Anil Dawar, Express, August 26, 2015
Oxford University experts predict that the figures will confirm the population landmark has been reached, with one in eight UK residents born abroad.
The Office for National Statistics bulletin is also likely to show net migration is at a record high. It follows years of migrants flooding in because of Labour’s open-door border policy, which the last coalition government failed to stem.
The shock figures do not include numbers for illegal immigrants.
Ukip blamed the EU freedom of movement rules for Britain’s soaring foreign population.
The party’s migration spokesman Steven Woolfe said: “These numbers show the impact of uncontrolled EU migration on our country.
“On top of this visible, legal population growth, we have the explosion of undocumented illegal immigrants.
“How the authorities can plan the future of Britain’s public services with population growth on this scale is never explained.
“Until the Prime Minister faces up to the reality – that the way illegal immigrants are being dealt with and that the free movement of people within the EU is a major cause of discontent – the Government can never come up with sensible solutions.”
He added: “The UK needs to leave the EU as soon as possible.”
Alp Mehmet of Migration Watch said: “These figures do not surprise me.
Labour let immigration get out of control and the Coalition Government couldn’t get a grip on it.
“Now it is down to the Conservative Government to try to get a grip.
“While I have no doubt the foreign born population is over eight million, it is more important to find out why that has happened and why the public are so worried about it.
“Instead of cutting the Home Office budget, they need to put in more resources to deal with the issue.”
Research published yesterday by the Migration Observatory, part of Oxford University, showed that in 2004 the UK’s population of foreigners stood at just over five million.
It reached six million in 2006 and went past the seven million mark in 2009.
In 2013, it stood at 7.9 million, of which nearly two in three came from outside the EU.
Researchers do not believe the trend will be reversed in the Office of National Statistics figures for 2014, are released tomorrow.
The Migration Observatory said in its report: “The number of UK residents born abroad has increased steadily over time.
The current trend suggests it is likely to exceed eight million for the first time in 2014.”
Rob McNeil of the Migration Observatory, added: “The pace of change appears to have been slightly slower in the last few years, almost certainly because of the economic crisis.
The foreign-born population has gone up over time, despite tighter government immigration policy, such as the income threshold for migrants and restrictions on family visas.
It most likely would have been faster had those policies not been in place.” Ministers are braced for the likelihood that tomorrow’s figures will show net migration at a record high.
The most recent data shows that net annual migration to Britain in 2014 hit 318,000, a rise of 109,000 on 2013 and just 2,000 below the 2005 peak.
Only a small rise last year would set a new record. David Cameron vowed to cut net migration to “tens of thousands” a year by 2015.
When it became clear the target would not be met, Home Secretary Theresa May reduced the pledge to an “aim” or an “ambition.”
The country currently has 64.6 million residents. That is up by 491,000 in a year, due mainly to migration.
India, Poland, Pakistan and Ireland top the list of countries of birth for the UK’s foreign contingent.
But the number of migrants from within the EU is a growing proportion.
In 2004 they made up 28 per cent of Britain’s foreign-born residents.
By 2013 it was 35 per cent and tomorrow’s data could show a further increase.
The growth has been fuelled by European economic migrants taking advantage Britain’s boom.
A survey last week showed immigration is the biggest worry for UK voters, overtaking the NHS and the economy.