The last set of official immigration figures before Britain votes on its membership of the European Union (EU) shows net migration has risen to 333,000 – up 20,000 from December 2014 and the second highest level on record.
The numbers, which come from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), represent a 6 per cent rise in just a couple of years.
The net figure for EU citizens moving to the UK was 184,000 – up 10,000 on 2014 – meaning that more that 55 per cent of new arrivals took advantage of open borders within the EU.
The net figure is the number of people who moved to the UK for at least a year, minus the number leaving the UK for at least a year. The total number of people who came to the UK was a staggering 630,000.
— ONS (@ONS) May 26, 2016
In 2014, 13 per cent, or 8.3 million, of the UK resident population were born outside the UK. This has risen sharply from nine per cent, or 5.3 million, in 2004. The UK has one of the highest levels of long-term immigration in the EU, second only to Germany.
The numbers mentioned, it must be stressed, only represent long-term international migration to and from the UK – those known to stay for more than one year.
For the first time, the ONS now explicitly differentiates between long-term and short-term migration figures, after they were slammed by Breitbart London and others last year for allegedly hiding the latter. Today they published the short-term numbers alongside the long-term numbers.
The ONS admitted earlier this month that when short-term migrants were included in the numbers for 2014, the figure rose from 220,000 to 470,000. This meant that since 2003, 1.5 million extra people than previously reported came to the UK.
The latest figures reveal that in June 2014 there were 165,000 short-term immigrants, a “statistically significant” increase (43,000), compared with 122,000 the previous year. Overall, 317,000 short-term migrants came to the UK — up a massive 87,000 from 2013.
Responding to the figures, UKIP Leader Nigel Farage told Breitbart London in a statement: “Mass immigration is still hopelessly out of control and set to get worse if we Remain inside the EU, going on with disastrous open borders.
“However I don’t believe these official figures and I’m sure the real numbers are much higher.”
— ONS (@ONS) May 26, 2016
UKIP have long argued after leaving the EU, and the open borders it mandates, the UK should introduce an Australian-style points-based system to bring in the skilled workers we need. This would mean talent from the Commonwealth would not be discriminated against in favour of Europeans.
Steven Woolfe MEP, UKIP’s migration spokesman, said “Britain is borderless as a member of the EU. The sheer scale of immigration is putting our public services under severe strain and causing division and disharmony in our communities.
“We need a migration policy fit for 21st century Britain – which satisfies the needs of our economy and our society. Unless we vote to Leave the EU we will continue to have our hands tied and have no control over who comes and who goes at our ports.
“As a member of the EU, we have a discriminatory immigration policy forced upon us. We let Europeans into Britain in their hundreds of thousands, while imposing heavy restrictions on our friends from Asia, Africa, the Americas and the Commonwealth.
“As it is, our schools and hospitals cannot cope with the ever increasing demand – and our national security is being put at risk as we have no control over who is coming into the country.
“Britain deserves a fair, compassionate and managed migration policy that suits our economy and helps to guarantee our national security. A vote to Leave the EU would enable us to introduce such a policy.”