According to Sir Andrew Green, a former ambassador to Syria and Saudi Arabia and chairman of Migration Watch UK, which created the appeal, the results mean that Parliament must, as a practical matter, now debate the country’s open-borders policy.
The petition, "No to 70 million," is clear in its appeal to the British public. “Over the past ten years the government has permitted mass immigration despite very strong public opposition reflected in numerous opinion polls,” the petition page says.
We express our deep concern that, according to official figures, the population of the UK is expected to reach 70 million within 20 years with two thirds of the increase due to immigration. While we recognise the benefits that properly controlled immigration could bring to our economy and society, this population increase, which is the equivalent of building seven cities the size of Birmingham, will have a huge impact both on our quality of life and on our public services, yet the public has never been consulted.
So we call on the government to take all necessary steps to get immigration down to a level that will stabilise our population as close to the present level as possible and, certainly, well below 70 million.
Such was the response that a Briton signed it every three seconds for the first week, according to the Mail.
As well, the paper reported, “[b]ecause it has passed the 100,000 mark, MPs must now at least consider holding a full debate on the petition’s call for drastic measures to stop the UK population from reaching 70 million.”
Britain’s present population is about 62.3 million.
Said Green, “At last the British people have been able to express their deep opposition to mass immigration.”
This petition is a wake up call for the political class who have condescended to the public for too long. To leap over the 100,000 hurdle in just one week is truly remarkable. I hope that the public will continue to sign up so as to send an unmistakeable call for action.
Although the House of Commons is not obliged to debate the petition, it would be amazing if they tried to brush aside such a powerful expression of public opinion on an issue crucial to the future of our society.
Green noted that the petition’s success is remarkable given the “total silence” of the leftist BBC, which “as usual [has] been determined to duck the case against mass immigration.”
The newspaper article said Green also observed that anyone who raises a voice against the country’s open borders is branded a bigot.
Two other politicians, the Mail reported — the Labour Party’s Frank Field and Tory Nicholas Soames, who together head a parliamentary cross-party group on Balanced Migration — are amazed at the level of public support. In a joint statement, they declared,
This is a remarkable response from the public — 100,000 signatures within a week. It underlines what our group has been saying for three years, namely that there is pent-up frustration at the failure of the political class to get a grip of mass immigration.
The pair said they will put the matter up for debate in Parliament, the Mail related. “‘We will now take the matter up with the Backbench Business Committee to secure a debate on the petition’s call for a sharp reduction in immigration to levels close to balanced migration. Nothing short of this will stabilise the population,” they stressed.
Britain to be Overwhelmed
Green opened the initiative in a commentary for the Daily Mail, which contained a dire warning about the future of England if immigration is not brought under control. “[T]he whole scale of immigration has been allowed to spin out of control,” he wrote.
The latest official projections show that the population of the UK will increase from 62.3 million in 2010 to 70 million in only 16 years.
Five million of that increase will be future immigrants and their children. Nobody wants to see such a massive and, indeed, continuous increase in our population. It will not stop there of course. If immigration is allowed to continue on anything like the present scale we will head on upward to 80 million.
Green and his supporters want immigration reduced to 40,000 annually. He noted that Britain is “nearly twice as crowded as Germany and three and a half times France.”
In world rankings, leaving aside small islands and city states, we are the fifth most crowded country in the world after Bangladesh, South Korea, Taiwan and ... Lebanon. We even have more people per square kilometre than India.
Green also mentioned the housing situation. He estimate that 1.7 million are waiting for public housing, so “adding their families means that we could be talking about five million people.”
Because immigration will account for more than 33 percent of new households in the next two decades, he said, Britain must built 200 houses every day for 20 years, or 73,000 annually for a total of 1.46 million, to give immigrants a place to live.
Green discussed jobs as well, saying, "We keep being told by an elite group of pro-immigration economists that there is "no evidence" that immigration affects the employment prospects of British workers." Though some economists in the United States are telling Americans the same thing, critics note that it is just as untrue in Britain as it is in the United States; however, businessmen and bureaucrats want cheap labor. Green continued, “The increase in our labour force since January 2000 was 1.9 million.”
The foreign-born element rose by two million while the UK-born element actually fell by 100,000. To put it at its lowest, the boom period did little or nothing to draw British workers into the labour force. There are many reasons but the availability of immigrant workers, often willing to work for low wages, was certainly one of them.
Those who are making money out of immigration are, of course, the first to exploit divisions in the Government. Businesses want the minimum of restrictions and higher education authorities want the maximum number of foreign students to bolster their finances.
The message of those who signed the petition is clear, Green commented: “The public wants action — and soon.”
As of this writing, Green’s petition had gathered just shy of 114,000 signatures.
That petition seeks to lower immigration to 50,000 annually.
Immigrants have been flooding into Britain for years, raising the question of whether the nation will retain its national and cultural identity. Since 1983, Migration Watch UK reports, about 1.5 million immigrants from outside Europe have landed in Britain, for a total of a little less than 4.5 million.
A “former Minister for Immigration recently described Britain as a ‘nation of immigrants,’ ” the website noted. “It is very hard to see what she meant.” The website continued,
Since the Norman conquest (1066) there has been relatively little immigration into Britain, perhaps because we are an island nation. English population history is known better than almost any other in the world. And research into surnames and genes confirms that our population has been little affected by immigration for nearly a thousand years. The US State Department website notes that “Contemporary Britons are descended mainly from the varied ethnic stocks that settled there before the 11th century.” Instead, Britain has been a country of considerable emigration since the 17th century.
Writing in the Telegraph, David Conway, of Civitas, The Institute for the Study of Civil Society, averred thusly of the notion that Britain is a nation of immigrants: “That claim is false.” He explained,
Between 1066 and 1945 Britain actually had very few waves of immigration. By far the largest was the Irish during the 19th century and, technically, they were not immigrants, since Ireland was part of the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Irish "immigrants" never amounted to more than 3 per cent of the British population.
The Labour government changed that in 1997, he wrote. “Labour, for reasons it has never fully articulated, decided in 1997 to dismantle practically all controls on immigration.”
The amount of immigration we have seen over the past decade has no parallel in British history. International migration into Britain now contributes around 80 per cent of Britain's annual population increase, and has done so since 1999.
In 1950, Britain's ethnic population amounted to just over 1 per cent of the total. By 2001, that figure was 8 per cent. On present trends, by 2073, the majority population of this country will either have migrated here, or be the child or grandchild of parents who did so. No past wave of immigration has ever come anywhere near having that kind of consequence.