Net migration numbers to Britain will stand at more than 250,000 a year for at least the next two decades, if the UK opts to remain as a part of the European Union, according to an anti-immigration think-tank.
The analysis comes from Migration Watch, which said that it predicted annual migration to stand at 265,000 a year by 2035, with 60 per cent of those coming from EU nations. The remaining 40 per cent would be from non-EU countries and would require a UK visa.
Last year, official figures showed that UK net migration – the difference between people leaving and arriving to live in the UK for at least 12 months – was 330,000. The figure is the second highest that has been recorded.
Migration Watch said it had based its predictions for the next 20 years on a model where the UK remained as part of the EU and Turkey did not join the European superstate and have the rights to freedom of movement between member countries.
The 250,000 net migration a year figure was at the top end of its predictions. At the other end of the scale, it calculated that the figure would stand at around 205,000 a year. This was based on the Government reducing EU migration to 135,000 and the country taking in only a small percentage of refugees that have arrived in the EU. The lower figure also was based on the non-EU migration figure, with people requiring UK visas to come to Britain, falling to 100,000 annually and 50,000 British citizens leaving each year.
Migration Watch, actively campaigns to stop more people migrating to Britain, said its upper figure was a cautious estimate, and it criticised what it said was complacency about the way migration was changing the UK.