Two Million More EU Migrants Living in the UK Than Government Claimed

/ AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

In a “shocking blunder”, the British government has undercounted the number of European Union migrants living in the country by over two million, according to figures compiled for the post-Brexit immigration settlement scheme.

Some 5.6 million EU nationals have applied for settled status to stay and work in post-Brexit Britain as of May 31st. The true number of migrants from the European Union in the UK is likely to be higher, given that it is unlikely for 100 per cent of migrants to have come forward and apply for the settlement scheme, applications for which will remain open until June 30th.

Even so, the number is more than two million higher than the official estimate compiled by the government in the year to June 2020, which claimed that there were only 3.45 million (non-Irish) EU nationals living in the country.

The latest figures, which detail the number of EU migrants living in each local authority in England and Wales, show that certain areas of the country such as West Sussex, Wolverhampton, and some London boroughs had undercounted the number of EU nationals by over 80 per cent, reports the BBC.

The government also revealed that certain nationalities had been vastly undercounted, including people from Romania, 918,270 of whom have applied for the right to remain in the country — of which 852,310 have been approved — compared to the previous official population estimate of around 400,000.

So far, some 2.75 million people have been granted settled status, which allows people who can prove they have been continuously living in the UK for at least five years prior to the country’s departure from the EU at the beginning of the year.

An additional 2.28 million have been approved for pre-settled status, which will allow people who have been in the country for less than five years to remain.

Commenting on the massive disparity, the chairman of Migration Watch UK, Alp Mehmet, told Breitbart London: “The numbers speak for themselves. Nor is it the first time the government has got the number of immigrants who are here scandalously wrong.

“Make no mistake, this is a shocking blunder – on a par with the mistake over the number of Eastern Europeans who were expected to come here following the EU’s 2004 enlargement.

“We must be told why the government got it so wrong. Without a credible explanation, official statistics and future forecasts will invariably be treated with the scepticism they deserve.”

While the government has not provided an explanation for the disparity, the difference between the previous estimate and the reality may have come in part as a result of the previous immigration counting system, the International Passenger Survey (IPS)

The IPS would tally an estimate based on a voluntary clipboard survey of 250,000 arrivals per year at some points of entry to the country, instead of simply counting the number of people coming in and out of the UK.

An updated and supposedly more accurate method has been introduced in which the government tracks the number of people through tax filings and welfare benefit. However, it remains to be seen if it will produce more accurate immigration numbers.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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