Migration to UK hits all-time high
Net migration to the U.K. has risen to an all-time high with an estimated 330,000 extra people in Britain in the year to March, the Office for National Statistics reported on Thursday.
The figure — the difference between the number entering Britain and those leaving — is 94,000 higher than the previous year and three times the government target. Immigration to the U.K. rose to 636,000 while emigration fell to 307,000.
The increase was fueled by a record net migration of 269,000 EU nationals. The number of Romanian and Bulgarian arrivals nearly doubled from last year, the ONS said.
The report came after the Conservative government announced new measures to tackle immigration by penalizing employers who hired foreigners who enter illegally and have no right to work in the U.K.
Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said it the new figures were “deeply disappointing”, the BBC reported.
The report said the number of asylum seekers rose by 10 percent to nearly 26,000 with Eritreans, Pakistanis and Syrians topping the list.
The previous high of 318,000 came in 2005 during Tony Blair’s premiership.