The number of EU migrants working in the UK will finally be revealed just weeks before the referendum on Britain’s EU membership – in a move that could prove immigration has been seriously underestimated by official statistics.
HM Revenue and Customs will provide figures on how many national insurance numbers are actively being used by people from the European Economic Area after MPs mounted a battle to gain access to the statistics.
Earlier this year, the prime minister also agreed to push for the release after David Davis, a senior Tory MP, said he believed the number of NI numbers issued to EU migrants has been hundreds of thousands higher than the official immigration figures.
“That implies that the official immigration figures may be a dramatic underestimate,” Davis told David Cameron in the House of Commons.
“We can know the truth of the matter only if Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs releases its data on active EU national insurance numbers, but HMRC has refused to do so. Will the prime minister instruct HMRC to release those statistics immediately so that we can understand the truth about European Union immigration?”