MigrationWatch win first public debate on immigration…

January 23, 2004

The first public debate on immigration resulted in a decisive rejection of the motion that "Britain needs more immigrants". A vote taken before the debate began showed a majority for the motion of 44 with 115 abstentions. At the end of the debate this was reversed. The motion was defeated by 98 votes with 33 abstentions. This was one of the largest swings ever recorded.

The debate pitted Barbara Roche, a former Immigration Minister supported by Dr Heaven Crawley of the Institute for Public Policy Research, who spoke for the motion, against the Chairman of Migrationwatch, Sir Andrew Green, supported by Professor Bob Rowthorn, Professor of Economics at Cambridge University. It was one of a series of debates organised by Intelligence Squared and sponsored by the Evening Standard.

Commenting, Sir Andrew Green said 'It is a breakthrough that we can now have a public debate on this sensitive issue. And I am glad to see that once the facts are set out, common sense prevails.'

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