Entry 6

Immigration to Britain rises

With immigration one of the top three concerns of British voters, there was embarrassing news for the UK government on August 27 when it was reported that 330,000 more immigrants arrived in the UK than in the year to March 1915. See BBC report .

Embarrassing because the Prime Minister David Cameron said in 2011 that he wanted to reduce the increase per year to ‘tens of thousands – no ifs, no buts’. His critics say that it was impolitic and misleading to give a figure when his Government had no overall plan for immigration control

The leading anti-immigration politician Nigel Farage said the “figures reflect ‘Borderless Britain’ and total impotence of the British government”.

Figures show that India is the most common non-UK country of birth in the UK population, with 793,000 UK residents born in India.

Polish is the most common non-British nationality, with 853,000 residents (including those born in the UK) describing their nationality as Polish.

53,000 Romanian and Bulgarian citizens moved to the UK in the last year – almost double the 28,000 in the previous 12 months.

In total, 8.4% of UK residents – 5.3 million people – have a non-British nationality.

The following figures show why the UK government is deeply concerned over the politics of immigration, both from EU and elsewhere.

The Migration Observatory, Oxford University, summarised their findings (20.8.15) as follows:

immigration is currently highly salient and in recent years has consistently ranked in the top five ‘most important issues’ as selected by the British public;

approximately three quarters of people in Britain currently favour reducing immigration;

concern about migration applies to both EU and non-EU migration;

the UK public is more concerned by and opposed to migration than publics in Europe and North America, and attitudes to immigration vary for different migration types.

See Observatory report

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