500 asylum applications from Syria accounting for the largest rise.