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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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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

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