Ten MigrationWatch achievementsAchievements 13.2
The following is a list of ten key points which Migration Watch has contributed to the debate on immigration. Many were initially denied but have subsequently been proved correct.
1 The scale of immigration
Migration Watch has been consistently right in pointing to the likely future scale of immigration. In 2002 we predicted that net non EU immigration would amount to two million in the following decade. This included an allowance for illegal immigrants, but it is now clear from the official figures that immigration will, indeed, total two million in the period even without including any illegals. The recent census confirms the scale of immigration.
2 Immigration from Eastern Europe
A Home Office sponsored report predicted a maximum net migration of 5-13,000 a year. Migration Watch pointed out at the time that this calculation was “divorced from reality… and almost worthless”. We said that even 40,000 would be a cautious estimate. It turned out to be about 50,000 a year in the immigration figures or roughly 80,000 in the Labour Force Survey.
3 Impact on population
Migration Watch have consistently pointed to the impact of immigration on our population. If it continues at present levels, the official projections indicate that new immigrants and their children will add nearly five million to our population in the next fifteen years. That is equivalent to the cities of Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Bristol added together.
4 Widespread public support
A poll conducted by Lord Ashcroft in February 2011 found widespread support for Migration Watch. 48% of ABs supported the aims of Migration Watch with only 16% opposed; for C1s it was 45:12 and for C2 it was 52:5. 60% of Conservatives supported us and only 5% opposed. 40% of Labour and Lib Dems also supported our aims with about 18% opposed.
5 Downing Street petition
In November 2011, Migration Watch launched a petition calling for immigration to be brought down to a level that would stabilise our population as close to the present level as possible, and certainly, well below 70 million. The petition acquired the necessary 100,000 signatures within a week.
6 Cross Party Group
Migration Watch helped with the establishment of a Cross Party Group in Parliament in 2008. Its 50 members now include a former Speaker, Archbishop of Canterbury and Leader of the Opposition as well as a number of former Cabinet ministers and, of course, serving MPs and Peers.
7 Economic benefit
For many years Migration Watch challenged the economic claims made by the immigration lobby. The first major enquiry, by the House of Lords Economic Committee in April 2008, confirmed our view. It reported that it had “found no evidence for the argument, made by government, business and many others, that net immigration generates significant economic benefits for the existing UK population.”
8 The Pensions Argument
The previous government claimed that immigration was needed to help pay our pensions. We challenged that and the Turner Commission on pensions subsequently agreed. They dismissed the argument in their interim report and it has now largely been dropped.
Migration Watch were the first point to the huge impact of immigration on demand for housing. The latest official projections show that immigration will account for 36% of new household formation in the next two decades or so.
10 Foreign Prisoners
In January 2006 we called attention to the failure to deport foreign prisoners at the end of their sentences. This scandal later led to the resignation of the Home Secretary.
Updated 20 August, 2012