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Record number of jobless EU migrants in Britain: Hammer blow for PM as 270,000 EU nationals came here last year

  • Figures showed the total number of EU nationals coming here under freedom-of-movement rules hit 270,000 last year 
  • This included a record 77,000 migrants who came without the offer of a job
  • Net EU migration – taking into account the number of EU citizens who left the UK – was 184,000, equivalent to a town the size of Colchester
  • The PM has promised to stop EU nationals coming here looking for work, but backed down in the face of opposition from Brussels 

A record number of jobless EU migrants moving to Britain to look for work has pushed immigration from the European Union to an all-time high.

In a hammer blow to David Cameron, official figures showed the total number of EU nationals coming here under freedom-of-movement rules hit 270,000 last year.

This included a record 77,000 who came without the offer of a job. It also included a record number of arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria, according to the Office for National Statistics.

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A record number of jobless EU migrants, particularly from Romania and Bulgaria, have come to the UK looking for work 

Net EU migration – taking into account the number of European Union citizens who left the UK – was 184,000, equivalent to a town the size of Colchester.

Overall net migration, including those from outside the EU, was 333,000 in the year to December, the second highest annual level on record.

The figures, the last to be released before the EU referendum on June 23, leave Mr Cameron’s pledge to cut net migration to the ‘tens of thousands’ in tatters.

Leave campaigners said they demonstrated that the only way for Britain to regain control over its borders was to quit the EU. In a stinging attack, Boris Johnson described the figures as ‘scandalous’ and accused the Prime Minister of undermining democracy by promising to cut migration then failing miserably.

Mr Johnson said the Prime Minister had been 'cynical' to promise to bring net migration down to below 100,000 while the UK was part of the EU
Mr Johnson said the Prime Minister had been ‘cynical’ to promise to bring net migration down to below 100,000 while the UK was part of the EU

Boris Johnson targets Treasury as he campaigns for Vote Leave


FIGURE ‘OUT BY 50,000’

The net migration figure from the EU is likely to be 50,000 a year higher than yesterday’s official total, according to the Migration Watch think-tank.

The think-tank arrived at this conclusion because of the discrepancy between the number of Eastern European migrants applying for National Insurance numbers in Britain and the number of immigrants registered by the International Passenger Survey (IPS) – which is relied on by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to produce their figures.

Migration Watch analysts claim this discrepancy indicates that 50,000 Eastern European immigrants a year are being missed out of official net migration totals. And in the mid-2000s the IPS, which relies on questioning people passing through ports and airports, missed nearly 400,000 immigrants – who later showed up in the 2011 national census.

The IPS currently only interviews around 800,000 arrivals each year. Yesterday’s figures therefore had to be projected – and as a result, statisticians hedged their totals with a ‘confidence interval’. This means they believe their 333,000 total could actually be 38,000 higher or 38,000 lower than the true figure.As immigration and the migration crisis again dominated the referendum campaign yesterday:

As immigration and the migration crisis again dominated the referendum campaign yesterday:

 Senior Eurocrats made a series of co-ordinated and vicious personal attacks on Mr Johnson, saying the prospect of him running Britain was a ‘horror scenario’.

– More than 4,000 migrants were plucked from the Mediterranean attempting to get to Italy in what rescuers said was the busiest day they have ever faced.

– Ministers risked fresh accusations of burying bad news as they released 26 separate Government statements.

The Prime Minister had promised to stop EU nationals coming here looking for work, but backed down in the face of opposition from Brussels.

Critics pointed out that his renegotiation deal will only restrict EU migrants from claiming in-work benefits and said it would do nothing to do deter more jobless workers from coming here.

When the EU was founded, citizens of other member states could move to the UK only if they had secured a job in advance.

Now anyone from within the EU can come here to hunt for work.

Mr Johnson said the Prime Minister had been ‘cynical’ to promise to bring net migration down to below 100,000 while the UK was part of the EU.

He added: ‘I think (the figures) show the scandal of the promise made by politicians repeatedly that they could cut immigration to the tens of thousands and then to throw their hands up in the air and say there’s nothing we can do because Brussels has taken away our control of our borders.’

Italian rescue boats help save migrants from Libyan coast

More than 4,000 migrants were plucked from the Mediterranean attempting to get to Italy in what rescuers said was the busiest day they have ever faced

ASYLUM UP BY A THIRD

The number of asylum claims went up by nearly a third last year.

In the year to March, there were 41,563 applications for individuals and family members, the highest for nearly 15 years.

The figures also included 3,206 claims from unaccompanied children.

The number was 30 per cent up on the 32,036 recorded for the previous 12 months.

The record asylum level was 103,081 in 2002, before Tony Blair’s government introduced restrictions on the rights of asylum seekers to housing and support.

The highest number of applications in the year to March came from nationals of Iran on 4,305, Eritrea, 3,321, Iraq, 2,805, Sudan, 2,769. Pakistan, 2,669, and Syria, 2,539.

Since October, 1,602 refugees have arrived under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, the statistics showed.

Figures from by the Home Office show that Coventry has taken the highest number of Syrians, settling 105 between October and March.

Asylum numbers do not count directly in immigration statistics. Instead, the ONS says that adjustments are made to totals to take into account asylum seekers who remain and removals of illegal immigrants.

He added on Sky News: ‘EU net immigration alone represents a city the size of Colchester, 77,000 EU immigrants have come here without any kind of job at all, despite the promises we heard from the Prime Minister and others that they would get changes in the EU treaty insisting people would have to have a job before they came here.

‘At the moment what is happening is not with the consent of the British people and the only way to achieve that is to take back control on June 23 and vote to leave the EU.’

The figures could hardly have been worse for Mr Cameron, with the number of people coming in from the EU now being almost equal to the number of migrants from the rest of the world.

Traditionally, non-EU migration has always been higher. The fact that EU immigration has rocketed – fuelled by the rise in incomers from Romania and Bulgaria – led to claims that Britain can no longer control who enters and leaves while it is in the European Union.

Critics have suggested that the ONS figures could even underestimate the true number of migrants coming into the country because they are based on a controversial passenger survey.

On Wednesday morning Mr Cameron told journalists on the plane to the G7 summit in Japan that he would not revise his ‘tens of thousands’ target. ‘No, I think the ambitions that I have set out are the right ones,’ he said.

But yesterday Downing Street spokesmen repeatedly refused to say when – or if – the target would be hit.

A spokesman said the Prime Minister ‘knows there is more to do. We have taken a lot of steps. We have got further steps coming into force so long as we vote to remain in the EU’.

Cameron: Britain can hit net migration target and remain in EU

The Prime Minister had promised to stop EU nationals coming here looking for work, but backed down in the face of opposition from Brussels

DAY TO BURY BAD NEWS

Ministers risked fresh accusations of burying bad news yesterday as they released 26 government statements on the same day as the latest immigration figures.

With media attention focused on the Government’s failure to hit David Cameron’s immigration pledge, spin doctors authorised the release of a string of potentially embarrassing announcements.

The move also came on the last day of the parliamentary sitting before the Spring recess, making it impossible for MPs to hold the Government to account over the issues.

Written statements included one on a highly controversial scheme to cut the future pensions of steel workers.

Other announcements included the closure of the Business, Innovation and Skills office in Sheffield with the loss of up to 250 jobs, the closure of Britain’s most overcrowded prison, HMP Kennet in Merseyside and a shake-up of rail franchising. Home Secretary Theresa May also announced a review of the operation of Sharia law.

SNP MP Stewart McDonald said: ‘It is typical of the Government to put out statements on day we rise for recess – it avoids scrutiny.’

Leave campaigners said that, if Britain votes Out in the referendum, net migration ‘could be cut to somewhere between nought and 100,000’.

The ONS report covered immigration and emigration in the 2015 calendar year. Net migration, at 333,000, was up by 10,000. The total was just 3,000 below the record levels set the year before. There were 630,000 people who came to live in Britain and 297,000 emigrants. Immigration from Europe was the central reason for the high net migration total.

It comes only a day after the ONS said population growth – much of it fuelled by immigration – would push the population of England up by more than four million over the next eight years.

Yesterday’s numbers suggest even this might be an underestimate. Net migration from the EU was 184,000, a figure that compares with net migration from the rest of the world of 188,000.

There were 65,000 immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria, the poorest EU countries, whose citizens were given the right to work freely in Britain from January 2014. Net migration from the two countries was 58,000 – by far the highest recorded, and above the 50,000 prediction made by the Migrationwatch think-tank.

There was a decline in immigration from the rest of the world.

The number of visas issued to students went down, and so did the number of work visas issued to people from countries who do not enjoy the automatic freedom of movement provisions applied in the EU.

While 130,000 people from outside the EU came to work here, there were 178,000 EU migrants who arrived looking for work. Of these, 77,000 had no offer of employment and came to look for jobs.


How Romanians and Bulgarians fuelled the influx: Net migration from the countries total 102,000 in two years since residents were allowed to work freely in Britain

Record levels of EU immigration have been fuelled by a rapid rise in arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria, figures show.

Citizens of the countries were given the right to work freely in Britain in January 2014.

Both joined the EU in 2007, but Brussels allowed Britain to restrict the employment rights of Romanians and Bulgarians for seven years.

In 2014 net migration from the two countries – the number of immigrants minus the number of emigrants – was 44,000.

But the latest figures show that in 2015 there were 65,000 arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria. Some 7,000 citizens of the two countries left Britain, so net migration last year was 58,000.

Sleeping rough: The migrants say they are forced to beg because they cannot get jobs in Britain as they do not have papers

The numbers are in stark contrast to the predictions of experts who said before 2014 that few migrants would come.

Sceptics, notably the Migration Watch think-tank, pointed to the dramatically higher wages for workers in Britain compared to Eastern Europe, and suggested there would be long-term net migration from Romania and Bulgaria of 50,000 a year.

However Dr Ion Jinga, former Romanian ambassador to Britain, said just before the gates were opened in January 2014 that citizens of his country coming to the UK would be ‘fewer than in the previous years’.

Later in the year the BBC seized on misleading early job market figures to ridicule the idea that serious numbers of migrants would arrive.

The Corporation’s then political editor scoffed: ‘So much for those predictions of a flood of immigrants coming from Romania and Bulgaria once the door to the UK was opened.’

Ministers in David Cameron’s Coalition government were careful to avoid giving any estimates of how many they thought would arrive. They wanted to avoid the disastrous prediction by Tony Blair’s government in 2004 that opening the borders to Eastern Europeans would increase immigration into Britain by just 13,000 a year.

The latest figures show that Migration Watch’s prediction of Romanian and Bulgarian immigration was not an exaggeration but an underestimate

The latest figures show that Migration Watch’s prediction of Romanian and Bulgarian immigration was not an exaggeration but an underestimate


Hundreds of thousands of Poles and others came, and there are now more than two million EU citizens working in Britain.

The latest figures show that Migration Watch’s prediction of Romanian and Bulgarian immigration was not an exaggeration but an underestimate.

Higher still than the official immigration statistics are the figures for National Insurance numbers taken out by Romanians and Bulgarians.

In the year to March there were 219,000 numbers – necessary for those who want to work or claim benefits – given to migrants from the two countries. There were 179,000 issued to Romanians and 40,000 to Bulgarians.

The Office for National Statistics says many NI numbers go to short-term migrants, as well as those who have been in Britain for some time.

However, critics claim the official figures miss large numbers of European migrants, meaning the real numbers could be higher still

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3611697/Record-number-jobless-EU-migrants-Britain-Hammer-blow-PM-270-000-EU-nationals-came-year.html

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