Figures forecast huge rise in UK population…
February 02, 2004
Latest Government population projections reveal that the UK population could well grow by the equivalent of seven cities the size of Birmingham over the next three decades. 4.4 million (63%) of the seven million population increase will result from immigration.
In an analysis of the Variant Population Projections issued by the Government Actuary's Department last week (Jan 29)
think-tank Migrationwatch has calculated that, based on the last five years actual average of 158,000 net inward migration (1)
, the UK population will rise by some seven million by mid-2031 from its present level of 59.2m.
The principal variant, published last December (2)
, gave an estimated population increase of 5.6 million of which three million was due to immigration. But this was based on net immigration of 103,000 (3)
. In fact the average of the last five years is 158,000.
Publication of the variant projections allows the calculation of the effect on our population if immigration continues at the present level.
This gives an increase of seven million of which 4.4 million would be due to immigration.
There may be some reduction in the asylum seeker component of immigration if the number of claimants continues to decline but this will be counterbalanced by the massive expansion of the work permit scheme - up from 30,000 permits p.a. in the early 1990's to an estimated 175,000 in the 2003-4 financial year, plus dependants; and by immigration from Eastern Europe following the Government's decision to allow immediate access to work and benefits to the 72million people in the 10 countries joining the EU in May.
Indeed the government's highest variant, which the Government Actuary presumably considers a reasonable possibility, would add 7.8 million
to the UK's population of which 5.2 million would be attributable
None of these estimates take account of illegal immigration, generally considered to be on a considerable scale.
'It is only every two years that government figures provide the opportunity to explore the impact of immigration on our population, yet these figures have emerged on the day after the Hutton Report and with no press announcement,' said Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch.
'They make it abundantly clear that we face by far the highest levels of immigration in our history. The whole nature of our society is being irreversibly changed without the British people being consulted.
'Mr Blunkett's only response has been his statement on television recently that there 'was no obvious upper limit to immigration.'
'The Government claims to have a 'managed migration' policy but in fact they are presiding over a massive rise in the UK population without any serious attempt to explain to the British people why it is needed, or how and where this huge expansion is to be accommodated,'
said Sir Andrew.
'When you consider that we are talking about a population rise equivalent to seven cities the size of Birmingham and that some 75% of migrants end up in London and the South East, the implications for housing, health, education and infrastructure are enormous.
'Britain can benefit from skilled immigration. The issue is one of scale and, above all of public confidence in the integrity of our borders.
'The all party Home Affairs Committee of the House of Commons suggested last week that it would be healthy to have a debate on the desirable levels of immigration, how the public should be consulted over immigration policy and how that policy should be policed (4)
. The time for that debate is now,' said Sir Andrew. top of the page
(1) Control of Immigration Statistics UK 2002. Table 9.1
(2) ONS Press Release18 Dec 2003
(3) Same Press Release
(4) Home Affairs Committee Report on Asylum Applications, published 26 Jan 2004. Recommendation 61.