Saturday, 22 June 2024 01:33

New immigration figures prompt 'back door to Britain' fears

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The number of immigrants born outside Europe who came to live in this country after winning EU citizenship elsewhere has tripled in the last decade, a new report has confirmed.

Research by Oxford University’s Migration Observatory will raise concerns about non-EU migrants coming to live here “by the back door”.

• Immigration surge driven by eurozone crisis

It showed there are now 264,000 foreigners in Britain who were born outside Europe and then obtained “free movement” rights by living in another European country.

After obtaining their citizenship of their adopted EU country, the foreigners then moved here.

In 2004 the number stood at just 78,000, meaning there has been a 238 per cent increase in little over a decade.

• Immigration from outside Europe 'cost £120 billion'

Lord Green of Deddington, chairman of MigrationWatch which campaigns for tougher immigration controls, said: “This increasing flow could become a back door to Britain.

“The issue of passports is the responsibility of the individual EU countries and these passports carry with them the right to free movement.

“This development strengthens the case for stronger controls on access to the UK which is now freely granted to EU migrants.”

More than a fifth of the total – 54,000 migrants - came to Britain after first living in Portugal.

The second largest group came via Italy, with 36,000, followed by France (33,000), Spain (30,000), Ireland (21,000) and the Netherlands (19,000).

In terms of their country of birth, the largest group detailed in the Oxford University research came from India, with 24,000 arrivals, followed by South Africa (15,000), North America (14,000), Brazil (13,000) and Sri Lanka (11,000).

The research, based on data from the official Labour Force Survey, does not reveal how long the migrating EU citizens lived in other European countries before coming to Britain.

However, their average ago was 38 and they were slightly less likely to be in work than other EU citizens.

Figures showed 73 per cent were in employment, compared with the EU average of 80 per cent.

Three out of 10 were in professional jobs or management roles – a proportion higher than the 22 per cent average.

Madeleine Sumption, director of the Migration Observatory, said: “EU migrants who were born outside the EU are a small share of the UK’s migrant population, but they have distinctive characteristics.

“Interestingly, they have been more successful in finding high-skilled work than people born in the EU.

“British citizens can live and work in other EU countries, whether they were born in the UK or not.

“Citizens of other EU counties have the same rights in the UK.”

Figures from 2011 showed Britain had the second largest number of non-EU born nationals, at 210,000 or seven per cent of the population.

The only country with more was Germany, with 10 per cent or 245,000 people.

Government data shows that in 2014 the number of households headed by a foreign-born person was 3.73 million, compared with 1.98 million in 1997.

Source: The Telegraph

Google+ Google+