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Slowly and steadily the immigration tanker is turning
21/09/2012 09:36:00


The latest immigration figures released by the Office for National Statistics reveal that net migration was 216,000 in the year up to December 2011. This compares to 252,000 the year before, evidence that the changes that the Government has made are making a difference.

Immigration is an issue that is close to my heart, (and one that I spoke about recently in the Commons) and it is also close to the heart of many of my constituents. In my experience, people of all ethnic backgrounds and all political persuasions believe that net migration was too high under the last Government. The vast majority are not bigots – they recognise the positive contribution migrants can make – but they believe the numbers have been too high, putting pressure on public services.

Like an oil tanker, it takes time to turn things round – you announce a policy, consult on it, introduce it and then have to wait a year to see the whole year effect – but the evidence released by the ONS suggests that the changes the Coalition has introduced are making a difference.

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Readers' Comments

On 24/09/2012 23:52:00 Jim wrote:
Based on those figures, net immigration will continue for another 5 years. Reality is, its still out of control and we have no idea at all how many illegals are here. How could we? Immigration don't even bother stamping people out any more. Better for the Home Office not to know the reality.

EU membership means that there is unfettered access to the UK from 26 countries. Human rights and asylum seeker rights further limit our ability to choose who we want here.

So the government, unwilling to tackle these constraints but desparate to reduce numbers is hitting the very immigration that is probably most beneficial to the UK. City and technology companies are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain work permits, for example. A student friend of mine - about to pay £12k in fees to Surrey University - ended up in Munich spending her money there because of daft changes to student visas. Money lost to UK plc. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Looking at simple net figures is puerile. For a start, it suggests some kind of equivalence between a person leaving and a person arriving. People are sick and tired of the unbalanced nature of immigration with certain territories and cultures dominating arrivals. Many of these immediately start large families at the expense of taxpaying British couples who feel unable to start families because they can't afford them. The government continues to fail in this area.

Get out of the EU. Why can a Bulgarian or Romanian work here without limitation, but a New Zealander or Canadian can't? Abolish asylum rights - the system is widely abused and it's better to tackle these problems at source. Introduce quotas by territory. When the quota is full, you join a waiting list.




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