Record number of Britons quit UK for better lives abroad

29 January 2008 / by Verity G
The UK is losing almost 700 Britons a day as record numbers quit the country for better lives abroad, it has emerged.

High taxes, worrying crime statistics, poor weather and general overcrowding are being touted as the main reasons for the mass exodus as Brits opt for a total change of scenery and buy property in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the US, France and Spain.

According to Government statistics, a record 250,000 emigrated last year which is the equivalent of 684 people a day– a fifth more than 2006 figures and an incredible 70 per cent jump from the 149,000 people leaving the British Isles just over a decade ago in 1997.

The news coincides with a review investigating the economic impact of immigration currently being conducted by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee.

Speaking to reporters for the Daily Mail, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migration Watch, an independent think tank said: "The issue at stake is quality of life. The population of England alone will go up by nearly 10 million in the next 75 years and people are realising we cannot absorb immigrants on that scale.

"There's a good case for limited immigration but the uncontrolled immigration we see at the moment is affecting our quality of life, so it's hardly surprising more people are considering a move."

However, as more Brits leave, they are being quickly replaced by vast numbers of newcomers entering the country. Figures from the Office for National Statistics report in 2006 revealed the number of foreigners coming to live in Britain went up by nearly 10 per cent that year.

Despite the common misconception that UK immigrants are from the newly acceded EU member states of Eastern Europe, the reality is fewer than one in five hails from Europe. Most new immigrants come from Commonwealth countries in the Indian sub-continent and Africa. While over 150,000 new immigrants came to the UK as students, nearly a quarter of a million of those arriving said they came to find employment.

Last year's Government study on migration figures predicted the UK's population could rise to more than 100 million in just over 60 years.

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