Innvandringen til Storbritannia nådde nesten et nytt rekordnivå i 2010, da nærmere 600.000 mennesker ankom landet. Fjorårets tilstrømming er dermed den raskeste siden Labour-regjeringen i 2004 åpnet landets grenser for arbeidsinnvandring fra de nye EU-medlemslandene i Østeuropa.
– Tallene viser at innvandringen er ute av kontroll, innrømmer innvandringsminister Damian Green said.
In the year up to September 2010, the figure for net migration – the difference between immigration and emigration – was 242,000, the third highest on record.
Some 586,000 people arrived to live in Britain and 344,000 emigrated.
Net migration to the UK has risen to levels not seen since before the recession
It means that David Cameron must more than halve immigration if he is to get anywhere close to the Coalition ‘aspiration’ of bringing net migration down to tens of thousands a year.
A raft of figures published yesterday delivered a series of blows to the Government’s hopes of curbing the levels of immigration that critics say have distorted the economy and deepened poverty and benefit dependency over the past 14 years.
Innvandringen fra Østeuropa har økt etter å ha falt i 2009. Antallet polakker og andre østeuropeere økte netto med 43.000. Som en følge av at Labour-regjeringen ikke la noen restriksjoner på østeuropeeres rett til å arbeide i Storbritannia da de ble medlemmer av EU i 2004, kan ikke den nye koalisjonsregjeringen stenge grensene eller stramme inn regelverket.
Cameron-regjeringen har imidlertid lykkes i å kutte i antall student-visum for søkere utenfor EU, som således har falt med to prosent til 346.245 det siste året. Til gjengjeld økte antallet arbeidsvisum med samme prosent. Over 1,4 millioner av arbeidsstyrken i London er utenlandsfødte, til sammenligning med de litt over 2,3 millioner som er født i Storbritannia:
Despite the efforts of Home Secretary Theresa May to reduce visas issued to workers from outside Europe, the number rose 6 per cent to 161,815 in the year to March.
Two fifths of workers in London come from overseas, the ONS has said.
More than 1.4million of the capital’s working population were foreign born.
By comparison, just over 2.3m were born in the UK.
A third of high-skilled workers in the city – including accountants, doctors, teachers and scientists – are also foreign-born with 403,000 posts filled by overseas workers.
Overseas workers fill nearly two thirds of low-skilled jobs in London with just over 200,000 working in jobs such as cleaners, hotel porters, postmen and catering assistants – 80,000 more than British workers.
The Government blamed the previous Labour administration. Immigration Minister Damian Green said: ‘These statistics show that immigration was out of control thanks to the old system.
‘That is why we have already introduced radical changes to drive the numbers down and we will shortly be consulting on a range of new measures.’
Critics warned however that the Coalition is facing an increasingly difficult issue. Sir Andrew Green of Migration Watch said: ‘This sharp rise in immigration comes as a shock.
‘These figures show just what an enormous task the Coalition Government has inherited as a result of Labour’s mass immigration policy.
‘Firm measures are now absolutely essential. The impact on British-born workers is a particular concern that has been brushed under the carpet for too long.’