Commenting on the new migration figures, Atul Hatwal, director of the Migration Matters Trust said,
"Immigration is rising because our economy is expanding. We have the best part of 1m vacancies in the British economy and Britain's businesses are desperate for skilled labour. Without migrants' skills, orders will go unfulfilled, businesses will suffer, the economy will stall and jobs will be at risk.
A recent report by KPMG on construction highlighted how almost £100bn of planned projects are under threat over the next two years because of skills shortages. The vast majority of the workers whose jobs would be threatened by any shortfall in business, are British. The reality is that skilled migration actually helps protect British jobs by enabling the UK's businesses to meet demand.
The political parties need to be brave enough to be straight about this, with the British people.
Britain needs immigration, immigration is broadly good for the country, that's why its rising. It would be rising under a government of any stripe.
Until all parties are clear about this simple reality, the British public will continue to be sceptical about what politicians' say about immigration."