The Recession: No Solutiion To Large-Scale Immigration

The Recession: no Solution to Large Scale Immigration

October 19, 2008

New research published today concludes that the widely forecast recession will not tackle the long term challenge of large scale immigration.

The report was prepared by Migrationwatch at the request of the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration. It plots annual growth in GDP since 1970 to identify previous years of recession and examines what happened to net migration. It clearly shows that the reduction of immigration during a recession is only a temporary effect: immigration soon resumes its steep upward trend.

Commenting, Frank Field MP, Labour co-Chairman of the Cross Party Group said:

Now that a recession is looming on the horizon, some people are claiming that the immigration problem will sort itself out. The record clearly disproves this claim. Government action remains essential and urgent if large-scale immigration is to be brought under control.

Nicholas Soames MP, the Conservative co-Chairman, said:

We must be sure that industry can continue to compete as markets get more difficult. But we must balance the needs of industry with those of society. Failure to curb immigration would mean having to build seven cities the size of Birmingham in England in the next 25 years for new immigrants. That would not be acceptable to the public.

Chairman gives evidence to Migration Advisory Committee

The Migration Advisory Committee, an independent body set up by the government to advise on those occupations in Britain which face skills shortages, held a session on 26 September to which they invited the Chairman to give evidence.

The Committee had been requested by the government to provide advice as to whether the present restrictions on immigration from Romania and Bulgaria should be maintained or not.

The session was a private one but, in broad terms, the Chairman advised that the present restrictions should be retained. He drew attention to the work already done by Migrationwatch (Briefing Papers 4.1, 4.7 and 4.8). The issue resolved itself into two questions: Do we need further unskilled labour from Romania and Bulgaria? And, secondly, would lifting restrictions make much difference?

Some argued that workers from these two countries would prefer to go to Southern Europe and were unlikely, therefore, to come to the UK. However, Sir Andrew Green argued that, if that was so, then there was little to be lost from maintaining the restrictions. The experience of the earlier expansion to Eastern Europe suggested that there was a close correlation between GDP per head and the scale of migration. These two countries were even poorer than Poland. Given the fact that unemployment in Britain has increased steadily over the past 8 months, it was only prudent to avoid any additional inflow of foreign workers.