ONS: Net migration in UK rises to 243,000

Overall net migration - the difference between migrants leaving and arriving in the UK - rose to 243,000 in the year to March, a "statistically significant increase" from 175,000 the previous year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

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Labour: Tory immigration promises 'in tatters'

Labour say today's net migration figures show David Cameron's pledge to bring numbers down to below 100,000 is "in tatters".

Yvette Cooper hit out at the Government over immigration. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire/Press Association Images

"David Cameron and Theresa May must now admit that their net migration target is in tatters and they have utterly broken their grand immigration promises," Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said in a statement.

"David Cameron promised "no ifs, no buts" that net migration would fall to the tens of thousands. Instead it has gone up by nearly 70,000 in the last year," she added.

Clegg hits out at 'meaningless' Tory migration target

Nick Clegg has attacked his Tory coalition partners over immigration, claiming their target of bringing net migration down to the tens of thousands is "meaningless".

The Deputy Prime Minister was speaking after new figures showed net migration - the difference between the number of people entering and leaving the UK - was 243,000 in the year to March.

This was a "statistically significant" increase from the previous year's total of 175,000, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Nick Clegg made the comments on his weekly radio phone-in. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Speaking on his weekly LBC phone-in, Mr Clegg said: "It's a slightly meaningless target, you could have a million people leave this country and 1 million come in and hey, presto, you've met your target of no net immigration, so I don't think it makes a great deal of sense."

He also said the public's confidence in the immigration system had been "very, very badly shaken" in recent years.


Government 'remains focused on controlling migration'

The Government says it remains focused on controlling migration despite new figures showing a "significant increase" in net migration to the UK.

Immigration and Security minister James Brokenshire said the government was continuing to enforce reforms that is fair to "legitimate migrants but is tough on those who flout the rules".

We are creating a system that is fair to British citizens and legitimate migrants but is tough on those who flout the rules.

The Government has reformed benefits, healthcare and housing rules to make them among the tightest in Europe and we continue to see an increase in the number of British citizens in work.

In the past, the majority of growth in employment was taken up by foreign nationals. In the last year, three-quarters of it was accounted for by UK nationals.

The new Immigration Act continues our reforms by limiting benefits and services for illegal immigrants and making it easier to remove those with no right to be here by reducing the number of appeals.

– James Brokenshire

Net migration to UK increases

There was a net flow of 243,000 long-term migrants to the UK in the year ending March - up from 175,000 in the previous year.

The government has aimed to reduce net migration to below 100,000. Credit: PA Wire

The Office for National Statistics said the overall net migration - the difference between migrants leaving and arriving in the UK - had seen a "statistically significant increase".

Two-thirds of all immigrants to the UK within this period came from within the European Union.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May previously pledged to cut net migration to below 100,000 by the 2015 General Election.

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