Sunday, September 12, 2010

How Britain attracts more migrants than France AND Germany put together

Britain is surging ahead of France and Germany as a magnet for immigrants, figures showed yesterday. Tough controls mean that the two countries that once drew in hundreds of thousands of migrants a year have now achieved a virtual balance between immigration and emigration.

Yet the new count shows that in 2008 Britain opened its doors to almost ten times the number accepted by France and Germany together.

The latest figures from Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical arm, drew calls from campaigners for the Government to follow the example of Berlin and Paris and bring in measures to limit the impact of immigration on Britain.

Ministers promised earlier this week to ‘bear down’ on every aspect of immigration into Britain from outside the EU after the latest British figures showed a big leap in net migration – the number of people coming to live in the country minus the number leaving to live abroad.

Eurostat figures say that in 2008 the United Kingdom grew because of net migration by 226,400.

Germany, which no longer accepts unskilled migrants and which declined to accept Eastern European workers when Poland and other countries joined the EU, had negative net migration.
That meant that 53,600 more people left the country to live abroad than arrived.
France, which experienced a brief immigration boom in 2007, cut back net immigration to 77,000.

The curbs now in place in France have led to increasing political unrest over hardline policies such as the expulsion of thousands of Roma and the removal of French citizenship from immigrants found guilty of attacking police officers.

Net migration numbers in Britain are the third highest in Europe, behind Italy and Spain, which have seen high levels of arrivals from Africa and from Latin America, and where signs of popular unrest over the impact on jobs and public services have been growing.

Critics of the Rome and Madrid governments have said they have encouraged higher immigration by offering amnesties to illegal immigrants.

How we lost control of immigration

In 2008, the EU figures say, net migration in Italy was 437,900 and in Spain 413,800.

Eurostat uses different methodology to Britain’s Office for National Statistics. The ONS has calculated net immigration at 163,000 in 2008. Last year, it rose sharply to 196,000.

The effects of immigration in Britain are becoming increasingly politically sensitive, largely because of worries that population growth will cause strain on housing, transport, water and energy resources.

One minister in the last Labour administration promised the population would never hit 70million, but Whitehall statisticians say that level will be reached in 2029.

An analysis by the House of Commons library has also shown that England has now become the most crowded country in Europe, except for tiny Malta.

Sir Andrew Green, of the Migrationwatch think-tank, said: ‘France and Germany have brought immigration down very substantially, probably helped by the recession. ‘These figures demonstrate that the Government can bring the level of net migration right down, provided ministers are determined to do it.’

According to Eurostat’s calculations, in 2007 net migration into Germany was 45,200 while France blipped suddenly upwards, from 90,100 in 2006 to 302,500. In 1998, when the immigration boom into Britain was just beginning, net migration for this country was 97,400. This is the level to which the Coalition is pledged to return.


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