1.6 million migrants from the EU settle in Britain: That’s equal to populations of Manchester and Birmingham combined in just nine years
- An average of 500 people a day have exercised their right to free movement
- Campaigners say figures show Britain must quit EU to control borders
- It follows revelations of how free movement rules have let dozens of foreign criminals commit horrific offences in the UK
More than 1.6 million migrants moved to Britain from within the EU in less than a decade.
The astonishing figure – the equivalent to the populations of Manchester and Birmingham combined – settled here between 2006 and 2014, according to the UK Statistics Authority.
It means an average of 500 people every day for nine years exercised their right to free movement – adding to the pressure on Britain’s schools, hospitals and other infrastructure.
And with migration from within the EU continuing to run at record levels over the past two years, the true total now will be even higher.
Campaigners said the figures showed that, if Britain wants to control its borders and plan properly for the future, it must quit the EU.
It follows revelations of how the free movement rules have let dozens of foreign criminals commit horrific offences in Britain.
In a speech today, Justice Minister Dominic Raab will warn that the ‘unyielding’ edict is also giving a ‘free pass’ to extremists and terror suspects.
Mr Raab will say that, where the UK has ‘sketchy intelligence’ that somebody may be linked to terrorism, the bar for denying them a right to free movement is set so high that we have to let them in.
The migration figures were compiled by the statistics authority following a request by eurosceptic Tory MP Anne Main.
In 2014 alone, 287,000 people from within the EU – many from Eastern Europe – settled in Britain. Separate figures compiled by the United Nations suggest there are now 2.9 million EU nationals living in Britain.
By comparison, there are 1.2 million Britons living in other EU countries.
Employment Minister Priti Patel said: ‘These levels of immigration are far too high for this country to sustain.
With housing, schools and the NHS all under pressure, this country will not be able to cope with the demands from further waves of migration on this scale from the EU.
‘While the UK remains a member of the EU we are powerless to stop or control the numbers coming in. We can only take control of our immigration
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