Mr Harper updates us on migration

In view of the continuing interest in the topic of immigration I am reproducing in full below the latest report from the Minister on progress in controlling migration :

“The latest migration statistics were published today(23.5.13) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). They demonstrate that we continue to make good progress on bringing immigration back under control – net migration is down by more than a third since June 2010 and is now at its lowest level for a decade.

Our reforms are creating an immigration system that is more selective and which works in our national interest. We are cutting out abuse while encouraging the brightest and best migrants to come to the UK.

Key facts:

• Net migration was 153,000 for the year ending September 2012 – down from 242,000 in September 2011, and a fall of 89,000. Once again, this shows that we are on the right track to bring net migration down to the tens of thousands by the end of this Parliament.

• The ONS highlighted that while changes in net migration over the period 2008–10 were mainly driven by changes in people leaving the country, ‘since 2011, declining immigration has been the main cause of changes in net migration.’

• Of total immigration, 55 per cent was from nationals outside the European Economic Area (EEA), 30 per cent was from EEA nationals and 15 per cent was returning British citizens.

While continuing to bring net migration down, we are also supporting economic growth by welcoming the brightest and best to the UK:

• There was a 5 per cent increase in work visas issued for skilled individuals under Tier 2 in the year to March.

• There was a 5 per cent increase in sponsored student visa applications for the university sector – demonstrating that our reforms have deliberately favoured universities and that we continue to have a great offer for international students. There is no limit on student numbers; universities can apply their own language tests; and graduates can stay and work if they get a graduate job.

• There was an overall increase of 6 per cent in the total number of visas issued to Chinese nationals in the year to March 2013, including a 10 per cent increase in study visas issued to Chinese nationals.

Once again, these are encouraging figures – but we recognise that there is still more to do. It is still too easy for illegal immigrants to access public services to which they are not entitled and too hard for immigration officials to remove them from the UK. This is why we have announced there will be an Immigration Bill in this parliamentary session. This Bill will stop migrants abusing public services to which they are not entitled, reduce the pull factors which draw illegal immigrants to the UK, and make it easier to remove people who should not be here.

Mark Harper MP”

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  1. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Every time such an announcement is made I never feel we are given the facts; then, as I tried to make some checks, I found that only last month the Telegraph reported ” Bernard Jenkin MP, chairman of the Public Administration Committee, described the error margins were “massive” in official migration statistics.” Does anybody know the true numbers entering and leaving? I doubt it. Are we really ” supporting economic growth by welcoming the brightest and best to the UK”? Who honestly knows that is actually what is happening rather than just an aspiration? What about those who are leaving what is their impact on the economy?

    • zorro
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      No, the true numbers cannot be established until effective inward and outward controls are established which can give sensible figures and allow realistic extrapolation…..The methodology using the passenger survey is very ropy as they only question a very small proportion of the travelling public at different airports and seaports. People, of course, do not have to answer questions posed to them. There is quite a large margin of error built into the statistical output…….Bernard Jenkin has made some comment on the elasticity of figures with regards to EU nationals….

      The ONS figures are subject to a margin of error of at least + or -30%……I think that is being generous….

    • Hope
      Posted May 25, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      The play is on the word NET immigration. The figures show more people are emigrating-leaving the UK- which makes the number coming into the UK look less. The figures should clearly show what is the increase/decrease in people coming into the UK. Not net figure. I want it evidenced if the calibre of people leaving is higher than the calibre of people coming in.

      This also shows the demographics, culture, values and descent of people are not taken into account. With weak government that changes the way we live to suit people who come here it is a very important issue. Changes in the law for free speech need to be made. Labour suppressed free speech (equality, racism and a fanatical political correctness etc) to facilitate mass immigration this needs to be reversed so our way of life is preserved, but sensible laws to creat tolerance among people not a fear to speak. Hence why the Leveson proposals and Communication Act (snoopers charter) should be resisted. Surely but slowly free speech is disappearing and the Ministery of Truth grows stronger.

    • Barbara1
      Posted May 25, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink


      Greg Hands MP wrote back in 2008 that ‘a leading figure at Tesco’ had estimated the UK population was 80 million, not the 60 million of official figures, based on their sales of staples.

      ‘If Tesco’s unofficial figure proves to be correct, a political storm is sure to erupt – just who are these extra 20 million people?’ Hands said.

    • APL
      Posted May 25, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Brian Tomkinson: Are we really ” supporting economic growth by welcoming the brightest and best to the UK”?”

      What is wrong with the state education system that we have to import such people? That in my opinion must be the first question.

  2. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    May we have a report on what proportion of foreign students return home after completing their course and what measures the State has in place to ensure that they do?

    • zorro
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      The authorities have undertaken studies which indicate that at least 21% of students are still in the UK 5 years after arrival. By definition, that is those that are traceable/legally here, and of course does not include those who may have overstayed or be here unlawfully (i.e. more than 30% could still physically be here)…..There are still no reliable, regular exit checks from which one can make sensible extrapolations…..Check out the Executive Summary….


    • Martin
      Posted May 25, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      When I leave the Schengen area my passport is swiped (like on the way in) so Schengen has some idea who has left. As for the UK…..

    • Mark
      Posted May 27, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      I looked at this before: it is quite clear that the proportion of students who return at the end of their courses has fallen markedly in more recent years compared with what happened in the 1990s.

      Rather than regurgitate the whole discussion, here is what I reported in March on this blog:

      There are other relevant point made in the thread too.

  3. ralphmalph
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Seeing as we are in a crisis situation with A&E with regards to the numbers of people accessing the service. I think it is time that all Non EU immigrants to the country have to buy a three year health insurance policy upfront (of a UK based firm). This should be no problem for any business because we are told that all immigrants are highly skilled and highly paid so a “top up” on the large salary they recieve would be a pitance.

    For the students if they go and study in America they need health insurnace and huge numbers still go there and if the univeristys object then they can setup there own GP’s and treatment centres and use the Univeristy staff and final year students to provide treatment.

  4. Martyn G
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    “It is still too easy for illegal immigrants to access public services to which they are not entitled and too hard for immigration officials to remove them from the UK”.

    Really? Yet only last week 4 (I think) of the 9 flour-covered illegals caught after bailing out of a lorry were immediately provided with advice as to how to claim subsistence money and accommodation. Thus said the Home Office, adding that no one knew how many other illegals were in the country because the control authorities are in the Netherlands and France.
    I note that there is nothing said about that in this latest (for which thanks, John) from the Minister. It is interesting that 55% of those entering the country (does that include the illegals, one wonders?) are from outside the EEA. Why is that, do you think?

    • zorro
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      The figures quoted by the Minister are only ‘legal’ arrivals…..Illegal immigration is, by definition, not included.


  5. David Price
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Why has it taken three years to start to get such a bill in to parliament?

    What are the blockages and why weren’t they in operation for certain other bills that have far less significance for the the vast majority of people of this country?

  6. M.A.N
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Incompatible with eu directives. Your civil service will throw it in the bin, any scraps that can be used will be buried on a heavy news day. Funny how ukip can force your hand on this yet the really important issue like energy no politician will stick his head above the parapet. A few of you rebels are going to have to forfeit your pension and maybe your personal safety and force some kind of coup, the future integrity of this country depends on it. Is the political class wanting a population that can’t actually pay its utility bills? What of interest rates go up what then?. Miliband in 2 years the brother of the architect of this suicide note. evidence if it were needed that marxists would rather beggar a country than admit they were wrong. I suspect you are a very angry man, we had the best civil service going but every decision now is designed to impede the working man.

  7. Old Albion
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    But of course what you fail to point out, is that ‘net migration’ balances those coming in against those leaving. Which inevitably means a continuation of demographic change to England.
    And yes i do mean England, because England gets approx 90% of all the immigration to the so called United kingdom.

    • zorro
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      This is correct. The figures have been mainly affected by the fact that there are 50,000 fewer student entries. Quite worrying when one thinks about how many bogus students obtained entry in the last 10-15 years…..


    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 25, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Well, 90% is not that much higher than the proportion of the UK population living in England, something like 84% according to official statistics.

  8. English Pensioner
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    They never make the emigration figures clear, always there is talk of net migration.
    I make this comment because virtually all my acquaintances have a child or grandchild who is permanently living abroad, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA seem to be favourites. All these who have left are well qualified with useful degrees from good universities, and include a husband and wife who are both doctors (of medicine) and two others who have doctorates.
    My feeling is that we are not being told the whole truth; we seem to loosing well qualified people whom the country needs, and getting instead unskilled labour from the new commonwealth.

    • zorro
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      You are certainly not being told about the type of people who are leaving the UK and their educational background, or the educational profile of those who are entering…..Perhaps there might be a reason for that……Though to be fair, it seems that some more university students are entering and allegedly skilled individuals are entering. However, it also seems that these students are being allowed to enter the employment market more easily. It would be nice if we could ensure that there are jobs for expensively trained British university students….



    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted May 25, 2013 at 6:16 am | Permalink

      This is my experience too. Expensively trained NHS staff of our acquaintance leaving for Australia and Canada at a young age.

      One must ask why in the first instance. And it isn’t just the weather.

      In order to leave this country to go somewhere better one must be qualified and/or wealthy.

      In order to come into this country this rule need not apply.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      I suspect we are losing qualified people because in the UK they are paid badly and frequently blamed whenever a minister’s plan goes wrong.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Are you finally suggesting the UK needs to compete with the higher salaries and lower tax rates of other nations Uni?

  9. London Exile
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Partly this improvement has been a change to the points based system for students (Tier4) which has combed out a lot of ropey private colleges who were just importing workers under the guise of students. Partly it has been caused by the recargorisarion of some students into the “student visitor” category and who are subject to credibility testing at visa application stage.

    The major remaining problem is that far too many visit visas are issued at arms length based solely on paper applications eg Pakistani visit applications are handled at the FCO visa factory in Abu Dhabi. To get a proper grip on admissions we need to get back to interviewing all applicants so that they cannot provide rote answers to pre designated questions – this system is easy to beat. But the problem is money; posting visa officers abroad is expensive, but we need to ask ourselves as a country whether its an expense we ought to be paying and which will pay in the longer run.

    • zorro
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, it is appropriate for UK officials to examine prospective applicants before entry…particularly the students bearing in mind the appallingly lax initial implementation of the Points Based System….It is clear that this initial investment avoids elongated engagement and expensive intervention to remove offenders which is extremely expensive in the long run.


  10. Jon
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Positive, whats also positive are the number of Chinese I see at Euston visiting, spending money and hope they enjoy their stays. Its a country people want to come too. If we manage it (that wasn’t managed before) and keep it an attractive place to come to that will carry on.

    • zorro
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, people who come, spend lots of money, and then go are most welcome…


  11. James Reade
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Once again how wonderfully encouraging that this government is actively harming one of our best export sectors, I.e. higher education.

    When was it ever the case that a reduction in exports was trumpeted by a government?

    • zorro
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      It’s not though is it? Foreign University student numbers are increasing….


    • zorro
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      Higher Education should not be a facilitator of illegal immigration….


      • James Reade
        Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:30 am | Permalink

        And it’s not. I know it’s easy to extrapolate from London Met, but the vast majority of universities are following all guidelines – and producing exports – yet your attitude is like that of the governments – punish us for being successful. Great work!

        And neither, if you read properly, are foreign student numbers improving. Just their measure of “quality” foreign students. Overseas students overall make up a large proportion of the fall.

        • zorro
          Posted May 28, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

          I said in a previous reply that supposed HE students have fallen, but university students increased. The problem has been mainly outside the university area. There were lots of bogus supposed HE establishments. Look at how many could not pass the test for registration.


          • zorro
            Posted May 28, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

            You need to read my points properly yourself.


          • James Reade
            Posted May 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

            Apologies – you’re right that the universities sector has a 5% increase in the most recent figures; from the ONS:

            “In the year to March 2013, there were 206,814 visas issued for the purpose of study (excluding student visitors), a fall of 9% compared with the previous 12 months.

            Sponsored student visas applications fell 10% in the year ending March 2013. This change was not uniform, with a 5% increase for the university sector and falls of 46%, 46% and 7% for further education, English language schools and independent schools, respectively.”

            However, the other falls are pretty dramatic and again damning on an obviously profitable British export – our language. I’m sure some FE and language schools did exploit the system previously, but I’m also pretty sure at least 95% were operating on a sensible basis exporting the English language.

            The next time you bemoan the lack of British English being spoken, it’s probably worth bearing in mind the impact of the current immigration cutbacks.

            It also, of course, makes it harder down the line for universities to recruit good students if these students can’t learn English as easily as before, and gain experience in a country that speaks English.

            The biggest thing is I’m just astounded that as a Conservative (and hence I assume a believer in small govt), you’re celebrating the ever greater encroachment of government on the movement of workers to their most productive positions.

          • zorro
            Posted May 29, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

            James, thanks for acknowledging the point re university students. I am not in favour of stopping qualified people from getting good jobs. I just think that it is appropriate in the first instance to ensure that native residents are employed. You are confusing free market economics with unrestricted cheap labour supply to international elitist conglomerates…….You will realise that I am not an unquestioning globalist….. 🙂


    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted May 25, 2013 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      James – Much of this sector has been a front for immigration and there have been problems with people taking education without paying for it (as with health care.)

      Perhaps this ‘industry’ needs its own classification. ‘Export’ doesn’t seem to me to be the right word for what you describe. Perhaps we could station you where the demand is – some far off land that will need your expertise, yet to have running water and sewerage. Now THAT sort of ‘export’ is something we could do with.

      That you seem to be getting irritated is a good sign that this policy is the right one to be following.

      • James Reade
        Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

        Er, that I’m irritated as an economist is not a good sign this is a good policy – that’s bizarre logic at the best of times.

        And please provide this evidence regarding the supposed widespread abuse of immigration rules in higher education. Let me guess, an extrapolation from London Met?

        Export? What’s an export? Well, when we sell something to someone abroad. Selling an education therefore is an export.

        Stop trying to justify persecuting a successful industry. The kind of attitude you, and commenters here, and this government show towards one of our successful export stories is precisely why this country is in a mess. Total incompetence and absence of all logic.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted May 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

          If we had a proper privatised free market in University education, so that new investment could come on a rational basis, I would agree with you 100%. As it stands, we have this bastardised half way house where you pay £9000 per annum for an equipment intensive course at a top university and £9000 per annum for a media studies course in (in a less successful university ed). This means that increased numbers of foreign students result in fewer places for UK students, however temporarily. The only sensible way to go is to privatise totally University education.

          • James Reade
            Posted May 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

            I’m inclined to agree with you! I agree some fraction of the recruitment of overseas students is because universities need to create revenue when constrained by the UK government.

            However it’s simply not the case to say each foreign student replaces a British student. For example we keep accepting all applications until a cap is reached. If the British students aren’t able to get their applications in before that cap is reached (over 400 usually), I don’t really have much sympathy for them.

    • London Exile
      Posted May 25, 2013 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Not sure you have got a handle on this subject. What has been stopped are joke colleges with poor facilities whose true purpose is to facilitate workers from poor countries in the guise of students studying courses of little value, taught by lecturers who would struggle to get jobs as car washers – I have seen this in the course of my work.

      You will note that foreign student numbers coming to British universities are up. Take a reality check.

      • James Reade
        Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        Yours is the reality check needed. Total numbers are down.

        And pray, just how do you know it’s just the sham colleges that are down in numbers? How do you know that good law abiding universities driving a fantastic export success story aren’t being persecuted?

        The amount of extra work we have to go through to get one student through the doors, and the amount fewer students coming now, is pretty clear evidence to me.

        But do carry on with your prejudices against academia – the bottom line is we were selling a great and attractive product to foreigners, and now we’re persecuted for doing so.

        • zorro
          Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

          Because the sham colleges have been shut down – well you did ask….and total foreign university numbers are up. Maybe the colleges you speak of cannot attract foreign students… not worth the money perhaps?


    • backofanenvelope
      Posted May 25, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      It’s nice to have a government that doesn’t think money is everything!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 25, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      As it turns out, higher education is now more an import than an export sector, busy with the back door importation of immigrants, legal and illegal; and given that this country is supposed to be a democracy I see no reason why a relatively small number of people running its institutions of higher education should be allowed to determine any aspect of its immigration policy in defiance of the clear wishes of the great majority of its citizens.

      But here’s a possible solution: you can have as many foreign students as you like, however for each one who does not go back home to his own country once he has completed (or abandoned) his studies the institution must pay the Treasury a sum commensurate with the value of the share of our communal assets he will acquire if/when he is later given citizenship.

      I reckon £1 million a head would be in the right ballpark; a suggestion made in 2004* that perhaps British citizenship could be offered for sale at £10,000 a head was a massive under-valuation.

      * The suggestion of initially trying a market price of £10,000 for citizenship was made in a Times article entitled “Immigration should be about money not blood” published on April 6th 2004.

      • James Reade
        Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:36 am | Permalink

        I love it. You’ve fallen hook line and sinker for everything you read in the Daily Mail haven’t you?

        You haven’t noticed that Russel Group universities are (well, were) exporting education to hundreds of thousands of foreign students, have you?

        Instead you’ve siezed upon the example that suits your anti-immigration prejudice and run with it, extrapolating to the entire sector.

        And why exactly should we kick them all out once they’re done? I guess you haven’t read about the origins of Silicon Valley, have you? Why don’t we instead reap the benefits of that export before they head back – their creativity and imagination, and their desire to create economic value and hence growth?

        That would be the day, wouldn’t it?

      • James Reade
        Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:38 am | Permalink

        Ps “relatively small”? Have you thought about the lecturers, teaching assistants and admin staff in numerous departments at universities up and down the land that benefit from this (previously) booming industry?

        But no, let’s just put all those jobs in doubt because we don’t like these (students-ed) coming in…

      • James Reade
        Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:39 am | Permalink

        Of course, the bottom line is this: What gives YOU the right to determine which export sectors are acceptable and which aren’t? Which jobs are “right” and which aren’t?

        • zorro
          Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

          What gives you the right to veto immigration control proposals?


    • sm
      Posted May 26, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Why cannot our world beating universities franchise operations overseas to earn revenues etc. Campuses could be built overseas and the sector would not be impeded by proper visa regulation and managed migration. Students would probably incur less costs and no doubt volume for the insitution would increase?

  12. Electro-Kevin
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    This news is extremely encouraging. Outflows must be ensured – people leaving when they should. (Especially firebrand imams !)

    It is worrying how many people want to leave the UK who were born here. Especially doctors and nurses who have just finished their training here. It is also worrying that many of those choosing to leave are taking vital skills and wealth with them whilst there is still no assurance that those arriving are able to support themselves or cover their costs.

    Whether from inside or outside of the EU matters not. Our concerns are not about race and I was discouraged by Mr Cameron’s get-out clause on limits ‘…from outside the EU.’

    What difference does that make ?

    We like the Spanish and the Greeks but there has to be a limit on how many we can accept. And why are they being allowed to take rare, relatively well paid, jobs that unskilled Brits could be doing and are unable to do as well because the don’t speak English as well ?

  13. lifelogic
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    “We are cutting out abuse while encouraging the brightest and best migrants to come to the UK.”

    Is it not rather racist to assume that all in the EU, Romania and Bulgaria are “the brightest and best migrants”? This as these can all come in without restriction while others, from the rest of the world, are far more restricted. This regardless of their individual talents and merits.

    The whole of the statement is largely pathetic spin. Spin (and no action) is what this government does, but in the end people judge on results and actual actions. Voters know what is really happening in their communities. Often the poor know best what it is like at the benefit office.

    In the main the hardworking and rich are leaving (unless they are rich non doms) and the poor and low earners are arriving in large numbers. The tax and benefits system encourages exactly this, it is hardly surprising. I do not blame the migrants they are behaving entirely rationally, given the system that Cameron has in place, good luck to them.

    • zorro
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Most logical lifelogic as ever…. 😉


    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted May 25, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Agree with much of that, Lifelogic.

    Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Why is it always net migration ? Is this institutionalised spin ? Why do I not trust our Gov organisations and their stats ? Close the door we are already full to overflowing . I want my country back and the Tory /Lab alliance are not even wanting to stop the flow . Reducing it is just so much rhubarb . The neglect of this country under the EU puppet parties is criminal .

  15. they work for us
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    I don’t find these figures reassuring at all. We are already more densely populated than other european countries. I am a baby boomer and our passing in the next few years is a golden opportunity to shrink back the population of this country. Don’t replace us with immigrants, aim to get the population back towards the 50 million over the nest twenty years. Large families should not be funded by the welfare state.

    We need a referendum now on wether we want an increasing or a decreasing population. The employment prospects of many of the people we have got already are dismal.

  16. Trevor P
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    I am afraid net migration as an aspirational target is a complete weasel.

    Presumably if 5 million british people emigrated this year and 5 million non-british people came in, the government would be cock-a-hoop with joy having achieved a big fat zero in terms of net migration.

    I keep in mind the hourly figure which is a good way to get a sense of what is happening to this country. From the latest quarter’s ONS figures 9 british people leave (net) and 26 non-british people arrive (net) every hour of every day and every night. Seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.

    Since the last quarter’s figures the 9 figure has remained the same and the government has managed to reduce the other one from 28 to 26.

    If only we could get rid of some more Britons to help the figures along!

  17. ChrisXP
    Posted May 25, 2013 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    There are still a lot of home-grown “brightest and best” on our own dole-queues, intelligent and well-qualified but still battling to find decent work. Government bangs on about the country “needing qualified workers” yet does little to help our own people find and fill those jobs. Masses of vacancies that could be available are advertised out abroad on little-known websites (known to Brits, that is). Not exactly “equal opportunity” is it?

  18. Tad Davison
    Posted May 25, 2013 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    What this government says it is doing, and what we see on the ground, doesn’t seem to coincide. In Cambridge, we are awash with taxis, the bulk of which, are driven by people from abroad, and outside the EU. Often, English doesn’t even appear to be their first language. Is the ability to drive a taxi one of the much-needed specialist skills we are desperate for? If so, what is that saying about the indigenous population?

    Tad Davison


  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 25, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    “Of total immigration, 55 per cent was from nationals outside the European Economic Area (EEA), 30 per cent was from EEA nationals and 15 per cent was returning British citizens.”

    For clarification, as a Briton born and bred, how long would I have to live abroad before I was officially classified as an “immigrant” when I returned to my home country?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 26, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      My interesting and informative comment about the population statistics of India and the potential numbers of Indians who could come here, study, graduate and stay forever appears to have gone astray …

    • Mark
      Posted May 27, 2013 at 12:23 am | Permalink

      One year of residency (a visit on holiday or for a business trip would not count as breaking that period).

      That is why Mode 4 migrants manage to be excluded from the immigration numbers: they have to rotate out annually.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 28, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for that info.

  20. uanime5
    Posted May 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    It is still too easy for illegal immigrants to access public services to which they are not entitled

    Which public services are these? It can’t be any form of welfare because you need a National Insurance number to claim benefits. It can’t be healthcare because the hospital would realise that you didn’t have an NHS number.

    Also if the Government stopped forcing people to work on zero hour contracts perhaps fewer UK citizens would leave the EU.

    • zorro
      Posted May 26, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Uanime5 – Hospitals do not in practice turn people away who require treatment. They rarely ask for NHS numbers in my experience and you can always give someone else’s number. You can also obtain forms of welfare payment (non contributory) without any reference at all to NI card/payments……


  21. Ken Adams
    Posted May 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Looks like Mark Harper is confusing issues here, he tells us the position of legal immigration and then tags on something about illegal immigration and what the government are doing to prevent illegals from accessioning our services. What is the affect on our services of legal immigration that the government cannot control and what is the government doing to address that.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 26, 2013 at 4:40 am | Permalink

      Indeed the only government response to legal migration is hot air as there is nothing which in the EU, Cameron want to stay in with all his heart and soul so that is it.

      The response to illegal immigration is a silly PR/spin attack on employers and landlords. Surely if the government let these immigrants in (and so rarely ever deports anyone) then they might as well work and live in flats and houses?

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 26, 2013 at 4:47 am | Permalink

      “Mark Harper is confusing issues here” – surely he is not confusing them himself, just trying to confuse others, and rather transparently with this cleverly worded PR drivel. What sort of a job is it, for a grown man or woman, to produce this misleading spin. To try to fool the taxpayers who are paying his wages to do it? Do taxpayers really what their taxes to be spent, misleading them with propaganda so often?

  22. Dennis
    Posted May 25, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    ‘..the brightest and best… still advocating this greedy, selfish policy to make us, a rich country, even richer and depriving their own countries of skills – this is despicable.

    Immigration down to 150k odd – this is still expanding our bloated population size (although it’s the ‘white British’ which is too many). Also probably most of those emigrating have the right of abode in the UK so can return anytime so this ‘net’ migration can change anytime.

    How can the biosphere provide for millions of more jobs? The working population in the UK must number the total populations of many 1st world countries which are happy and viable without 60 odd million people.

  23. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 25, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    What would be more interesting would be figures showing how many of those coming into the country make a net contribution.

    That net contribution would need to take account of any housing benefit, tax credits or child benefit the person was being given, any school place their children were taking (accounting for building more schools to provide more places) and should also assume that JSA at least is being paid to someone born in this country who is not working due to the new arrival. (Skills shortages can be solved with training and education and there are 2.5 million unemployed at least).

    Any money that the newcomer is earning and spending in the community to be recycled can be discounted as someone born here performing the role the newcomer is now performing would be spending the same amount. The number of net contributors would indeed be interesting.

    Without so many coming in, and a will to put our feckless to work*, maybe I would get my child benefit, which is really a tax allowance for children, returned and our deficit would not be so high.

    *Disclaimer: Not all unemployed are feckless and lazy but immigration has allowed us to tolerate those that are because menial and low paid work still get done.

  24. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 27, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    I predict that, if this policy continues to be successfully applied, some emigres will return and the indiginous birth rate will increase.

  25. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 28, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    When are people going to wake up and realise it is HIGH house prices that is driving emigration. It ought to drive low immigration too but, of course, many people wishing to enter this country are coming from countries where they live in poverty.

    If we don’t want our highly trained children to move abroad, we need to give them a fair chance to buy a home of their own and raise a family.

    At the moment this is impossible for all but the highest earners or those who inherit or are helped by the bank of Mum and Dad.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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