UK net migration has risen by 78,000 to 260,000 over the past year, definitively thwarting the Conservatives’ “no ifs, no buts” pledge to reduce numbers to the tens of thousands by the end of this parliament.
Separate figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions showed that Romanians have now overtaken Poles as the highest proportion of national insurance registrations. These have increased for Romanians by 468 per cent and for Bulgarians by 205 per cent in the year to September.
The overall net migration figure is now substantially higher than the 244,000 when the coalition took office – but just under the peak of 263,000 reached in June 2011, before Home Office reforms took effect. Theresa May, home secretary, admitted this weekend that despite her action to reduce levels of incoming workers, family members and students from outside the EU, her party’s 2010 target had been “blown off course”.