Annual net migration to UK was 212000 in final quarter of 2013
Figure is more than double the 100,000 target the Conservatives set for net migration by next year’s general election.
The politically sensitive yardstick of net migration to Britain stood at 212,000 at the end of 2013, a rise of 35,000 over the previous year but unchanged on the previous three months, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Thursday.
The quarterly figure of 212,000 is more than double the 100,000 target the Conservatives set for net migration by next year’s general election.
It also shows that the home secretary, Theresa May, is failing to make any further progress in meeting the target.
The detailed ONS immigration figures also confirm that there was no surge of Romanians or Bulgarians joining the British workforce when the final labour market restrictions were lifted on them in January.
The figures show that new national insurance numbers were allocated to an extra 29,000 Romanians and 7,000 Bulgarians in the 12 months to March 2014.
The ONS said only 22% of Romanian and Bulgarian registrations were for those who had arrived in the previous three months, compared with 70% of new Polish and Spanish registrations. Most of those registering were already in Britain.
The official statisticians said the available evidence so far showed that the recent increase in employment of Romanians and Bulgarians in Britain was the result of extra migration before the controls were lifted in January.
The overall figures show the level of net migration – the number of immigrants coming to live in Britain for more than 12 months minus the number leaving to live abroad for more than 12 months – was stable at 212,000 between September 2013 and December 2013.
The figures show that 526,000 came to live in Britain while 314,000 went to live abroad in 2013.