Tags: uk | immigration | illegals | cameron

Cameron Promises Curbs as UK Immigration Hits New High

Thursday, 21 May 2015 06:30 AM

Net migration to the U.K. rose for a second year in 2014, frustrating the new Conservative government’s aim to bring it down to levels not seen in almost two decades.

The number of people coming to the U.K. outnumbered those leaving by 318,000, the largest 12-month inflow since June 2005 and the most for a calendar year since at least 1970, the Office for National Statistics said in London Thursday. That’s a "significant increase" from 209,000 in 2013.

The figures come as Prime Minister David Cameron prepares to pledge new laws to punish illegal workers, step up deportations and tag foreign criminals.

"A strong country isn’t one that pulls up the drawbridge; it is one that controls immigration," Cameron will say in a speech in London, according to remarks emailed by his office. "Uncontrolled immigration can damage our labor market and push down wages. It means too many people entering the U.K. legally but staying illegally."

With the U.K. unable to limit the free movement of workers from other European Union states, immigration was a touchstone issue in the May 7 general election after Cameron failed in a pledge to reduce the net influx to below 100,000 a year, a level last seen in 1997. The Tories say the target now remains "the right ambition."

Most of the increase last year came from immigrants seeking work, including from Bulgaria and Romania after temporary restrictions limiting migration from the two countries were lifted at the end of 2013.

A record 641,000 people came to the U.K. in 2014, with arrivals of non-British citizens from the EU rising 67,000 to 268,000 and immigration from non-EU states increasing 42,000 to 290,000.

The influx of migrants from other European nations is a sticking point in talks with EU leaders as Britain tries to renegotiate membership terms before a referendum by the end of 2017 on whether to leave the 28-nation bloc.

© Copyright 2020 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.


   
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Net migration to the U.K. rose for a second year in 2014, frustrating the new Conservative government's aim to bring it down to levels not seen in almost two decades.
uk, immigration, illegals, cameron
317
2015-30-21
Thursday, 21 May 2015 06:30 AM
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