John O'Neill

Decline in net migration stalls

Good news today for the OBR (who want a constant flow of more than 140,000 immigrants a year to support Britain’s debt burden and ageing population) and bad news for David Cameron (who thinks immigrants are a drain on Britain’s welfare state). Statistics show that in the year ending December 2012, net migration to the UK was 176,000, up from 153,000 in the year ending September 2012.The latest figure is equivalent to 482 more people a day entering the country than leaving it.

Net migration

Net migration is the figure that Cameron wants to be down ‘in the tens of thousands’ by the end of the parliament. It’s been heading down since June 2011. The drop has at least stalled, though the government will still be able to point out that year-on-year migration is still down; net migration was 39,000 lower in 2012 than 2011. January’s relaxation of border controls for Romanians and Bulgarians may, however, put Cameron’s target out of reach.

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