By Sir Andrew Green
Chairman, Migration Watch UK
The Sunday Times, London, 5 September, 2010
Dominic Lawson ("How Tories regret the immigration promise", Comment, last week) was right about the need for welfare reform but he seems to have entirely failed to grasp the significance of the present mass immigration for our society as a whole.
The reality is that we either integrate or we disintegrate, and integration is quite simply impossible with a migrant arriving every minute. The latest figures for net immigration confirm that the UK population is on course for 70 million in 20 years and 80 million in mid century. We must get immigration under control and economic migration must play its part. Not all current economic migrants are essential. Why, for example, are we allowing every year about 25,000 foreign graduates of British universities so stay on for two years competing for jobs against British graduates who face an unemployment rate of nearly 10%? Nor is immigration the long-term answer to skills shortages, as employers recognise.
Net immigration from the European Union has averaged only about 27,000 a year over the past five years while flows to and from the new east European members are coming into balance. This means that EU migration is only about 15% of net foreign migration. The long-term pressures will come from the Third World; tough action is needed on bogus studentsand marriages designed to circumvent immigration controls.
The public feels helpless. It wants action. For the first time we have a government committed to a clear objective to reduce net immigration. All strength to its arm.
© Copyright of Sir Andrew Green