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As the EU referendum draws ever so closer, it has now been revealed that Britain gained 333,000 people through immigration alone in 2015. This figure is the second highest figure on record.
ONS announced yesterday that net migration had risen to 184,000 from the EU, which is a noticeable 10,000 more than in 2014.
Despite their best efforts to highlight the new studies that have shown that migration is important for employment in businesses and that as a whole, it has had a small but positive economical impact, remain campaigners are struggling to persuade voters concerns.
The director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, Madeleine Sumption, stated, ‘Immigration affects the UK in many different ways and its impacts cannot be reduced to a single statistic. Overall, the evidence shows that the main economic impacts of EU migration — such as effects on the UK labour market, public finances or public services — are relatively small. But different groups of people will be affected in different ways and, of course, economics is not the only factor that voters care about.’
ONS statistics revealed that from a total of 15 states, net migration from the EU before 2004 was at a level of 79,000. An additional eight states joined after that date, accounting for a total of 47,000 and a further 58,000 from two countries that joined in 2007 (Romania & Bulgaria). When it comes to non-EU net migration, the new figure recorded was at 188,000 – a drop from 194,000 a year earlier.
The interesting finding was that net migration came in at -39,000 from British nationals, showing that more returned home than actually departed from the UK.
Despite the modest growth rate, this new data reveals that more than a quarter of a million EU citizens came to the UK last year. A dominating ¾ of EU citizens currently working in the UK, will not meet the visa requirements for non EU overseas workers in the eventuality that Britain leaves the EU. The rate would as a result, increase to around 81% as soon as the new requirements commence in April.
Yesterday’s migration data comes after ONS forecasts predicted the UK population would rise by a staggering 4m within in the next decade, increasing the capital’s population to grow above 10m for the first time ever. 50% of this rise will be from immigration, whilst the other 50% will generate from an increase in the existing population.
ONS showed that in total, 630,000 people migrated to the UK and 297,000 left. 308,000 individuals came for work designated reasons – the highest figure on record and an increase of 30,000 in comparison with the previous year.
According to data which originated by the ONS from the LFS (Labour Force Survey) found that there were 2.1, EU nationals working in the UK between January and March 2016. This statistic is 224,000 more than it was when compared with the same period in last year.
Furthermore, more British citizens were working for the first quarter of 2016, an improvement of 185,000 to 28.2m whilst the non EU nationals in employment hit 1.2m. ONS in addition added that ‘over half of the growth in employment over the past year was accounted for by foreign nationals.’
With just under a month to go now until the EU referendum, expect to see new revealing’s cropping us, as the debate of whether to leave or remain continues…