This week, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the number of European citizens moving to Britain has sharply increased by over a third contradicting Prime Ministers David Cameron’s vow to cut down migration by hundreds of thousand. Net long-term migration to the UK was estimated to be 243,000 in the year ending March 2014, a statistically significant increase from 175,000 in the previous 12 months. The figures also show that there are now 1.7 million EU nationals employed in the UK, up by 17% on the same period in 2013. A total of 2.9 million non-UK nationals are currently in employment
Net migration to UK Increases by 39% to 243,000
David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May previously announced to cut net migration to below 100,000 by the general election on May 7 next year. In the past year the UK Government has toughened visa rules in an attempt to limit migration from outside the EU and restricting EU migrants access to Britain’s welfare system. The ONS which released statistics yesterday revealed the following:
- Net long-term migration to the UK was estimated to be 243,000 in the year ending March 2014, a significant increase from 175,000 in the previous 12 months;
- 560,000 people migrated to the UK in the year ending March 2014. This is a significant increase from 492,000 in the previous 12 months. EU citizens cover two-thirds of this increase;
- The number of Romanians and Bulgarians arriving in the UK more than doubled to 28,000 in the year up until March 2014, compared to 12,000 in 2013;
- There is a significant increase in the number of migrants working in the UK. Figures showing 38,000 to 228,000: mainly coming from EU15 & EU2 citizens. Employment of EU citizens in the UK showed was 17% higher in April to June 2014, compared to the same quarter in 2013.
- The number of work and student visas granted rose by 10% & 7% in the year ending June 2014, compared to 2013;
- However, figures have show that non-EU migration is at its lowest. With the recent peak of 334,000 in 2011 declining to 265,000 in the year ending March 2014.
In light of these figures, Immigration Minister James Brokenshire has maintained that the UK Government is focused on reducing net migration to a manageable level.
“Uncontrolled, mass immigration makes it difficult to maintain social cohesion, puts pressure on public services and forces down wages. We are creating a system that is fair to British citizens and legitimate migrants but is tough on those who flout the rules.”
Barbara Roche: British Economy is expanding very Rapidly
Researchers that revealed the statistics, noted that although the figures are high they are no where near the exaggerated predictions that became the focus during the debate prior to the lifting of entry restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians since January 2014. Nick Farage predicted that there would be 5,000 a week arriving in the UK once the ban had been lifted. When in reality, during the first 6 months of the year the total rise in the numbers of Romanian and Bulgarian nationals in the UK was just 7,000.
The chair of the Migration Matters Trust, Barbara Roche stated:
“Nigel Farage and Ukip were wrong about Romanian and Bulgarian migration and owe Britain an apology for their reckless scaremongering last year. It’s little surprise that the number of eastern Europe nationals coming to the UK to work has increased this year.”
Roche added the importance of migration and the unemployment rate:
“Labour Force Survey figures also tell us that unemployment in Britain is approaching a 6 year low, youth unemployment is falling and that the number of unfilled vacancies in the economy is now 656,000 – a rise of over 20% in the last year and higher than at any time since the crash. The reality is that the employment in the British economy is expanding very rapidly and Britain’s businesses are facing skills shortages. Without migrants to help plug these gaps, businesses would struggle to grow, limiting future job opportunities for British workers and ultimately undermining the recovery.”
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