Half a mil­lion Poles make UK their home

The Daily Telegraph - - Front page - By Charles Hy­mas and Jamie John­son

RO­MA­NI­ANS and Poles make up a third of all EU na­tion­als who have ap­plied for set­tled sta­tus to re­main in the UK, Home Of­fice fig­ures show.

The num­ber of Poles who ap­plied to per­ma­nently re­side in the UK rose to 512,310 by the end of last year, with 435,690 Ro­ma­ni­ans close be­hind.

There are three times as many Poles and Ro­ma­ni­ans as the next big­gest na­tion of ap­pli­cants, the Ital­ians, who ac­counted for al­most 300,000 of the 2.75 mil­lion EU na­tion­als so far granted set­tled or pre-set­tled sta­tus.

Priti Pa­tel, the Home Sec­re­tary, said more than 3 mil­lion EU na­tion­als – of a po­ten­tial es­ti­mated 3.4 mil­lion in the UK – had ap­plied for set­tled sta­tus ahead of next sum­mer’s dead­line.

It came as a record 90 mi­grants – in­clud­ing 15 chil­dren – were picked up by Bor­der Force of­fi­cers in the English Chan­nel as they tried to reach the UK in small boats yes­ter­day morn­ing. It sur­passed the pre­vi­ous high on a sin­gle day of 86, on Sept 10 last year. Natalie

El­ph­icke, the Dover MP, said a “fresh ap­proach” was needed and mi­grants should be re­turned to France re­gard­less of where they are in­ter­cepted.

In­creas­ing num­bers of Poles – who have longer ties to the UK than Ro­ma­ni­ans – have re­turned home as the Pol­ish econ­omy has im­proved and the fall­ing ex­change rate has de­pressed the rel­a­tive value of their UK wages.

Last month, Ma­teusz Mo­raw­iecki, the Pol­ish prime min­is­ter, urged Poles liv­ing in the UK to re­turn home to help

grow Poland’s econ­omy. “More and more are com­ing back and I’m pleased about that be­cause there is a low level of un­em­ploy­ment,” he said. “Give us our peo­ple back.”

By con­trast, the num­ber of Ro­ma­ni­ans liv­ing in the UK has in­creased ten­fold from 42,000 a decade ago, with a net 46,000 a year mov­ing to the UK af­ter re­stric­tions on their rights to work in the UK were lifted in 2014.

Ro­ma­nia, which joined the EU in 2007, over­took the Repub­lic of Ire­land and In­dia to move from fourth to sec­ond most com­mon non-bri­tish na­tion­al­ity in the UK in 2018, af­ter the Poles who have an es­ti­mated 1mil­lion in the UK.

Be­tween three and five mil­lion Ro­ma­ni­ans – from a coun­try with 19.6mil­lion cit­i­zens – live and work abroad. Most – around 2.6mil­lion – are of work­ing age, rep­re­sent­ing al­most a fifth of its labour force. Around one in 10 of those mi­grants are now in the UK.

Re­search sug­gests that most come here to bet­ter their lives, not to take ben­e­fits.

Of the to­tal 3 mil­lion ap­pli­ca­tions for set­tled sta­tus, 386,570 were by chil­dren un­der 18 (14 per cent) and 59,100 from peo­ple aged 65 and over (2 per cent).

Al­most a mil­lion ap­pli­ca­tions were made by peo­ple liv­ing in Lon­don.

A lifeboat ap­proaches a small craft thought to be car­ry­ing mi­grants off the Kent coast yes­ter­day, a day in which a record 90 mi­grants were picked up by Bor­der Force of­fi­cers

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.