The Telegraph reported this week that the majority of the British public want “net migration reduced to less than 50,000 people a year”, according to a poll for a cross party group.
The report concludes that 80 per cent of adults are “concerned” or “very concerned” about immigration in the UK.
The poll comes ahead of the latest official migration and population statistics, published this week by the Home Office.
The YouGov poll, which was commissioned by Migration Watch UK for the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration, found just one in 20 adults supports the current levels of immigration.
Karen Dunnell, the National Statistician, said net immigration would have to be cut by 80 per cent if the Government wants to keep the population below 70 million.
The balance of those settling in the country over those leaving would have to be cut to 50,000 from the current level of 237,000 a year.
In a joint statement, the co-chairmen of the cross party group, Labour MP Frank Field and Tory MP Nicholas Soames, said:
“This poll shows the public’s concern about immigration is very widely felt and the demand for change very strong indeed.
“The issue must no longer be swept under the carpet at Westminster. If mainstream parties do not tackle these issues, the extremist parties will. Silence and inaction on immigration are the recruiting sergeants for the BNP.”
Immigration figures in February showed one in nine people living in Britain was born overseas.
Figures published this week show a drop in the number of applications from Eastern European workers in the first three months of this year – 23,000 down from 48,755 in the same period in 2008.
Immigration Matters Comment
Immigration, which adds billions of pounds to the UK economy according to Home Office figures, is set to become one of the main issues in the next general election, as groups like Migration Watch whip up anti-immigration fears.
What these reports fail to point out is that the vast majority of recent and current immigration comes from within Europe, and the British Government has no power to put a cap on European migration.
Frank Field’s own Labour Government signed up to ‘free movement of labour’ when the EU expanded in 2004. Short of tearing up treaties and effectively pulling out of the European Union the Government cannot restrict or put a limit on the number of Europeans coming here to work.
Migration Watch and the Cross Party Group, who appear to have joined forces, have yet to come up with any constructive or balanced debate, instead choosing to generate disturbing anti-immigration headlines.
What is even more disturbing is that they are misleading the British public into thinking that the Government just throws open the country’s doors and lets everyone just walk in.
As any ‘visa national’ who has applied to visit, work or study in the UK knows, nothing could be further from the truth.
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