New Zealanders worried about the exodus of Kiwis to Australia should spare a thought for their Commonwealth cousins in Britain.
More than 3.5 million people left the UK permanently in the 10 years to 2011, according to the Office for National Statistics.
And of these 2 million were of working age, forcing employers to rely on immigrant workers flooding into the country in their droves.
Migration Watch UK says net immigration quadrupled to nearly 200,000 a year between 1997 and 2009, with more than 3 million immigrants arriving since 1997.
The migration watchdog says the population of the UK will grow by over 7 million to 70 million in the next 16 years, 5 million through immigration.
The European Union’s freedom of movement legislation opened the floodgates for thousands of Poles and other Eastern Europeans to enter Britain in 2004.
Their numbers are expected to be boosted dramatically later this year when Romanians and Bulgarians are granted the same freedom of movement rights.
Migration Watch UK is predicting this will result in 250,000 extra immigrants arriving in Britain over a five-year period.
At crisis point
The social and economic effects are enormous, with some towns already at crisis point, swamped with immigrants.
The gravity of the situation was brought home during a live television debate on the BBC last week.
Angered by a Cambridge University academic dismissing claims that migrants were overwhelming the Lincolnshire town of Boston, a member of the audience put a flea in her ear.
In an impassioned speech Rachel Bull, herself a resident of Boston, said: “Boston is at breaking point. All the locals can’t cope any more.
“You go down to Boston High Street and it’s just like you’re in a foreign country. It’s got to stop. The services are at breaking point.”
Mrs Bull (35), an office manager, says she doesn’t blame the migrants.
"It’s not their fault. They are only doing what the law allows them to do, which is come over here and work.
“I blame the government for not realising the impact it’s having on ordinary people – or managing it.
“The politicians in London and the academics are living in another world. They have no idea of what effect their policies are having,” she said.
Over the past 10 years an influx of mainly Eastern Europeans has increased the population of Boston by 15%.
According to the Daily Mail, most come looking for work picking cauliflowers, leeks, sprouts and beetroot in Lincolnshire’s vast fields.
The newspaper says officially there are 61,000 people living in the market town, which in medieval times was at the heart of the English wool trade.
However, the borough council believes the true figure is more like 70,000.
Compared to the UK, New Zealand had an overall net loss of 4120 migrants in the August 2012 year, continuing a trend that has gone on since the October 2011 year.
The record annual net loss to Australia of 39,956 was offset by net gains of migrants from most other countries including the UK (5400), China (5200), and India (5100).
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