The relentless expansion of the UK’s population is coming to a head as new figures from the ONS suggest that the country has reached the landmark level of 67 million.
The British population has risen by around 430,000 each year since 2000, an amount equivalent to bringing in nearly the population of Bristol annually. Over four-fifths of this increase can be traced directly or indirectly to immigration.
Britain is already the most crowded large country in Europe. A YouGov Tracking Poll found as recently as April 2021, that 56% of Brits still think the immigration trends of the last decade have been too high. Part of the reason is likely to be the fact that the UK’s quality of life has suffered significantly in the midst of rapid population growth as:
- Overcrowding has increased (England is now the fifth most densely populated country in the world – not including small islands and city states – right up there with Taiwan, South Korea and Rwanda, and Bangladesh at number one.)
- Traffic congestion has worsened – The traffic data company Inrix said in 2018 that the UK has been named among the ten most gridlocked countries in the world. As Inrix noted: “The cost of this congestion is staggering, stripping the economy of billions.”
- More and more houses need to be built – Migration Watch UK has found recently that, should immigration revert to the level of the past five years after the Covid crisis passes, nearly 300 homes would need to be built every day between now and 2040 to meet housing demands as a direct result of immigration. 57% of houses needed would be because of mass immigration, that’s 107,400 homes in the next twenty years.
- We are losing our green fields at a rapid rate as developers cash in on the spiking housing demand resulting from immigration – total land area in the green belt which was set aside for development by councils in 2015-20 was nearly 60 square miles (more than three times the area of the London Borough of Brent) – see our blog.
Rapid population growth has added hugely to the UK’s mounting housing crisis in which young people struggle to get on the housing ladder due to exorbitant costs. For example, immigration drove up house prices in England by about 20% between 1991 and 2016 (Govt bulletin, April 2018)
What is galling is that, in the midst of repetitive sloganeering by the government with catchphrases such as ‘get Brexit done’ (and clear pledges of ‘firmer’ immigration control), the new immigration system actually removes key checks on mass immigration and risks enabling numbers to spiral further out of control than now (just imagine that).
Businesses are now no longer required to give UK workers priority for new jobs, a crucial yearly cap on migrant work permits has been removed and skills and education thresholds for those who want to come here have been significantly lowered. In light of all these changes behind the scenes, it is no wonder that Britain reaching a landmark 67 million people is being conveniently ignored by leaders who shape and impose policies for which they will never themselves have to pay the cost.
The chaos of the pandemic and shallow boosterism of the post-Brexit fanfare has been weaponised to give people the impression that the problems caused by mass immigration have been solved. The news that the UK reached the milestone of 67 million people in June 2020 will be ignored or played down by Britain’s political class. Yet, as overcrowding, congestion, traffic gridlock and pressure on services and opportunities continue to suffer from the and economic squeeze, however, British voters will not let their elected leaders off the hook so easily.