The immigration of migrants to the British population continues to increase, as official figures show, that the government has failed to meet its goal of reducing net migration to tens of thousands for the 37th time in a row.

The latest official migration numbers, published under the direction of Theresa May, show that in 2018, 258,000 more people moved to the UK, 602,000 arrived and 343,000 emigrated.

Looking more closely at data from the National Statistics Office (ONS), long-term immigration in the EU has fallen since 2016, to the lowest level since 2013. 201,000 people from EU countries arrive and 127,000 leave the EU.

However, statistics also show that net immigration from non-EU countries has gradually increased over the last five years and that 232,000 non-EU citizens have arrived more than relocated last year.

uk migration

The figures are in line with Brexit's arguments to "regain control over migration" by ending free movement, as net migration growth is driven by non-EU migration, which the UK already controls.

May was a staunch supporter of the government's net migration goal since it was unveiled in 2010, first as Interior Minister and then as Prime Minister, despite repeated warnings about using the metric.

Sunder Katwala, director of the Migration Fund British Future, said: "This will be the final immigration statistics for Theresa May as Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, placing the net migration goal at the center of the government's immigration policy.

"The net migration goal, however, was a promise to voters that could never be met. As a result, public confidence in the government's ability to manage immigration is the deepest. Your successor should look at this record and come to the conclusion that it is time to move on. If you hit your head against a wall 37 times in a row, you'll get bigger political headaches. "

The number of work visas increased by 11%, with the number of (qualified) work visas of level 2 increased by 15%.

The Department of the Interior announced that the deletion of doctors and nurses from the Tier 2 ceiling resulted in a 62% increase in the number of sponsored applications for skilled work in the field of health and social work.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said: "These figures show that the United Kingdom continues to attract professionals, such as doctors and nurses, who play an important role in helping our communities and boosting our economy.

"Net migration remains stable and if we leave the EU, our new immigration system will give us more control over who comes here, while giving employers access to the skills they need."