April 05, 2010
In his speech on immigration on 31 March, the Prime Minister attacked “those who propose a quota” on immigration. He claimed that it was unworkable and quoted from an IPPR paper to support his case.
In fact nobody is calling for a quota on immigration. He was, presumably, confusing an overall policy objective for net immigration which the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration wish to see with a Conservative proposal for a cap on work permits which are only a small part of the picture.
A report out today from Migrationwatch examines the IPPR claims quoted by the Prime Minister and finds them to be unfounded. They are based on an overestimate of net immigration from the EU and they fail to take account of the plans by both major parties for a second Points Based test before economic migrants are granted settlement. The Migrationwatch paper demonstrates that a broad strategic aim of 40,000 a year is entirely feasible over a period of years.
Said Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch: 'The Prime Minister is again getting into a muddle over immigration. It is hard to know whether he is trying to distract attention from the inexcusable government record of admitting three million immigrants since 1997 or whether he is seeking to avoid any firm commitment to limiting immigrant numbers in future.'
NOTE TO EDITORS:
1. The text of the Prime Ministers speech can be found at http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/speeches-and-transcripts
2. The IPPR paper “The limit to limits” is at http://www.ippr.org.uk/publicationsandreports/