Annual immigration figures for calendar 2008, the last before the election, will be published by the ONS on Thursday 26 November. The note (Briefing Paper 9.26)puts the figures, and Government claims about their immigration policy, into perspective.
We expect the net immigration figure to be about 150,000 compared to 237,000 for 2007 – a drop of 37%.
The reason has very little to do with government policy. 75% of the drop is due to more East Europeans going home.
Contrary to government claims, the new immigration figures have already been largely factored into the latest ONS population projections which point to a UK population of 70 million in 2029.
The projections show no sign of the population increase starting to slow down as the Immigration Minister has claimed. To the contrary, they show continued rapid growth.
The figures will confirm that we are on track for over 3 million immigrants under Labour – even that is not counting illegal immigrants.