David Davis calls on the Government to release the number of EU nationals with UK National Insurance numbers
As reported in the Daily Express:
Give Us the Truth: Britons Must be told how many migrants live in UK, watchdog warns
Britons must be told the truth about immigration before the EU referendum, a watchdog has warned the Office for National Statistics .
The UK Statistics Authority has told the ONS, a Government department, there is “speculation about the quality” of migration figures.
The public must be told if official data “falls sort of providing a picture” about the number of migrants in the UK, an UKSA spokesman said.
Recent ONS figures about EU migrants have differed from data released by the Department of Work and Pensions.
In a letter sent last week, Ed Humpherson of the UKSA highlighted “the lack of a clear explanation of the differences between the DWP and ONS figures”.
Failing to address this could “undermine public confidence in official migration estimates”, Mr Humpherson said.
He added: “It is also important that the strengths and limitations of all the data sources are well explained.”
Lord Green of Deddington, chairman of Migration Watch, last night said Mr Humpherson’s letter was “a very significant development”.
He added: “At issue is whether immigration has, in fact, been significantly higher in recent years than the official immigration figures have suggested.
“Sorting this out must surely be the top priority for the ONS in the period before the referendum.”
Earlier this month a Tory backbencher urged officials to explain the discrepancy between Government statistics about immigration.
David Davis urged HMRC to reveal how many EU migrants were handed national insurance numbers last year, saying official data “may be a dramatic underestimate”.
He added: “We can only know the truth of the matter if HMRC release their data on active EU national insurance numbers, which has HMRC has refused to do.”