More than five million migrants from the European Union have applied to live permanently in Britain under the EU settlement scheme, with applications still open until June 2021.
Of those, nearly 2.5 million (2,497,600) have already been granted permanent leave to remain, and more than two million (2,039,800) have been granted pre-settled status, meaning that they can apply in five years for full legal residency.
Another 38,900 had their applications refused, 50,600 were deemed invalid, and 51,400 were withdrawn or void, according to provisional Home Office figures reported by The Telegraph on Thursday.
Since the EU Settlement Scheme opened in March 2019, 5,060,600 EU nationals have applied. Applications are still open until June 30th, 2021, five years and one week after the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU. The status is open to all EU, European Economic Area (EEA), and Swiss citizens who were resident in the United Kingdom by December 31st, 2020 — the day the British finally left the EU institutions’ jurisdiction and became an independent nation once more.
For those EU nationals who want to leave the United Kingdom and return to their home country, the British government has also opened up its generous migrant voluntary returns scheme normally offered to illegal aliens, failed asylum seekers, or others who have withdrawn their application for refugee status. They are entitled to free flights and even up to £2,000 in resettlement grants.
The report was released just two weeks after the government opened up immigration routes to millions of people in Hong Kong to study, live, and work in the United Kingdom. Five years after arriving in Britain, Hong Kongers will be eligible to apply for settled status, and 12 months later, British citizenship.
‘Take Back Control’? – UK Net Immigration Rises to 313,000, Driven by Non-EU Arrivals https://t.co/tg8FlTSDin
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 27, 2020
The British population in 2019 was measured at 66,796,800, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures released in June 2020. In October 2019, the ONS reported that by mid-2031 the country’s population could hit 70 million — driven mainly by migration — though reports at the time suggested that that figure could be hit sooner.
As well as Britain opening up to millions of Hong Kongers, another government policy which may accelerate Britain’s population to the milestone of 70 million is Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit immigration policy.
While promising to echo Australia’s points-based system that treated all applicants on a level playing field, Mr Johnson’s does not include an annual cap on numbers, opening up the scheme to potentially uncontrolled immigration, which could ultimately hurt British workers — especially at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has put many people out of work.
Weeks before the new immigration system came into effect, the chairman of the mass migration-sceptic Migration Watch UK think tank called the programme a “total surrender to big business”.
“These new schemes will expose millions of UK jobs to competition from many millions of foreign workers for whom lower qualifications will be required, including for jobs paying little more than the National Living Wage. Nor will there be a cap on numbers or a need to give British workers a chance to apply first,” said Alp Mehmet.
“It is a long way from the promised control,” he added, referencing the campaign slogan of Vote Leave — of which Johnson was a major figure — to “take back control” of the country’s laws and borders by voting to leave the EU.
England Will Need to Build Over 100K Houses Per Year to Keep Up with Mass Migration https://t.co/RtmcNjDEra
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 30, 2020
Breitbart London reported last week that the government was found to be “flying blind” on the true number of people in the country after some 1.25 million people “appeared” in population statistics.
Oxford University’s Migration Observatory found that 2020 saw a 900,000 drop in the migrant population accompanied by an implausible 1.25 million rise in people born in Britain, and suggested that government figures were no longer reliable.
The pandemic had put a halt to migration and population surveys meaning, according to the Observatory’s director Madeleine Sumption, that “there is absolutely massive uncertainty about what is going on with migration at the moment, because all the data sources we normally use have been hugely disrupted.”
“This has left us flying blind just as the UK is introducing a new immigration system, and will make it more difficult to understand the impacts of new policies,” Ms Sumption added.
Migration Watch UK’s Alp Mehmet told Breitbart London at the time that the “fact is, the government have little idea of what is going on,” and criticised the Johnson administration for having thrown the doors open with a “weak points-based system” and an “open-ended offer” to millions of Hong Kongers to migrate and settle.
UK Deportations of Foreign Criminals Fell 79 per cent Last Year, Despite Patel’s Promises to ‘Get Tough’ https://t.co/5PazItcV8R
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 19, 2021