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The UK, EU and Immigration

A few stats for you to think about with the EU referendum fast approaching. A grand total of 7.95m people live in the UK who were born outside. As of 2014 those from the EU accounted for only a third of that figure and those from the Western European EU14 account for the majority of that, a total of 1.45m. The two largest EU14 countries in terms of citizens living in the UK are Ireland and Germany, a combined figure of 684,000.

Until the last three years at least 60% of the net migration into the UK has come from outside the EU and even in 2013, 2014 and 2015 it was the majority. Since 1991 75% of the net migration into the UK has been from outside the EU. After the initial movement following the accession of the EU8 in 2004, post 2007 more inward migration has come from the EU 14 than the Eastern and Central European EU8 countries.

By the way over a million UK born citizens live in the rest of the EU15 (I was one of them for 12 years), out of a total of 4.9m living outside of the UK. This is a figure that has nearly doubled from 2.6m in 1990. To put that into context the only countries that have more of their citizens living overseas are India, Mexico, Russia, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Ukraine, Philippines and Syria, all of which either have considerably larger populations than the UK or in the case of Ukraine and Syria have bigger problems to deal with at present. We are, as we always have been, as much a country of emigrants as one of immigrants.

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