Stop Ignoring Immigration, Soames Urges MP Colleagues

The popularity of the petition, which calls for “all necessary measures” to be taken to ensure the population stays “well below” 70 million and has been signed by more than 143,000 people, had provided a “clear indicator of the very grave public concern about the scale of immigration to this country”, senior Conservative Nicholas Soames added.

MPs must take their heads “out of the sand” on immigration, senior Conservative Nicholas Soames has said.

Mr Soames opened a Commons debate prompted by an online petition urging the government to ensure that the UK’s population remained below 70 million.

More than 100,000 people signed the petition in less than a week, he said.

But Labour’s Chris Bryant warned ministers that their planned curbs on immigration would be very unlikely to achieve the petitioners’ aim.

The government has pledged to cut net migration – the difference between the number of people leaving the UK and those moving to the UK – down to the “tens of thousands” by 2015.

But Mr Bryant told MPs: “The fact is that that if net migration were zero in every category for the next 25 years, the population would grow to 66 million.

“And if it were tens of thousands… the population would be 70 million just after 2035.”

Projected UK population 2010-35


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