20 November 2008
British immigration reaches net 237,000
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), net migration in the UK rose by one quarter last year.
While the numbers of British emigrants reduced over 2007, from 400,000 to 340,000, the estimated number of people arriving to live in the UK for 12 months or more was 577,000 – a difference of only 14,000 less than in 2006.
Australia remained the first choice for British emigrants over Spain, New Zealand, the United States and France, with just under 40,000 Brits emigrating to Australia in 2007 – despite being down 10,000 when compared with 2006.
The results mean that the net migration figure for the UK in 2007 was up 46,000 on the year prior, and that the population has grown by 1.8 million since Labour came into government over a decade ago.
According to the BBC News, Minister for Immigration predicted the net migration figure would continue to drop next year, in line with his government's target of 200,000.
"I think the serious trend is showing that there are less British people leaving Britain to go and perhaps live in Spain and elsewhere and the numbers coming into the country have also gone down," he told the BBC.
The Press Association said Mr Woolas believes the new Australian-style points-based UK immigration system will help with flexibility within the job market.
Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve said if the government wants the British community to maximise benefits from immigration it needs to be more tightly controlled.
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.
Article by Jessica Bird, UK Visa Bureau.