The Government’s long-standing pledge to cut migration “from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands” looks more meaningless than ever as the inflow from outside the European Union — which it is almost totally in their power to control — hit a 15-year high in the latest immigration figures.
As the United Kingdom is a member of the European Union — despite the British people voting to leave the EU all the way back in June 2016 — it is subject to bloc’s Free Movement migration regime, and cannot limit or even effectively vet people who arrive in the country with EU/EEA identification.
Non-EU immigration remains largely within British control — although some EU and European Court of Human Rights obligations make it harder to deport some illegal migrants and migrant criminals than it might otherwise be.
Nevertheless, the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show that non-EU immigration in the year to September 2018 stood at 340,000 gross, or 261,000 net — the biggest net influx since 2004.
Britain’s Post-Brexit Immigration System ‘Worse Than Useless’, No Measures to Reduce Arrivals https://t.co/80L3ipXkvu
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 4, 2019
“It is a real concern that non-EU net migration has risen still further to more than a quarter of a million even before the Government has implemented its proposals to loosen the work permit system,” commented Lord Green of Deddington, chairman of the Migration Watch UK think tank, in a statement received by Breitbart London
Lord Green noted that immigration from inside the EU has in fact fallen — a development which has led to an increase in wages for people in working-class jobs, much to the consternation of the big employers lobbying the Government to make its immigration controls even weaker — and that this was “no surprise… given the extraordinary uncertainty prevailing over Brexit”.
It should be noted, however, that the number of EU migrants arriving in Britain does still greatly exceeds the number leaving, with their overall population increasing by 57,000 net.
UK Immigration Boom: Plan to Build a Million Houses to Destroy 67,000 Acres of Countryside https://t.co/s5UdfbwRKY
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 26, 2018
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May’s former chief of staff Nick Timothy has noted the increasingly poor job the Government is doing in terms of tackling illegal immigration, pointing to statistics showing that detentions are down by 41 percent and enforced removals down by 18 percent in just the last year.
Timothy focused the lion’s share of his ire on the opposition Labour Party, however, claiming that Labour-led councils’ efforts to make it harder for the Home Office to identify illegal migrants, coupled with the party’s plans to let asylum seekers and illegal migrants open bank accounts, obtain driving licences, rent, and take up work, while ending immigration detention, would make things even worse.
Tories to Open Britain to ‘Even More Massive Levels of Immigration’ Post-Brexit https://t.co/hwmTN0e7JC
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 20, 2018