Net mi­gra­tion to UK stays near record high

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Net mi­gra­tion has stayed near record lev­els, stand­ing at 335,000 in the year to June, the Of­fice for Na­tional Statis­tics has said.

There was also a record num­ber of EU cit­i­zens com­ing to live in Bri­tain with the fig­ure stand­ing at 284,000.

Net mi­gra­tion - im­mi­gra­tion mi­nus em­i­gra­tion - was the sec­ond-high­est num­ber on record.

Im­mi­gra­tion min­is­ter Robert Good­will said the gov­ern­ment was “com­mit­ted to get­ting net mi­gra­tion down”.

The ONS says the net mi­gra­tion fig­ure is sim­i­lar to the pre­vi­ous year, although it was up slightly on the 12 months end­ing in March, when it stood at 326,000.

Im­mi­gra­tion to the UK has also risen to a record level with 650,000 mi­grants in the year to June.

Net mi­gra­tion from the EU was the high­est fig­ure on record with the num­ber stand­ing at 189,000.

Mr Good­will said the Bri­tish peo­ple had sent out a “clear mes­sage” they want more con­trol on im­mi­gra­tion and the gov­ern­ment was com­mit­ted to get­ting num­bers down to “the tens of thou­sands”.

He added: “That is why re­duc­ing the num­ber of mi­grants com­ing to the UK will be a key pri­or­ity of our ne­go­ti­a­tions to leave the EU.”

Fig­ures show 311,000 peo­ple came to live in the UK for work-re­lated rea­sons.

But the ONS said there was a “sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant” rise in the num­ber of peo­ple who were “look­ing for work”, 130,000, com­pared to 107,000 last year, as op­posed to those who had a def­i­nite job to go to.

For the first time, Ro­ma­nia tops the list for the coun­try with the most num­ber of mi­grants to the UK - with 54,000 peo­ple com­ing to live in Bri­tain.

UKIP leader Paul Nut­tall said the fig­ures “just go to show that you can’t trust the Con­ser­va­tives to bring down im­mi­gra­tion”.

He added: “This is an ab­ject fail­ure, not just by the Gov­ern­ment in gen­eral but by the prime min­is­ter in par­tic­u­lar.”

Most of the pe­riod cov­ered by the fig­ures was be­fore the EU ref­er­en­dum, but they also in­clude one week af­ter the poll.

Ni­cola White, head of in­ter­na­tional mi­gra­tion statis­tics at the ONS, said it was “too early to say what ef­fect, if any the EU ref­er­en­dum has had on long-term in­ter­na­tional mi­gra­tion.”

She added: “There does not how­ever ap­pear to have been any sig­nif­i­cant im­pact dur­ing the run-up to the vote.”

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