From April 2014 to April 2015, 641,000 migrants moved to the UK to work or to live (Border Agency and Migration Watch).
This was eagerly seized upon by UKIP and the crypto UKIPers in the other political parties as an illustration of the failure of the coalition Government’s immigration policies.
The Office of National Statistics can only provide estimates of who these migrants are, where they came from and why they came to the UK (dysfunctional Border Agency).
The electorate have no interest in the 300,000 people who left the UK but they do care about the 641,000 ‘strangers’ they see and hear in their neighbourhood or persuade themselves that they see and hear in their neighbourhood.
Of these ‘strangers’, some 83,000 were British citizens returning to the UK after living or working overseas, mainly in the EU. Most will have paid contributions into the UK benefits scheme.
Would UKIP and their fellow travellers really exclude returning Brits from their home country?
The UK post-school education system has an international reputation for the excellence and quality of its teaching and research opportunities that attracts 193,000 students to study recognised validated courses at reputable universities, colleges and schools.
Foreign student fees help maintain the reputation of UK higher education. Student visas are time limited but can be extended while students gain valuable work experience. Most will ultimately return to their home countries.
Some 91,000 dependents entered the UK accompanying migrants.
Do UKIP advocate separating wives and children from their husbands and fathers?
Some 41,000 enter the UK for miscellaneous reasons, while 26,000 are admitted without any indication as to why they are coming to the UK (more evidence of a dysfunctional Border Agency?).
A further 178,000 came to the UK with a definite job offer, including many well-educated professional English-speaking health workers, lawyers, accountants, financial workers, engineers, IT staff, teachers, designers and trained craft workers. A further 106,000 migrants came seeking employment.
Where did these migrants come from? Only 268,000 came from the EU (including most of the returning Brits, and including, French, Spanish, Scandinavians, Italians as well as east Europeans).
Would UKIP and its fellow travellers exclude the skilled professional and manual workers the UK economy needs now?
Some 128,000 came from the Commonwealth (Australasia, Canada, South Asia, Africa and the Caribbean) many with family connections with UK citizens, while another 162,000 came from the rest of the world.
Of the 641,000, some 276,000 are returning Brits or students. Are these really migrants?
How many of the 128,000 coloured Commonwealth citizens would the colour blind UKIPers and their fellow travellers deny access to the UK?
How many citizens of the Commonwealth or other countries would they deny access to while expecting those countries to buy more British exports?
What would the UKIPers and their fellow travellers do about the Irish? There has been free movement of people to live and work between the UK and Ireland since 1922.
The Irish are EU citizens and, in number, they constitute the largest non-British born ethnic group in the UK (border controls against the Irish?).
Mr Foyster, surely now UKIP will explain what the Australian points-based immigration system is, how it works, what changes we would have to introduce to make it work and which of last year’s influx of migrants into the UK would have been excluded had it been in place.