New figures released today by the Office for National Statistics show that the UK population is rapidly expanding as a result of migration from the EU.

  • In the year ending June 2016, net immigration into the UK was 335,000, of which 189,000 came from the EU. Gross immigration into the UK was 650,000, of which 284,000 came from the EU (ONS, 1 December 2016, link).
  • 189,000 is the equivalent of adding a county the size of Herefordshire to the UK population, and is up from 180,000 a year ago (ONS, 26 May 2016, link).
  • Since 2004, net migration from the EU alone has added more than one million people to the UK population (1,073,000 – ONS, link). This is the equivalent of a city the size of Birmingham (ONS, July 2012, link).
  • Based on previous years’ ratios, we can estimate that 25,446 new school children have come to the UK from the EU in the year ending June 2016. The cost of new school places to accommodate these pupils will cost the UK over £117m.  
  • If the UK remains in the EU’s single market and the current rate of net migration continues for the next ten years, 1,890,000 EU migrants will be added to the UK’s population by 2026. This would require the creation of 4 new state-of-the-art hospitals (with a cost of £2.3bn)

Responding to the release of the Long-Term International Migration Estimates this morning, Change Britain supporter Andrea Jenkyns said:

‘Some politicians are now trying to frustrate the will of the people and want to keep us in the EU’s single market – that means we would have no control over our borders. These people need to explain how they will pay to help schools and hospitals cope with these huge levels of immigration.’

Change Britain Chair Gisela Stuart said:

‘David Cameron promised that he would cut net migration to the tens of thousands.  He could never actually manage to do it and nor can the government now unless we leave the EU, as today’s figures show.

‘The public are fed up of politicians making promises on immigration that they can’t deliver.

‘The only way for the government to meet these pledges is to leave the EU’s single market and take back control of our borders. This is what people voted for on 23 June – politicians need to respect the result of the referendum and get on with leaving the EU.’

 Notes to editors

The ONS has released the latest Long-Term International Migration Estimates this morning. These show that: 

  • In the year ending June 2016, net migration from the EU was 189,000. This is the equivalent of adding a county the size of Herefordshire to the UK population. This is up from 180,000 a year ago (ONS, 1 December 2016, link; ONS July 2012, link).
  • In the year ending June 2016, 82,000 persons came to the UK from the EU who were looking for work, without a definite job offer. This is up from 61,000 a year ago (ONS, 1 December 2016, link).
  • If this rate of migration of jobseekers continues for a decade, 820,000 jobseekers will come to the UK as a result. This is greater than the population of Glasgow (National Records of Scotland, 2015, link).
  • In 2014, 25,000 school-aged EEA children came to the UK, or 8.96% of the gross total of 279,000 EU/EEA migrants who came to the UK in the same year (UKSA, 14 April 2016, link). Assuming the same ratio, we can estimate that 25,446 of this year’s gross EU increase are school-age children. The 2015-2016 schools block unit of funding is £4612.11 per pupil (Education Funding Agency, March 2016, link: tab: ‘2015-2016 DSG allocations’). 25,446 additional school places would therefore cost £117,361,596.
  • The UK had 2.7 hospital beds per 1,000 people in 2014 (NHS, link). Assuming that the UK will want to retain the same ratio, it will need 510 extra beds to accommodate the net increase in EU population.

If the UK remains in the EU’s single market, it will have to continue to accept free movement.

  • If the UK remains in the EU’s single market it will have to accept free movement. This is one of the main requirements of being in the European Economic Area (EEA Agreement, link). If the current rate of net EU migration continues, 1,890,000 will be added to the UK’s population by 2026.
  • Assuming a constant annual net increase, in ten years, the number of hospital beds needed will increase to 5,103. The Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Birmingham cost £545m and has 1,213 inpatient beds (NHS, link). It would therefore require 4 new equivalent size hospitals to make up for this predicted 10 year increase in population. Therefore, the predicted ten-year increase could cost the UK up to £2,292,774,113.77.

We know that these numbers are underestimates

  • In the four years ending June 2014, there were 739,000 gross EU migrants according to the International Passenger Survey (IPS), however there were 1.537 million ‘NiNo’ registrations (ONS, 12 May 2016, link).

Since voting to leave the EU, forecasters are now predicting that net migration will decline

  • Since the referendum result, the OBR has said that it expects ‘lower net inward migration than we would otherwise have seen’ (OBR, November 2016, link). However, this is only possible if the UK leaves the EU’s single market.

High levels of inward EU migration has had a negative impact on wages

  • A Bank of England study found in December 2015 that net migration had driven down pay for some of the lowest paid (Bank of England, December 2015, link).
  • The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development predicted in December 2015 that average pay growth for workers was likely to stall at about 2% in 2016 due to the ready availability of migrants to fill vacancies (Guardian, December 2015, link)
  • The Migration Advisory Committee’s July 2014 report on low-skilled work acknowledged UK school leavers were being overlooked for jobs in favour of migrants (Migration Advisory Committee, July 2014, link). The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee reported in 2008 that they had found no evidence for the argument, made by the government, business and many others, that net migration generates significant economic benefits for the existing UK population (House of Lords, 2008, link).
  • More recently, the OECD found (in June 2013) that in most countries the impact of migration tends to be small in terms of GDP per head and is around zero (OECD, June 2013, link).

The Government agrees that immigration does need to be brought down

  • The Home Secretary, Theresa May, said in her speech to the Conservative Party Conference last year: ‘we must also have an immigration system that allows us to control who comes to our country. Because when immigration is too high, when the pace of change is too fast, it’s impossible to build a cohesive society. It’s difficult for schools and hospitals and core infrastructure like housing and transport to cope. And we know that for people in low-paid jobs, wages are forced down even further while some people are forced out of work altogether … Britain does not need net migration in the hundreds of thousands every year …  There is no case, in the national interest, for immigration of the scale we have experienced over the last decade. Neither is it true that, in the modern world, immigration is no longer possible to control’ (Independent, 6 October 2015, link).