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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Parties clash over latest immigration figures

The United Kingdom Independence Party leader Nigel Farage today condemned, Prime Minister, David Cameron for "breaking a solemn promise to the British people to get net annual immigration down to the tens of thousands". Mr Farage spoke out as new official statistics showed that with less than a year to the end of the parliamentary term, net immigration is running at well above 200,000. And it is immigration from other EU countries that is most out of control because Britain is powerless to stem the flow while we remain a member of the Brussels club.

While immigration from the rest of the world FELL by 11,000 in the year ending December 2013 compared to the year before, it ROSE by 43,000 from EU countries. The figures from the Office for National Statistics also showed that an upsurge in new arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria was already in full swing in 2013 as citizens of those countries got ready for Britain to throw open its labour market. Migration from the two countries was 23,000 in 2013, compared to just 9,000 the year before. The number of national insurance numbers issued to Romanians in the year ending March 2014 was 47,000, UP by 29,000 on the year before.

Mr Farage said: "With under a year left to the general election the verdict is clear. David Cameron has broken his solemn promise to the British people on one of the most important political issues. And he has done so because he refuses to take back control of our borders in respect of more than 400million people from more than two dozen countries on continental Europe. If people want to get both the volume and the quality of immigration under control then it is perfectly clear they should vote UKIP today.

Mr Farage also said: "It is also clear that we are seeing a very significant surge in immigration into the British labour market from Romania and Bulgaria as well as a more general rise in EU immigration, just as I forecast. We simply cannot go on like this if we are to even begin the task of restoring the living standards and community cohesion available to millions of hardworking British families. Enough's enough."​

Responding to the ONS figure for the Labour party, Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper said: "David Cameron and Theresa May's flagship immigration pledge is in shreds. They promised ‘no ifs, no buts’ to get their net migration target down to the tens of thousands by the end of the parliament, and the actual figure is over twice that. By making such loud promises and failing to meet them, Theresa May and David Cameron have further eroded trust on immigration and undermined confidence in a government’s ability to address people’s concerns."

Continuing Ms Cooper said: The Tories have delivered the worst of all worlds. They have failed on their own promise. Yet we are getting fewer of the best and brightest overseas students coming to our Universities, at the same time as illegal working is ignored, more people abscond at the border where controls aren't strong enough and there is no action on exploitation of EU migration that undercuts wages and jobs

Concluding Yvette Cooper commented: "By treating all immigration as the same and focussing only on the net migration target, the Government is failing to deliver a system that is fair for Britain or has public confidence. Just 18 months ago the Home Secretary claimed she would meet her target. Just a week ago the Prime Minister claimed meeting the target was “perfectly feasible”. But they have no policies to deliver it and the public know there is a huge gap between Tory rhetoric and the reality."

Defending the Government the Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said: "Uncontrolled, mass immigration makes it difficult to maintain social cohesion, puts pressure on our public services and forces down wages for people on low incomes. While recent net migration levels remain stable the figures show that it has fallen by a third since its peak in 2005 under the last government and that this government’s reforms have cut net- migration from outside the EU to levels not seen since the late 1990s. We are building an immigration system that is fair to British citizens and legitimate migrants and tough on those who abuse the system or flout the law. We want to ensure that people come to the UK for the right reasons – to work hard and contribute to our economy and society."

Continuing Mr Brokenshire said: "Our controls on accessing benefits and services, including the NHS and social housing, are among the tightest in Europe. We are focusing on cutting out the abuse of free movement between EU member states and addressing the factors that drive European immigration to Britain. The Immigration Act will limit the benefits and services illegal migrants can access and make it easier to remove those with no right to be here, by reducing the number of appeals."