The financial crisis engulfing the eurozone has driven tens of thousands more migrants into Britain.
The numbers arriving from countries worst-hit by the continent’s recession – such as Spain, Greece and Portugal – have leapt by as much as 50 per cent, official figures show.
The surge from southern Europe is a blow to ministers, whose efforts to cut migration have stalled.
David Cameron had pledged to reduce net migration – the number of new arrivals minus those leaving – to ‘tens of thousands’ by the next election.
However, latest figures suggest that while the Government is cutting the number coming in from outside the European Union, they are being replaced by migrants travelling within it.