Immigration from outside EU hits ‘astonishing’ 14-year high
NET migration for the UK from outside the European Union has hit an “astonishing” 14-year high because ministers have failed to act, critics said last night.
Official figures showed an increase of 248,000 people from the rest of the world in the year to June. Experts said the rise was linked to more people from South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Afghanistan moving to Britain for work. But net migration from EU countries plunged to the lowest level since 2012, with an additional 74,000 people now living here.
Lord Green of Deddington, chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: “The net inflow from the EU is still roughly the size of the British Army despite cries of alarm from industry over Brexit.
“Meanwhile, non-EU net migration at 248,000 is an astonishing number.
“It is the highest for 14 years and the result of the Government’s failure to take effective action.”
Net non-EU migration rose from 172,000 in the previous year.
Overall, net long-term international migration – the difference between the numbers arriving and leaving for at least 12 months was 273,000 – almost treble the Government’s target of under 100,000.
Jay Lindop, of the Centre for International Migration, Office for National Statistics, said: “Net migration continues to add to the population and has remained fairly stable since its peak in 2016, with around 270,000 more people coming to the UK than leaving.
“However, there are different patterns for EU and non-EU migration.
“Due to increasing numbers arriving for work and study, non-EU net migration is now at the highest level since 2004.
“In contrast, EU net migration, while still adding to the population as a whole, is at the lowest since 2012.”
Immigration minister Caroline Nokes said: “These figures clearly show that the UK is attracting and retaining highly skilled workers…and the brightest international students.
“However, we are committed to controlled and sustainable migration and I am pleased that net migration has fallen from its peak levels.”
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