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Out of control


Phil Woolas, the new Immigration Minister, has said, “This government isn’t going to allow the population to go up to 70 million.” Fine – but how can this be achieved when the EU allows free movement to all its citizens?

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the population grew by nearly two million between 2001 and 2007 to 60,975,000. At this rate, we would reach 70 million by 2034.

The estimated number of people arriving to live here for twelve months or more was 577,000 in 2007, against 591,000 in 2006, according to the Office for National Statistics. An estimated 340,000 people left for 12 months or more in 2007, down from 2006 when a record 400,000 UK citizens left the country. So net immigration was 237,000 in 2007, up from 191,000 in 2006.

About one million migrants from Eastern Europe have arrived here since 2004 and there were still 665,000 of them living here in the last quarter of 2007. The government told us that just 5,000 to 13,000 would arrive after 2004. Between July and September 2008, 38,000 Eastern Europeans registered for work here, 21,000 fewer than in the same period in 2007, but still a large number.

The supposedly humanitarian call to “Let the poor come in” assumes that the poor can only improve their lot by leaving their own country, that poverty in other countries is forever and that there is no alternative to the current system.