London: British Prime Minister David Cameron
is going to miss his target of reducing annual net migration
back to the "tens of thousands" by 2015, a think-tank warned on Sunday.
Issuing its forecast for 2012, the Institute for Public
Policy Research predicted that Britain`s net migration -- the
difference between the number of people entering and the
number leaving -- would be 180,000 in the year ahead, down
from a record 252,000 in 2010.
The IPPR said the government`s best hope of getting it
below 100,000 would be to make Britain less attractive to
migrants and drive away migrants from the European Union who
were already here.
Workers are free to come and go as they please within the
The IPPR also warned that Britons still had little
confidence that any government would get to grips with mass
Immigration and the rising population regularly top
surveys of British voter concerns and it remains a thorny
"While policy changes will start to achieve significant
reductions in immigration from outside the EU, this will not
be enough to put the government on track to hit its target,"
said Matt Cavanagh, the IPPR`s associate director for British
Restrictions on immigration brought in by the government
could also be a drag on the British economy when the demand
for more workers rises, he added.
While there was strong public support for reducing
immigration, there were also "surveys showing equally strong
doubts that they will deliver this, and very mixed support at
the level of detailed policies", Cavanagh said.
"By promising what it cannot deliver, the government, far
from achieving its stated aim of taking the heat out of this
emotive issue, will instead feed the public`s sense of
disillusionment," he said.
The British population stood at 62,262,000 in mid-2010,
according to figures released in June by the Office for
Between 1999 and 2008, migration had been the main
contributor to population growth in Britain.
The IPPR predicted that the number of migrants coming to
Britain from outside the EU would fall by about 10 per cent in
2012, fuelled by new restrictions on foreign students and
worsening economic conditions.
Meanwhile restrictions on non-EU family migration were
likely be snarled up in the courts, the report said.