25 February 2010

“Today’s immigrations figures, the last before the General Election, confirm that immigration remains a major problem for our society. The Government’s Points Based System has had little effect, despite their repeated claims to the contrary. Employment-related visas fell by only 20,000 last year, despite the recession. There was also a modest fall in arrivals from Eastern Europe, as we have long predicted. But the reality is that based on these figures, we are still firmly on course for a population of 70 million in 20 years or so; 70% of this increase of nearly 10 million will be due to immigration.

“Any new Government will have to take urgent measures to get immigration down to levels that the public can accept; this means balanced migration. So far none of the major parties has set this as a clear overall objective.”

Notes to editors:

1. For media enquiries, please contact Patrick White in the office of Rt Hon Frank Field MP, Tel. 020 7219 6636.

2. The ONS Migration Statistics Quarterly Report (http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/mig0210.pdf) of 25 February showed that longterm immigration to the UK in the year to June 2009 was 518,000 compared to 531,000 in the year to June 2008. There was little change in long-term emigration. The main reason for the fall was the decline of 32,000 in long-term immigration by East Europeans. Evidence from previous recessions shows that falls in immigration are normally reversed once the economy recovers, see http://www.balancedmigration.com/…/Will-a-recession-solve-the-immigration-problem-19-October-2008.pdf

3. The Rt Hon Frank Field MP and The Hon Nicholas Soames MP are Co-Chairmen of the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration. The Group’s Vice-Chairmen are Lord (Bill) Jordan CBE (former President of the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union) and Daniel Kawczynski MP (Conservative, Shrewsbury & Atcham).

4. For more information, please visit www.balancedmigration.com.