UK's Doors Remain Open To New Arrivals

By Editorial 04 March, 2014

Official figures show that net long-term migration to the UK rose by 58,000 in the year ending September 2013, despite a Conservative Party pledge to cut admittance. 40,000 more European Union citizens arrived to work in Britain than in the previous year.

However, there was also a significant decrease in non-EU immigration, down to 244,000 from 269,000, attributable partly to fewer Commonwealth nationals coming to the UK to study.

The Conservative Party promised to reduce migration by "tens of thousands" before the next election in May 2015. Despite the figures, the Conservatives' minority coalition partner Liberal Democrat Party welcomed the numbers, which were announced by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable noted that there had been less emigration from the UK, and argued that the increase shows that there is an "expanding labor market."

Meanwhile, the opposition Labour Party claimed that the figures show that Conservative immigration policy is a "mess." Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said that the Conservatives had been warned that their target was "counterproductive," because it included students who contribute to Britain.

The ONS figures show that there was a significant increase in immigration from Romania and Bulgaria ahead of the formal ending of restrictions at the end of 2013, up from 9,000 to 24,000, and that an estimated 70 percent came to the UK to work.

Among countries that were members of the EU before May 1, 2004, known as EU15 countries, immigration figures for 2013 as a whole showed that the highest increases were as a result of the arrival of citizens from Poland, Spain, Italy and Portugal. In total, 209,000 EU citizens immigrated in the year ending September 2013, up from 149,000 a year earlier.

Tags: Portugal | Bulgaria | Romania | United Kingdom | Italy | Poland | Spain | European Union (EU) | Expats | Immigration | Working Abroad | Europe | Work | Working Abroad | Immigration | Working Abroad |


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