Non British immigration more than doubled in the last six years…


November 13, 2003

Since 1997 the number of non British immigrants who have come
to Britain has more than doubled to reach nearly a quarter of a million
in 2002.

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics for the year 2002, out today, reveal that net non British immigration has now reached 245,000, roughly equivalent to the city of Hull or Nottingham.

'This illustrates the sheer scale of immigration that this Government has presided over in recent years,' said Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationwatchUK, the independent think-tank. 'We would have no difficulty with a moderate and managed level of inward migration but the reality is that the system has fallen into chaos and these numbers reflect that fact. They are by far the highest ever recorded in our history - and the trend is sharply upward. Nor do they include the large number of illegal immigrants who are believed to be taking advantage of our crumbling border controls.

'Furthermore, the net figures disguise the scale of the population changes which are taking place. The figures for 1998 - 2002 show that the net total of 790,000 is made up of 1,034,000 non British coming in and 246,000 British leaving the country,' he said.

'As a result the Government have three central questions to answer. How many immigrants do they want, why, and when will this process come to an end?' said Sir Andrew.   'It is incredible that the Home Secretary should say that he sees no obvious upper limit to legal immigration when it is already a quarter of a million a year without counting illegals.  And this is even before his work permit scheme takes its full effect and before we open our labour market to 72 million East Europeans next May.

'They have certainly not convinced the British people of the need, nor explained why this is happening without popular involvement or consent. As a result many people are deeply concerned by the government's loss of control over our borders. Successive opinion polls have shown that 80% of the British people (including 52% of the ethnic minority communities) want much tighter immigration controls and that many fear the loss of our own culture.

'Yet the government continue to fly in the face of public opinion.  They seem to have blundered into massive levels of immigration, putting at risk the relatively harmonious community relations of the previous two decades.'

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