European Union (EU) immigration could be as much as a quarter of a million higher than official estimates because of undercounting, an extensive new analysis has suggested.
The report comes as Neil McIvor, a statistician with the Department of Work and Pensions, admitted, “we don’t know” how many people are in Britain to the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
If the report by the think tank Migration Watch is correct, the net influx from EU member states may have 50,000 a year higher over the past five years, increasing the annual net figure to 375,000.
Official Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures are broadly based on educated estimates, as they do not count every person entering and leaving the UK.
The analysis was prompted by the large and continuing discrepancy between the number of National Insurance Numbers (NINOs) issued to Eastern Europeans and the official immigration figures – Something extensively reported on and exposed by Breitbart London.
Migrants are only counted in ONS figures if they stay for a year or more. NINOs are obtained by anyone seeking work or benefits in the UK.
Overall, according to ONS figures, 257,000 EU citizens arrived in Britain in the 12 months to September 2015, but more than 630,000 NINOs were issued to EU citizens over the same year.
Breitbart London found that there were 214,000 NINOs issues to Romanians and Bulgarians in that period, but Only 53,000 recorded immigrant from those countries.
When Migration Watch looked into this further, they found the number of Romanians and Bulgarian could indeed be “considerably higher” because it is too early to estimate the numbers from Romania and Bulgaria who came for short periods of less than a year.
Commenting, Lord Green of Deddington, Chairman of Migration Watch UK said: “This analysis casts serious doubt on the accuracy of our immigration figures. The ONS have recognised that they undercounted EU8 migration between 2004 and 2010.
“It now seems very likely that the undercounting of EU migration has continued and, therefore, that immigration from the EU is now greater than that from the rest of the world taken together.”