David Cameron’s pledge to cap non-EU immigration was followed this year by a promise to Tory activists to reduce net migration to the UK to tens of thousands. This now looks as foolish as it does desperate. Some of the greatest flows of immigration in recent years have come from the EU, especially the A8 countries, to which no cap could be applied. And the government has no control over outward migration. Unsurprisingly, then, a combination of continued migration from Poland and other EU countries, and a sharp decline in Britons moving overseas, has led to a 21% increase in net migration last year.
The pressing question is whether this is anything to be worried about. For the Telegraph, it is. Its recent editorial acknowledged the factors driving the net increase, and gave Cameron a partial pardon. But still, it thundered: “The annual addition to the country’s foreign-born population is about 250,000 – by far the largest influx of overseas citizens in our history.” In fact, net migration to the UK adds far less to the population than it does in other OECD countries. Read More Here