Net immigration into the UK, recent trends

by on November 29, 2013 at 2:06 am in Current Affairs, Data Source, Law | Permalink

This picture clarifies a few neglected points:


Since 2010 there has been a marked decline in non-EU net immigration. As a proportion of non-British immigration to the UK, it has dropped from 73% in June 2010 to 57% in June 2013. In the last year alone, it has fallen from 172,000 to 140,000.

Meanwhile, this year, net migration from the EU has gone up by 72,000 to 106,000.

But, as the chart above shows, the recent increase in net EU migration has come from the older, more established (and traditionally more wealthy) EU member states (the EU15), not the new member states from central and eastern Europe that joined in 2004 (the EU8).

That is from Open Europe Blog.

dan1111 November 29, 2013 at 2:25 am

Policy changes have greatly restricted non-EU immigration, so there is no surprise there (as non-EU immigrants who came in early 2011, we would not have been able to come to Britain under current rules).

I am pro-immigration when it comes to jobs, but a significant portion of this debate concerns the right of migrants from poorer parts of the EU to receive British benefits if they move to Britain. Obviously, immigration driven by benefits would be neither beneficial to the economy nor sustainable. One might argue (as I would) that the problem is Britain’s far too generous social safety net, but in Britain “as we find it” that ain’t going away.

Andreas Moser November 29, 2013 at 2:46 am

The most effective policy change has been the replacement of actual policy by vans driving around London with billboards:

On purchasing power parity, British benefits are really not that enticing to many other Europeans. Sure, you get more in housing benefits than in Hungary, but all the money goes to the landlord. If a social safety net were the big draw, then all immigrants would go to Scandinavia or Germany.

dan1111 November 29, 2013 at 3:10 am

It doesn’t have to be the primary draw to be an issue. People that come seeking work can still end up living on government support. Basically, I see Britain as offering some strong disincentives to work, especially at the lower income end of the spectrum. That will be a factor when welcoming large additional numbers of low income workers.

widmerpool November 29, 2013 at 4:17 am

They already speak English, why would they move to Germany?

Axa November 29, 2013 at 6:16 am

Low income/unskilled English speaking immigrants. So, in the long term was it a good thing that Germany lost its colonies in 1919?

Marian Kechlibar November 29, 2013 at 7:47 am

The Swedes and the Norwegians had no colonies in the modern age, and still they are being flooded by asylum seekers.

This is mostly caused by local variant of white guilt and moral gesturing, and not by colonial structures four generations ago.

Rahul November 29, 2013 at 8:45 am

@Marian Kechlibar:

When confronted by an apparently altruistic act, what yardstick do you use to classify it as “white guilt and moral gesturing” versus genuine philanthropy?

I’m assuming you intended “white guilt and moral gesturing” in a snarky, pejorative sense?

Marian Kechlibar November 29, 2013 at 9:06 am

Rather in descriptive sense. Both phenomena seem real to me, and at work.

As for altruism, I do not believe that decisions which politicians make on behalf of everyone else can ever be described as altruistic.

If the individual which makes the decision bears the immediate costs thereof, well, that is altruism. But the cost of political decisions is almost always borne by someone else than the decision maker, and many of the decision makers are not even elected.

As such, I think that use of the word “altruism” isn’t fitting here.

Z November 29, 2013 at 9:50 am

Rahul: Giving away the people’s money and property is not altruism. It is theft. Such moral confusion is how we end up stuffing people into ovens.

prior_approval November 29, 2013 at 10:40 am

‘Rather in descriptive sense. Both phenomena seem real to me, and at work.’

Really? Because in Germany, the right to asylum is based, in a historical sense, on the experience of those the Nazis hunted – successfully or not, depending on individual fate. Germany’s guilt is clear, after all.

But Norway is where Willi Brandt found refuge, though the Norwegians were later invaded by the Nazis. There is very little to suggest that Norway is motivated by any sort of guilt concerning its past.

Sweden might be a little more complex, admittedly – the Swedes were happy to sell war materials to anyone that could pay the bills.

Human decency is rare enough to be skeptical whenever it might appear in human affairs. But when it comes to Denmark (the only European country that was able to save those citizens targeted for extermination by the Nazis), Norway (already noted above), or Iceland (which offers potential asylum to whites, like Assange or Snowden), the idea of guilt or the white man’s burden seems misplaced. At least without a lot of factual evidence to the contrary, of course.

The Anti-Gnostic November 29, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Because in Germany, the right to asylum is based, in a historical sense, on the experience of those the Nazis hunted

Right. Because it all starts with sovereign republics controlling their borders. Next thing you know, it’s the ovens.

prior_approval November 29, 2013 at 1:26 pm

‘Next thing you know, it’s the ovens.’

Since all German students are actually required to visit a concentration camp (an idea that likely started with the Allies showing all those good Germans what was going on in mandatory screenings of what the Allied liberators discovered when destroying the Nazi Reich), this is a wonderfully uninformed comment. At least from a German perspective, where the historical reality of what happened to millions is not something that Germans are ever allowed to forget. If only because, in truth, it did happen.

This is especially true in the case of Willy Brandt, of course – if only because a majority of Germans find him a figure worthy of respect due to his opposition to the Nazis. Because in Germany, it is not that easy to find a Nazi supporter. Oddly, it has little to do with political correctness – unless, of course, one thinks that anyone opposing Nazism is just following a trendy fashion.

Rahul November 29, 2013 at 1:35 pm

“in Germany, it is not that easy to find a Nazi supporter.”

…as opposed to where? What’s our benchmark country here?

prior_approval November 30, 2013 at 4:20 am

‘What’s our benchmark country here?’

The U.S.

No link to a major web site proving the point – due to the powers of filtering software and search machine importance, not too many mainstream websites allow linking to it. And yet, a large number of Americans are familiar with it – which is part of why it exists, after all.

The Anti-Gnostic November 30, 2013 at 10:05 pm

National socialism is a distinctly European phenomenon. Americans can no more be Nazis than they can be Hindus.

msgkings December 1, 2013 at 11:21 am

And there it is. There are around 1.5 million Hindus in the US, most of them citizens.
Bravo, Anti-Gnostic.

jerseycityjoan November 29, 2013 at 6:15 am

I saw the post at your blog about this.

My recollection was that the trucks did not produce good results. I did a Google search and found the BBC and Guardian both had articles on October 31, 2013 saying that a mere 11 people left.

“Eleven illegal migrants left the UK as a result of seeing vans with the message “go home or face arrest”, the Home Office has claimed.

The advertising vans drove around six London boroughs where it is thought a lot of illegal immigrants live.

Plans to use the vans across the UK were ditched after they were condemned by critics.

A report by the Home Office attributed 60 voluntary departures to a wider campaign known as Operation Vaken.

This included newspaper advertisements and postcards in shop windows.”

Why do you think it was many thousands?

Marian Kechlibar November 29, 2013 at 8:05 am

With this kind of return-on-investment, most non-public organizations would sack the CEO.

In case of state bureaucracy, he will probably be promoted.

Alistair November 29, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Actually, it was very cost-effective. The cost of detection and forced deportation is very high.

TMC November 29, 2013 at 11:31 am

11 people? Maybe they had Obama build their call center.

prior_approval November 29, 2013 at 3:12 am

‘concerns the right of migrants from poorer parts of the EU to receive British benefits if they move to Britain’

Which would seem to be one of those peculiar British EU debates, because there is no right to receive benefits as a citizen from one member state of the EU citizen who legally resides in another member state. National laws apply, as they always have.

If national laws allow that someone who has worked legally for a set period of time to collect unemployment insurance, for example, that has nothing to do with intra-EU immigration. It is true that it is not possible for a EU member state to treat citizens from other EU member states unequally and thus deny such benefits – in other words, if British citizens collect unemployment after working for 5 years, then the same must apply to all EU residents who have also worked legally for 5 years in the UK.

‘as non-EU immigrants who came in early 2011, we would not have been able to come to Britain under current rules’

No love for UKIP then, I guess. Though they do have that wonderful dissonance that this web site represents so well – ‘The party describes itself in its constitution as a “democratic, libertarian party” and, as of July 2013, has a membership of 30,000.’

dan1111 November 29, 2013 at 3:23 am

The benefits issue is not so clear as you make it. There are legal requirements upon member states to pay benefits to all EU citizens, and the extent and future shape of these requirements is a major area of debate.

Britain has been threatened with legal action in the past by the European Commission over its limitations on benefits for EU immigrants.

prior_approval November 29, 2013 at 4:53 am

‘There are legal requirements upon member states to pay benefits to all EU citizens’

Assuming you are not talking about EU member state contributions to various things like infrastructure funds which are then distributed throughout the EU, this is simply not true.

No one in Poland has any right to claim health insurance or a pension in Germany, merely by moving to Germany, even when they are legal residents doing temporary work. On the other hand, the Polish government does claim – and enforces – the right to tax temporary Polish worker wages in Germany, particularly in regards to the Polish pension system (this was easily more than a decade in the past – the details could be a bit different than remembered). Which is why Polish temporary workers involved in seasonal agricultural work in this region are no longer found – with the need to pay Polish taxes, the work in Germany was no longer profitable enough to make it worthwhile for anyone involved.

This is not controversial – the EU in no sense provides a framework where a Greek can move to Sweden, and simply claim benefits. What the EU does enforce is a framework that says if a Greek moves to Sweden, and worked legally for twenty years, the Greek citizen is entitled to exactly the same benefits granted to a Sweidsh citizen who has worked legally for 20 years.

It is true that the UK is not a typical member of the EU, with lots of exceptions explicitly granted to the UK from having to follow many of the standard features that other EU nations accept without problem. But there is no way I believe that things that are not practiced in the markedly more generous social welfare state of Germany, a considerably more enthusiastic member of the EU, are somehow common in the UK.

dan1111 November 29, 2013 at 5:22 am

Temporary workers are irrelevant because they are a special category and not residents. The question is the right of someone who takes up residency in Britain to collect benefits.

Britain is currently being threatened with legal action over their fairly minor restrictions placed on EU immigrants:

prior_approval November 29, 2013 at 10:58 am

‘The question is the right of someone who takes up residency in Britain to collect benefits.’

And yet, the EU explicitly does not allow for this. At least if German media sources, which are pretty much universally pro-EU, are to be trusted. Compared to Russian ones, which it must be noted, are anything but. (Which is fair enough, from a Russian perspective – the EU is certainly not Orthodox Christian, and its two leading members have both invaded Russia – disastrously. Then there is that whole democracy/human rights aspect.)

prior_approval November 29, 2013 at 11:31 am

Ok, I actually finally read the actual RT link (between dealing with dinner, and proof of how MR is actually moderated, though I missed the actual cause for what was undoubtedly an ugly thread) which says this – ‘The European Commission is launching legal action against the UK, which it believes discriminates against EU citizens by making them pass an additional test to prove their rights to benefits. The UK says it will fight to keep the extra test.’

That ‘additional’ test is the key – in other words, British residents within other EU countries are not subject to any additional tests to receive benefits, while citizens of other EU member states are subject to it in Britain. See the post below about the Autobahn Maut to get an idea of how that plays out in another EU country, where a group of pioliticians are attempting only to have non-Germans pay to use German autobahns.

Yes, this is precisely the sort of thing the EU is explicitly opposed to.

And though I didn’t write it in the previous reply – is a strange beast (at least in the English edition). Sometimes a very good source of information, and other times so far out that it redefines fringe. Which makes it always worth reading, regardless – no single source has the truth, after all.

prior_approval November 29, 2013 at 5:18 am

‘and the extent and future shape of these requirements is a major area of debate’

Well, not that major, though there is a debate. But until the rich nations of the EU decide to extend their benefits to everyone, the result of that debate is as predictable as it has been for the previous decades.

Checking UK history in this area is not my interest, but I do wonder if the UK was practicing its own version of the American social security scam – foreigners who will never have a claim (due to various elegibility standards) are forced to pay into the American pension system. In Germany (I have been told by a number of other foreigners – some of them British, actually), foreign workers are refunded this money if they decide to leave Germany – and leave the German pension system (strangely, none of those foreigners, including the British, seem to feel this would be to their advantage – but then, it was exactly that idea of pension benefits that were excluded in those rankings of German wealth compared to other EU nations).

Repayment of money in that case seems quite fair. And if such a practice was normal in all EU countries but one, I can certainly see how the EU would enforce the principal of equal treatment of EU citizens by member states. And how that one nation would be unhappy that its revenue enhancing scheme would have to be cancelled, due to EU ‘interference.’.

(See how the ‘Autobahn Maut’ debate is going in Germany – a certain group of Germans would love to have foreigners – and only foreigners, of course – pay a toll for using the autobahn. There may be a way to have this work out in the end, but there are a lot of EU roadblocks involved, mainly because the EU prevents such commonplace attempts to find a free lunch.)

Marian Kechlibar November 29, 2013 at 7:54 am

In my opinion, the Autobahn Maut debate is conducted by the politicians in bad faith. They want to raise taxation in some stealthy way, but do not want to anger the voters with something like that. Therefore, a plan:

1) Build the necessary infrastructure for comprehensive toll collection, while claiming that it will be used against foreigners only.
2) Sooner or later, some EU-wide structure will slap them on a wrist.
3) “Sorry, people, we must alter the law. Either we must abolish the system, or include the Germans as well. Sorry, but Brussels told us so. It would be uneconomical nonsense to dismantle all the toll gates and IT systems, which cost tens of millions of Euro to build, wouldn’t it?”
4) And suddenly, the entire Germany is stuck with highway toll, while hating the Brussels for it! Sweet.

It is always a mistake to let the politicians build systems for extraction of money from some minority. Sooner or later, these will be extended to cover everyone. Step by step.

But you can’t explain this to an average voter with no knowledge of history.

Rahul November 29, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Technically the cohort of all incoming foreigners may be a “minority” but the precedent of charging foreigners a surcharge seems hardly unique. UK is charging ~$100 for an air-side transit visa for crying out loud.

Even within the US, out of state visitors get to pay a higher fee at state parks, for fishing, hunting permits etc. Chicago etc. even have a dual tariff at museums etc. for non-city residents.

I’m not judging the desirability of such foreigner-targetting policies, but they seem quite common.

prior_approval November 29, 2013 at 1:31 pm

‘I’m not judging the desirability of such foreigner-targetting policies, but they seem quite common.’

Sure – but the EU, as an institution designed to be a supra-state, does not allow them. Which is why those who use such policies tend to oppose the EU.

Though it is complex, of course – municipalities are completely allowed to charge different prices at a zoo, for example, between people living in a municipality and those who don’t. They just aren’t allowed to charge a different price between people living in a municipality who are members of that EU state, and people living in that municipality who are EU citizens who do not belong to that state.

This isn’t all that different from the American model, actually.

Thomas B November 30, 2013 at 12:49 am

You’re apparently worried that, through the pursuit of your pro-immigration position, the government would unintentionally strengthen your case against generous social benefits.

Have you considered the possibility that there might not actually be a conflict here? :)

Bill D November 29, 2013 at 3:33 am

In other words, you still have hundreds of thousands of immigrants from everywhere coming in. You still have 150,000 blacks and subcons flooding in. Not to mention the reproductive rates of these people once they’re in the UK.

Marian Kechlibar November 29, 2013 at 5:35 am

Given that most people in Britain live in several rather small regions, the density of population there must be terrifying – at least for Western standards.

Maybe, if the UK developed a green movement, the immigration would be stopped in the name of nature preservation.

Nevertheless, the whole problem is a manifestation of the fact that you can’t have 1) a generous welfare system and 2) a generous border regime at the same time.

Of course, there is a lot of UK politicians who take either 1) or 2) as an article of faith and will not compromise. In the long run, I think that the nationalist tendencies will win. Tribalism is much stronger and much more rooted in human psyche than most of the modern intellectuals care to believe.

dan1111 November 29, 2013 at 5:51 am

I think the nationalism will win, too. The welfare beneficiaries can vote, while the potential immigrants cannot.

mike November 29, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Nationalism has already won, in that the nationalist/racialist “immigrants” and their countries have successfully bullied the weak shitlib-dominated countries into bending over and accepting the invasion

Rahul November 29, 2013 at 6:16 am

I think things will get interesting post January 2014 when Romanians and Bulgarians get free entry.

Marian Kechlibar November 29, 2013 at 5:16 am

I am not sure why people use words such as “sub-human” at all.

For me, the “human” category is wide enough to encompass just about anything.

Rahul November 29, 2013 at 6:07 am

This is more about rule changes than deep trends. UK in the last few years changed tons of visa rules that make it much harder to get in.

dearieme November 29, 2013 at 6:45 am

Necessarily the charts won’t include the (perhaps large?) flows of illegals. Do they include the asylum-shoppers?

ummm November 29, 2013 at 6:51 am

Boris Johnson: Economic equality isn’t possible – some people have low IQs
Thursday 28 Nov 2013 8:35 am

dan1111 November 29, 2013 at 7:28 am

Are you quoting that approvingly or disapprovingly? Or just throwing it out there?

Marian Kechlibar November 29, 2013 at 7:41 am

I read the discussions on The Guardian and on Telegraph, and they are hilarious (in a sad way). Rather confirming my view that people are mostly outraged by statements which they fear might be true.

One commenter (probably inadvertently) uncovered his bitter way of thinking screaming that (citation) “Britain is no true meritocracy, where the most intelligent would be the richest.”

This is a condensed expression of an ugly sort of envy which I so often meet in intellectual circles: “Hey, we are so bright, how come that we do not get all the money and they won’t let us rule you.”

No, morons, high intelligence isn’t merit (as in meritocracy) and certainly shouldn’t constitute a ticket to power.

I still think that a lot of people are deliberately obtuse in this regard. The real IQ-vs-wealth connection is on the lower end of the scale, not on the upper one. Once you’re above a certain threshold, your judgment will probably be fine enough to save you from most self-made disasters.

Rahul November 29, 2013 at 7:49 am

What is true merit, in your definition of meritrocracy?

Marian Kechlibar November 29, 2013 at 7:56 am

Good question. There is probably no good definiton. I would say “the counterpart of nepotism and bribery”, but this is probably too simple.

Claudia November 29, 2013 at 9:58 am

Brian, I asked Tyler to delete my comment since he had already deleted the rest of the thread here that I was responding to. It’s okay, time to move back to the substance … it’s more fun anyway.

prior_approval November 30, 2013 at 4:22 am

I’ve never needed to ask, actually.

Steve Sailer November 29, 2013 at 3:45 pm

As the graph shows, non-EU immigration into Britain is much larger than EU immigration. You hear so much English opposition expressed to Polish immigrants for various reasons, including that they are the safest group to protest:

- Poles are white
- Poles mostly work
- Poles don’t commit too many crimes
- Poles don’t have many deeply alien customs such as forced marriages of girls to first cousins
- Poles might even go home someday

yi November 29, 2013 at 6:21 pm

It’s funny that the white countries are so easily invaded.
Asians wouldn’t allow that voluntarily. Only at the point of a gun. And we would correct the problem if and when we took back control.

Weak cultures get what they deserve I suppose.

lbc November 29, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I bet you the recent spike in EU15 immigration is French people after Hollande was elected…

ChrisA November 29, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Just to note there are very large numbers of British born people living overseas, massive numbers if you include the people in places like Australia and New Zealand who were born in Britain. So it is a bit much for British people to complain about people wanting to do the same and come to the UK.

I must admit, when I visit the UK, I think the immigration has really been a net benefit so far, the standards of service in restaurants and pubs has gone way up, cleaners and builders are much cheaper than before. The crime rate, at least according to official statistics, is actually at an all time low, and the UK was already a pretty low crime country ( Also, in terms of “alteration of the British culture” concern, apart from Asian ghettos in the North, the vast majority of the immigration is in the London region, which has always had a pretty transient population anyway. I am not sure anyway there is such a thing as a national culture, paradoxically the UK culture has always been more about individualism and personal rights vs the state anyway. I am pretty sure the amount of immigrants on benefits is trivial compared with the state budget as well.

All in all, immigration into the UK, is not really something sensible people should be worried about.

Troxy November 30, 2013 at 12:16 am

British indians have better percapita income than british poles.

Punjabi wedding clothes December 3, 2013 at 5:25 am

Along with the all other things the trends and fashion also get immigrated from one place to other. I think people have a very obvious tendency to imitate other people in fashion. The above post is quite a well known post for such a delightful aspect i.e fashion immigration.

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