British PM, Cameron, Determined To Curb Illegal Immigration | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

News

British PM, Cameron, Determined To Curb Illegal Immigration

Posted: May 21, 2015 at 12:26 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

BRITISH Prime Minister, David Cameron, has said that he will not give up on his immigration target despite net migration to the UK reaching its highest level for a decade.

Net migration rose by 50 per cent to 318,000 last year – with sharp increases from inside and outside the EU.

A total of 641,000 people moved to the UK in 2014, the Office for National Statistics said.

But, Cameron said he would not “cave in” and abandon his target of reducing net migration below 100,000.

In a speech at the Home Office, he said Liberal Democrats had held back Conservative attempts to reduce numbers during the last parliament and unveiled a string of measures aimed at curbing illegal working.

Central to these are new plans to seize the wages of illegal workers as proceeds of crime in an attempt to reduce the numbers.

However, the scale of the challenge facing ministers in reducing levels of legal immigration was highlighted again by a net migration rise the size of the population of Coventry.

The figures measure the difference between the numbers of people moving the UK for a year or more and those leaving the UK for a year or more.

They reveal:

•641,000 people moved to the UK over the period, with 323,000 going the other way

•284,000 people immigrated for work, a 70,000 increase

•The number of Romanian and Bulgarians moving to the UK doubled to 46,000 in 2014

•Employment of non-British EU nationals in the UK in January to March 2015 was 283,000 higher than the previous year

The Conservatives pledged before the 2010 election to reduce numbers to less than 100,000, a target they acknowledge they have failed to meet.

“There is no good news here for David Cameron,” according to BBC Assistant Political Editor, Norman Smith.

He said ministers were shifting the emphasis of the immigration debate away from numbers towards “blue collar concerns” like jobs, pay and housing.

In a speech at the Home Office, Cameron said: “Today’s figures show how far we have to go to reach our goal.”

Taking questions from journalists afterwards, he said: “There is the approach of just give up, cave in and forget about it.

“But that’s not my approach.”

He said a growing economy could be combined with lower immigration levels as it had been in the 1990s.