Sir Andrew Green was a professional diplomat for 35 years. He studied Natural Sciences and Economics at Cambridge before taking a three year Short Service Commission in the Royal Green Jackets. On joining the Diplomatic Service in 1965, he studied Arabic in the Lebanon. Thereafter, he spent half his career in the Middle East where he served in six posts. The remainder of his service was divided between London, Paris and Washington. He was Ambassador in Syria (1991-94) and then Director for the Middle East in the Foreign Office before serving for four and a half years as Ambassador in Saudi Arabia. He retired in June 2000.
He has since devoted his time to voluntary work. He is a former Chairman of Medical Aid for Palestinians, a British charity seeking to improve health care for Palestinians both in Palestine and in refugee camps. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Concordis, a charity specialising in conflict resolution. And he is a board member of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a human rights organisation which speaks for Christians and others around the world who are suffering persecution for their beliefs.
Asked how he came to be involved in migration issues, Sir Andrew said that he first became aware of the problem when he was the Foreign Secretary's principal adviser on the Middle East in the mid 90s. At that time he spent two years trying, on the Prime Minister instructions, to remove from Britain Islamic extremists who were claiming asylum but was frustrated by the British courts.
On retirement he was able to look into matters further. He found that the net inflow of migrants from outside the EU was about 200,000 a year or 2 million every decade. (The latest government figures show that in 2008, this inflow was 190,000). He decided that this was a matter which should be brought to public attention and so founded Migrationwatch UK towards the end of 2001.
Asked about Migrationwatch UK, Sir Andrew said "This is an independent organisation. We have no political axes to grind. We simply believe that the public are entitled to know the facts, presented in a comprehensible form. That is why we have provided the research for the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration since its formation in September 2008 ."
Revised January, 2010