From the TUC

Migration Policy Failing

26 May 2011, by in International

Figures release by the National Office for Statistics this morning shows net migration at its highest level in more than five years. A major factor in producing these figures is the decline in the number of people leaving the UK.

344,000 people left the UK in the year to September 2010, down 20% from its peak of 427,000 in the 12 months to December 2008,

By contrast the number of migrants coming in to the UK has remained broadly constant at 586,000, taking net migration to 242,000, up from 198,000 at the end of 2009 and 163,000 the year before.

Within these figures it is significant that the number of migrants coming to the UK from the eight accession countries which joined the European Union in 2004 (including Poland) also rose significantly, up 72,000 in the 12 months to September last year from 45,000 in 2009.With a fall in A8 nationals leaving the UK over the same period from 57,000 to 29,000. Accordingly the net flow of A8 nationals switched from 12,000 leaving the UK to 43,000 arriving and is now at the same level seen in the year ending September 2008.Again the significance of these figures is that the Government has no control over the movement of A8 nationals in and out of the UK.

The Government’s policy of reducing net migration to the tens of thousands seems less achievable than ever. Do they try do bear down on the figures through imposing even more draconian measures on non-EU migration causing further damage to the economy or do they quietly drop the policy? We can only hope they take the second option!