The need for change:
- According to Government statistics, one immigrant arrives every minute, and a new British passport is issued every three minutes. In England, a new home for immigrants needs to be built every seven minutes; this will continue for the next 20 years.
- More people arrive in the UK in a single year (2010) than did so in the entire period from 1066 to 1950, excluding wartime. Over the last ten years non-British net migration was 2.8 million.
- Contrary to public perceptions, over the last ten years 74% of net foreign migration has come from outside the European Union. Refugees are now relatively few in number – in the year ending June 2012, 5,807 asylum seekers were granted asylum, humanitarian protection or discretionary leave; this is just 4% of net migration in the same period.
- Thanks largely to the scale of immigration, England, with the Netherlands, is the most crowded country in Europe, excluding island and city states.
- Immigration has added to GDP and population in almost exactly the same proportion. Therefore there is no evidence of significant economic benefit to individuals, according to the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs.
- Looking ahead, Government projections show that the UK population will hit 70 million in 2027. Two thirds – 5 million – of this population growth will be as a result of immigration. This is the equivalent of the current populations of Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Oxford.
- We called for the government to limit net migration. They now have a target of reducing net migration to the tens of thousands – a start, but not sufficient to prevent our population from hitting 70 million.
- We proposed that there should be a limit, not on the number of people who come to work here, but on those permitted to live here permanently. The government have now broken the almost automatic link between work and settlement. Only those who earn over £35,000 can apply for permanent settlement. However these measures will not take affect for 5 more years.
What still needs to be done:
- The government must ensure that the immigration system is properly enforced. This means that people must leave the country when their visa expires and if they refuse they should be forcibly removed.
- The government must continue to ensure than only genuine migrants are admitted to the country.
Balanced Migration would:
- Stabilise the population of the UK at about 65 million by mid-century (compared to 78.6 million now projected).
- Greatly reduce the pressures on our public services, infrastructure, environment and our society.
- Enable our economy to remain competitive.
- Encourage British firms to train British workers so as to address long term skills shortages.
- Greatly improve the prospects for integrating newcomers to our society.
- Reduce the drain of talented people from developing countries which need them far more than we do.
Balanced Migration would not:
- require leaving the European Union
- require that the UK stop offering refuge to genuine refugees
- prevent employers from bringing in key staff from outside the European Union
- prevent universities and colleges from attracting genuine students to study