Thursday, 27 November 2014

UK reports 40% jump in immigration........

LONDON: Net migration to the United Kingdom has jumped by a substantial 40 per cent to 260,000 from the previous year, despite efforts by the David Cameron government to control the number of people arriving in Britain. 

The figures released by Office for National Statistics for the 12 months to June 2014 showed people arriving in the UK surged by 78,000 in the past year. 

Immigration from the EU increased by 45,000 over the period, its highest recorded level. While non-EU migration also rose for the first time in three years to 30,000. 

That statistic is based on the number of people arriving in Britain minus the number of people leaving. 

The data puts Cameron in an awkward position and ends any remaining hopes that Cameron could meet the target of reducing net migration below 100,000 by next year's general election -- a pledge a senior minister in his Conservative Party last week said the government was now unlikely to meet. 

It also puts the Prime Minister under pressure from the rise in popularity of the anti-EU UK Independence Party which wants to curb the number of people coming to Britain. 

The number of immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria, whose restrictions on working in Britain were removed on January 1, rose more than 75 per cent to 32,000. 

Cameron, who has vowed to renegotiate Britain's ties with the EU ahead of a membership referendum in 2017 if he is re-elected, is due to set out before Christmas new plans to limit EU migration. 

"That is where the government's focus does continue to be and why we do need to address this issue of free movement," Immigration Minister James Brokenshire told the BBC. 

"We have made changes ourselves on welfare reform, on saying that you can't simply walk into benefits in this country but I think it is clear that we do need to go further that we need to look at this part of our renegotiation with the EU." 

The Office for National Statistics said the number of people leaving the country had remained stable, and the rise in net migration had been driven by a jump in immigration to Britain. 

That figure rose to 583,000, from 502,000 the previous year. 

Immigration will be a major issue in the general election scheduled in the UK next May.