David Cameron REFUSES to release figures that would ‘prove the true level’ of EU migration to the UK
HMRC issues thousands more national insurance numbers to EU migrants than officially arrive in Britain
Cameron claims the gap is due to ‘very short-term visits’ by some migrants
David Davis demands ‘immediate’ release of data to give voters the ‘truth’
By MATT DATHAN, MAILONLINE POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT
3 March 2016
David Cameron has refused a request to release statistics that Eurosceptics say will prove how many EU migrants actually enter Britain every year.
HMRC issues thousands more national insurance numbers to EU migrants than officially arrive in Britain but the tax office has repeatedly refused to publish the figures on the grounds that it might influence the outcome of June’s EU referendum.
Leading Eurosceptic Tory MP David Davis demanded the Prime Minister step in to tell HMRC to release the figures ‘immediately’ so voters are given the ‘truth’ about EU immigration.
A national insurance number is needed to get a job or claim benefits in the UK and whereas UK-born nationals are automatically assigned a number, those arriving from abroad must register with the Department for Work and Pensions, meaning the Government holds the data on record.
Figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) last month found 257,000 EU migrants came to the UK last year but over the same period 630,000 EU citizens registered for a national insurance number.
In the last five years 2.25 million EU nationals have registered for a national insurance number but according to the ONS just one million EU citizens have arrived in the country in the same period.
HMRC has refused to say how many of those national insurance numbers given to EU workers are active and have left the gap between the two sets of data unexplained.
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