Duncan Lewis


Asylum, Detention/ Fast Track

Managed Migration, Public Law

Shadow immigration minister claims immigration not the cause for Britain overcrowding

Date: (3 October 2012)    |    

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Shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant has dismissed the claims that Britain was overcrowded and claimed that Government attempts to curb the number of foreigners coming into the country as preposterous.
The Labour immigration spokesman’s comments were at odds with official projections that showed the country’s population was bound to move from 62.3 million a year to 70 million by 2007.
Two-thirds of the rise will result from immigration with the rest due to rising birth rates and increased life expectancy.
The latest immigration statistics has shown that half a million immigrants arrived in Britain last year averaging more than 1,300 a day.

Speaking during a debate on immigration at a fringe event at the Labour Party conference in Manchester, Mr Bryant said that there was another argument which people worry about and it is that this country is too full.

He said that he didn’t subscribe to that view, as he found the argument a bit odd. It was certainly true that Britain had an economy that was far too dependent on London and the South-east and that he would like that to change.

He agreed that Labour had got “some things wrong” about immigration in the past but hit out at the Coalition’s attempts to tackle the issue.

He said there were some silly things that the government had done like setting themselves a ludicrous net-migration target and some silly things that they had done around university’s and so on.
The Government had been arguing that Labour’s previous open-door policy on immigration has forced it to crackdown on numbers arriving in the country.

David Cameron had vowed to cut net-migration, the number of those arriving minus the number of those leaving, to the tens of thousands by the end of this parliament.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of think-tank MigrationWatch UK, said that it was astonishing that a shadow minister of immigration should have so little grasp of the facts.

Labour’s failure to address the immigration issue was the reason that 3.5 million immigrants arrived on their watch. It seems that they have learned nothing.

MigrationWatch says net immigration needs to fall from its current level of 216,000 to around 40,000 a year to stop the population reaching 70 million. Nearly 80 per cent of people in England think the country is overcrowded, a survey found earlier this year.