Tories slam government’s immigration policy

The Conservative Party is demanding the government explain its policy on immigration control after official statistics revealed 1,500 migrants arrive in the UK every day.

This adds up to an annual net increase of 185,000 people a year.

The figures from the Office of National Statistics also show in 2005 565,000 people arrived in the UK with the intention of staying for at least a year, while 380,000 others left the country – more than half of them British.

Shadow immigration minister Damian Green says: “Even though more than a thousand people a day are leaving Blair’s Britain, the net immigration figure for 2005 is again huge.

“”The government needs to tell us whether it plans to have around 200,000 extra people coming to Britain every year, or whether the recent figures are just a symptom of lack of control.

“There are some economic benefits, but this puts a big strain on house-building, schools and local services in some parts of the country.

“Without a visible improvement in the government’s ability to plan and control immigration, public confidence in the system will remain low.”

In 2005, some 121,000 immigrants, the largest group, were from the Indian sub-continent. In addition, 80,000 people arrived with the intention to stay for at least a year, from the eight new EU member states, well up on the 52,000 registered in the previous 12 months.