What happened to the Tories’ crackdown on migration? It’s now at record levels

But is that bad news?

Net migration to the UK has reached a record 336,000 in the year to June – 82,000 more than last year – according to the Office for National Statistics.

Net migration takes into account the number of people arriving in and leaving the UK, and statisticians said the increase is down to more people arriving.

David Cameron has pledged to get the number down to five figures by 2020, which seems unlikely as it is only rising.

The 5 countries of last residence with the largest number of immigrants to the UK for 2014 are:

  1. India (45,000; 8% of all immigrants), ranked third last year. This is the third time it has been ranked first in the last 5 years.
  2. China (39,000; 7% of all immigrants), ranked first last year. China has remained in the top 5 since 2009.
  3. Romania (34,000; 6% of all immigrants). Ranked ninth last year, Romania has entered the top 5 ranking for the first time. The estimates of Romanian citizens immigrating to the UK increased by 127% compared to the final 2013 estimates.
  4. Poland (32,000; 5% of all immigrants), ranked fifth last year. Poland has remained in the top 5 since 2005.
  5. Spain (31,000; 5% of all immigrants), ranked second last year.

The Institute of Directors warned about taking drastic action on migration, as it is vital to the success of many businesses.

Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors, said: “Nine in ten IoD members that hire international workers also invest in training British staff, demonstrating a commitment to find a sustainable long-term solution to the UK’s chronic skills shortage. In the shouting match which seems to count for a sensible debate on immigration, these facts get lost.

“To address this, we need a comprehensive immigration review to look at the best ways of managing migration so it works for businesses and addresses public concerns.

“The bizarre net migration target should be the first for the chop. It counts international students who stay for a few years, returning Britons, asylum seekers fleeing conflict, and long-term economic migrants as all the same. Above all, politicians must watch their words. Anti-immigrant rhetoric sends a depressing message about Britain’s openness to the world, puts off investment, damages our international standing and encourages foreign students and high-skilled workers to head to our global competitors.”

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