UK’s Doors Remain Open to New Arrivals

Official figures indicate that the 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 EU citizens arrived to work in Britain than in the previous years.

However, there was also a significant decrease in non EU immigration, down to 244,000 from 269,000 with the change being attributed 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 elections to be held in May 2015. Despite the figures, the Conservative’s minority coalition partner Liberal Democratic Party welcomed the numbers. The numbers 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 is an illustration of an “expanding labor market.”

Meanwhile, the opposition Labor Party claimed that the figures illustrate that Conservative immigration policy is a “mess”.  Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said that there had been warnings to Conservatives that their target was “counterproductive”, as it included students who contribute to Britain.

The ONS figures indicate that there was a notable increase in immigration from Romania and Bulgaria ahead of the formal lending of restrictions   at the end of 2013, up from 9,000 to 24,000, and that an estimated 70% came to the UK for work purposes.

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