This is stark and dreadful to contemplate - a 50% increase in population here over a century. It’s also impossible to handle.
Don’t listen to those who say it is not possible to do anythying about itr. Defeatist rubbish! David Davis, the shadow home secretary, says:
“The shocking acceleration in the rate of population growth makes it more urgent than ever that the Government should introduce a properly controlled immigration system. Without controls on the numbers coming here, we will face a future of public services struggling to cope.”
As one sometimes excellent but often defeatist blog* says:
“All that may be true, but a central feature of our lack of control over immigration is our membership of the European Union. Two main mechanisms are involved (there are others): first we must give unrestricted access to any citizen of any EU member state and, secondly, immigrants from third countries, who have acquired citizen rights in any EU member state, is then free to set up home in any other member state.”
Perfectly true as far as it goes which isn’t very far. Given the fact that if Conservatove leader Cameron can be persuaded to stand firm on his referendum promises the horror can be thrown out and everything can then be renegotiated. For once Davis and the Tories are spot on and the crux is that we somehow, sometime get that referendum on the EU constitution.
Blogs that wring their hands and say isn’t it freadful, for it is all impossible, should find something else to write about
* EU referendum Blog
1. Record immigration sees UK population soar
By Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor
Record immigration is fuelling the biggest rise in the British population for almost 50 years, official figures show.
Ten years from now, there will be 65 million people in the UK - an increase of five million - and by 2031, the population will be over 70 million, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
Actual and projected UK population (Graphic courtesy ONS)
Within a generation, immigration will add the equivalent of a city the size of London to the population.
This is the fastest growth rate since the post-war baby boom - and is far more rapid than the Government forecast just three years ago.
One campaign group accused the Government of conducting a ''vast unplanned experiment’’ with the country’s well-being.
Statisticians said at least 70 per cent of the population rise over the next 20 years will be attributable directly to immigration.
The rest will be babies born to "British" mothers - many of whom are second-generation immigrants.
The Government has recently revised its long-term forecasts for annual net immigration upwards by one third to 190,000.
But data buried deep in the official figures revealed that over the next five years immigration is projected to run at close to a quarter of a million before reducing.In the current financial year, officials expect net migration - the difference between those arriving and leaving - to be 240,000.
Next year, projected net immigration is 230,000 - and this figure does not fall to the long-term ''assumption" of 190,000 a year until 2012.
Officials said the higher immigration figures over the next five year took account of the huge influx of workers from eastern Europe.
The new figures sent shockwaves around Whitehall where planning for housing, education, health care and transport will all have to be revisited.
Recently, the Home Office admitted that the impact of high immigration was ''unsettling" the country and bringing new pressures on schools, hospitals and trains.
Guy Goodwin, director of demography at the ONS, said the country faced a combination of high immigration, rising fertility and better life expectancy that was "unique" in the country’s history.
He said the figures represented ''a major demographic shift’’ with huge implications for public policy.
The Tories accused ministers of losing control over the borders - and demanded a ceiling on new arrivals.
David Davis, the shadow home secretary, said: “The shocking acceleration in the rate of population growth makes it more urgent than ever that the Government should introduce a properly controlled immigration system.
“Without controls on the numbers coming here, we will face a future of public services struggling to cope.’’
He added: “Tough talk from ministers is not enough. They should take action to put controls on numbers coming to the UK, which Conservatives have been demanding for over a year.”
In 2004, the Government forecast that net immigration would be running at 145,000 a year, but as recently as 15 years ago, ministers were working on the basis of zero net immigration.
Population projections issued then were 10 million lower than those just published.
Liam Byrne, the Immigration minister, conceded there had to be “swift and sweeping changes” to the immigration system.
He said a points-based system for work permits would help contain the growth.
But it is just four years since David Blunkett, then Home Secretary, said there was ''no obvious limit’’ to immigration.
Immigration from outside the EU is also set to grow after the European Commission announced it was introducing a “blue card” system aimed at recruiting up to 20 million African and Asian immigrants.
Although Britain is opting out of the system, once workers are in Europe for five years they will be free to move around the EU.
Foreign settlers are both adding to the population and, because they are younger, are pushing up the fertility rate.
The population will also grow because people are living longer.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said: ''These figures are hugely important. They imply that the nature of British society will irrevocably and permanently be changed for our children and grandchildren.
''These fundamental changes are taking place without the public having a voice."
Looking even further ahead, the projections suggest that by 2051, the population will be 77 million and will exceed 85 million by 2081.
Such growth would increase the UK’s population to the level of Germany’s today.
Rosamund McDougall, of the Optimum Population Trust, which campaigns for a lower population, said: “There is no parallel in our history for population growth of this magnitude.
'The UK is sleepwalking into a population and environment nightmare."
She added: “The Government has already presided over the fastest growth in UK population since the baby-boom years of the mid-twentieth century.
''If it continues to countenance population increases on this scale, it will be embarking on a vast unplanned experiment with Britain’s well-being.’’
2. 'We must act now to cut immigrant numbers'
By Sir Andrew Green
These population projections mark a turning point in the national dialogue. The public have at last become aware of the enormous impact of present levels of immigration on the future of our society.
Official figures now indicate that England's population will increase by nearly 16 million by mid century - that is twice the population of Greater London.
By 2031, the population will be over 70 million says the ONS
This increase will be 90 per cent due to immigration.
These numbers are, frankly, alarming. Our schools and hospitals are already struggling and we have a major housing crisis.
The new projections imply that we will have to build 260 houses every day of the week for the next 20 years just to house new immigrants.
Put another way, of Gordon Brown's much vaunted 3 million new houses by 2020, one and a quarter million will be needed for new immigrants.
It is not only a matter of bricks and mortar.
The very glue of our society is being weakened under the impact of rapidly growing communities of very diverse cultures - some of whom have little intention of integrating with us.
The latest report of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) warned that "segregation - residentially, socially and in the workplace - is growing."
It went on to warn that our society is "fracturing" and that "bonds of solidarity across different groups have reduced and tensions between people have increased."
How can a society already in such difficulties possibly absorb newcomers on the scale now projected?
Hard as it is to believe, we have stumbled into this situation.
It was completely unplanned - indeed, hardly discussed for fear of accusations of racism.
It is, without doubt, the result of the government losing control of our borders.
They like to point to globalisation as the cause but, in fact, the numbers started to take off in 1997 with a rocket propelled boost in 2004 when, almost alone in the European Union, the government opened our labour market to the new members.
They have since tried to camouflage their mistakes by claiming that all this is good for our economy.
The truth is that it is good for some employers, particularly in marginal industries, but we cannot allow immigration policy to be driven by employers for their own financial benefit.
All the more so as the effects are very uneven.
It is low paid British workers whose wages are held down by competition from the new arrivals.
Overall, immigration may add £6 billion to production as the government claim, but it adds a similar proportion to our population.
As a result, the benefit to the native British population is trivial.
What can be done? We have no choice but to cut back the numbers very sharply.
This requires a clear political commitment as a first step with policies built around it.
The Conservatives have taken this step. So far, the government have ducked this critical decision.
Instead, they have formed a couple of committees.
That falls far short of the decisive action that is required if we are to avoid very serious difficulties in our society.
• Sir Andrew Green is chairman of Migrationwatch UK