Number of foreign workers in Britain doubles

Migrationwatch report shows there are 3,819,000 foreign workers 18th February 2009: A new statistical analysis by the Migrationwatch think tank shows that there were 1,172,000 non-UK born workers in the country in the last three months of last year. The same analysis also shows that in the same period, some 286,000 British-born workers left the country to work in other European countries, Daily Express reported.

The Office for National Statistics’ Labour Force Survey showed that some 482,000 workers from Eastern Europe were employed in Britain from September to December last year, representing a fall of 6%.

Out of the 3,819,000 foreign born workers in Britain, 70% are from outside the EU, the report said.

Migrationwatch chairman Sir Andrew Green said: “There is no clear sign yet in these statistics that workers from Eastern Europe are starting to go home in significant numbers. Our long-held view is that economic migrants from the EU are not likely to become a long-term immigration problem as their numbers are expected to come into balance in a few years’ time.

“The big issue remains the very large numbers coming to the UK from outside the EU – again confirmed by the latest figures – when the pressure on jobs here is as intense as it has been for many years.”

Shadow Work and Pensions Minister James Clappison, who obtained the figures, said: “This is yet more evidence that Labour has failed to bring migration from outside the EU under control despite repeated promises to do so.”

Daily Express quoted a Home Office spokesman to have said that “More than 90 per cent of people working in this country are UK citizens and we are stepping up the help they need to get back to work.

“But if we close our borders we all become poorer. Many migrants only stay for a short period then go home again. We’ve always said that we would run our immigration system for the benefit of the UK. We have brought in the Australian-style points-based system to control the numbers and put restrictions on workers from Romania and Bulgaria.

“We are using the system’s flexibility to force employers to offer British jobs through JobCentreplus before recruiting foreign workers.”

Commenting on the Migrationwatch study, Shadow Immigration Minister Damian Green said: "There cannot be anyone left in this country who believes Gordon Brown’s pledge of British jobs for British workers. This shows the continuing failure of the Government’s immigration policy. A Conservative Government would introduce an annual limit on work permits for people from outside the EU. That’s the only way you can get some control into the system."

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