David Cameron has once again pledged to take action to curb migration numbers after the number of people coming to Britain outstripped those leaving by 318k. The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics are up over 100k in the 2014 calendar year compared with 2013.
In 2010 Mr Cameron promised ‘no ifs, no buts’ to cut net migration – the number of people entering the country minus the number leaving – to the tens of thousands.
Today’s figures show how the prime minister has spectacularly failed to meet the pledge although that hasn’t stopped him trying – yet again – to stop the dramatic inflow.
Now Cameron wants to restrict benefits to EU migrants and have another crackdown on illegal aliens. Anyone caught in the UK without the right to work will have their wages confiscated and be deported immediately, without being allowed to appeal until they are in their home country.
Last time the figures increased the prime minister shut colleges that only existed to provide visas to illegal immigrants. He also restricted the number of legitimate migrants from outside of the EU who were seeking work in the UK. Both reduced immigration but the effect was far outstripped by the number of migrants from the former communist countries in the EU.
Steven Woolfe MEP, the UKIP migration spokesman, slammed the government over its inability to controls the nation’s borders. He said:
“It has never been clearer that the UK borders are open to all whenever, wherever and however they want to come. The government has lost all control.
“The ONS report that 285,000 people came to work in the UK work last year. That is a city the size of Nottingham, which has nearly a 100 schools, 60 GP surgeries and several hospitals. Britain needs to provide the equivalent just to keep up with the workers arriving and this illustrates clearly the strain mass migration is putting on our public services.
“Government must act now in three areas. It must stop the free movement of people onto the UK from the EU. Second, it must improve the control systems and review the conditions for visa issuance for immigrants from non-EU countries. Third, it must increase the numbers of border control staff to ensure that we crack down on illegal immigrants entering the UK and can deport those who are caught once here.”
David Cameron had pledged to get net migration down to the “tens of thousands”, however in the run up to the election Theresa May downgraded the commitment to an “ambition”. The latest figures come as the EU is pushing for the UK to take tens of thousands of North African immigrants, fleeing the war in Libya.