2.3 million immigrants come to UK in 16 years

June 02, 2008

New Government figures have confirmed just how large has been the scale of immigration into the UK in recent years and show that that the vast majority who come to stay are from the third world.

An analysis of the latest immigration statistics from the Office of National Statistics by think-tank Migrationwatch shows that in the years 1991 – 2006 there was a net movement of some 2.3 million people to the UK - only 8% of which came from the new East European members of the EU.

‘As public concern has increased supporters of immigration have tried to give the impression that the majority come from the new EU member states and that, in time as their economies improve, they will return home – thus implying that public fears are groundless,’ said Sir Andrew Green, Migrationwatch chairman.

‘But the Government’s own figures show that this is far from the case. They also give the lie to those who claim that there is no point in immigration controls which do not apply to EU citizens,’ he said.

The figures show that over the years 1991 - 2006 there was a small group of countries to which more people emigrated from the UK than the number migrating from those countries to Britain. In total, the net movement of people to those countries was 422,000 of whom half went to Australia. 72,000 went to the 15 countries of the EU and smaller numbers left for the United States, NZ and Canada. (see bar chart)

All other countries listed, largely from the third world, were the source of more people moving to the UK than vice versa. In total, over the same period, these countries accounted for a net movement of 2.3 million people to the UK. Only 205,000, or 8%, came from the new East European members of the EU. 

Said Sir Andrew: ‘The reality is that those who come and stay are almost entirely from countries subject to immigration control. What we need therefore is effective control.  Unfortunately, the government’s much vaunted Points Based System is entirely open ended and simply fails to address the deep public concern on this issue.’

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