We are an independent, voluntary, non political body which is concerned about the present scale of immigration into the UK.

Recent Briefing Papers

SNP Immigration Policy - A Back Door to England?
2nd April 2015


1.If the SNP were able to acquire a separate regime for immigration to Scotland following the General Election, the result would be very serious for both Scotland and England. The SNP would, if it had the power, liberalise immigration control across each of the four major migration routes - work, family, student and asylum. This could lead to a substantial increase in immigration to Scotland since it was exactly this approach which led to immigration spinning out of control under Labour. 90% of current migrants to the UK currently choose to go to England. Easier access to Scotland would become a back door to England. Regional visas are no solution; they have been tried in Canada and proved unenforceable. Once in the UK, immigrants can go where they wish. Such an outcome would be extremely unpopular in England but also in Scotland, where only 5% want to see an increase in immigration and 64% want a reduction

Read the Full Briefing Paper

Key Points on Population Growth
27th March 2015

  • The main cause of our population increase, by far, has been mass migration.
  • Official population estimates and projections underestimate the impact of net migration because they ignore children born to migrants who are already here in the UK.
  • If the latter are included then, since 2000, 85% of our population growth has been due to immigration. This figure, in future, will be even higher – reaching 100% in about 2040.
  • The UK Population is currently estimated at around 64.5 million.
  • Net migration has averaged 238,000 over the past ten years and currently stands at 298,000 (year ending September 2014).
  • If net migration continues at this level the population will increase by 3 million over the course of the next Parliament (from 65 million to 68 million) – three new cities the size of Birmingham during this period.
  • By 2040 all our population growth will be the result of immigration. The UK birth rate, currently at 1.83 is below the replacement rate of 2.1

Read the Full Briefing Paper

Recent Press Releases

The SNP and Immigration – An open door to England?
2nd April 2015

Labour concessions to the SNP on immigration would destroy any effective immigration control for England - that is the conclusion of a Migration Watch UK report released today. With opinion polls pointing to a landslide victory for the SNP in Scotland but a hung Parliament nationally, the SNP’s leaders are already boasting about the concessions they plan to extract from a minority Labour government. One of their long standing desires is a more open immigration system for Scotland and they may very well seek to use a hung Parliament to bring this about. They have already made it clear that they would like to see current rules relaxed across every major category of migration - work, study, family and asylum - despite polls showing that 64% of Scots want immigration reduced and only 5% want it increased.

The fundamental weakness of these proposals is that many migrants who obtain entry to Scotland are very likely to move on South. As it is, the overwhelming majority of migrants (90%) have chosen to live in England. Their reasons include well established migrant populations, the economic draw of higher wages (especially in London and the South East), together with a better climate. Other countries, like Canada, have already found that regional immigration systems do not work as migrants do not stay in the region for which their visas were granted.

Read the Full Press Release

Tighter immigration controls will not deter BME voters
25th March 2015

Tighter immigration controls do not deter voters from an ethnic minority background but the tone of the debate must be right, that is the conclusion of a Migration Watch UK report released today.

With the election just around the corner the immigration industry, including a new lobby group called ‘Bright Blue’, claim that the Conservatives must abandon their net migration target in order to attract more BME voters many of whom traditionally vote Labour. However, their claims are based on slanted and selective polling.

Read the Full Press Release


Net migration nearly quadrupled from 48,000 in 1997 to 185,000 in 2003. Once the East Europeans had been granted free movement in 2004 it peaked at 320,000 in the year ending June 2005. Net foreign migration under Labour was 3.6 million, two thirds coming from outside the EU.

In 2013 over half a million migrants arrived in Britain, more than the total population of Bradford. In the same year 314,000 migrants left so net migration was 212,000.

We must build a new home every seven minutes for new migrants for the next 20 years or so.

England (not the UK) is the second most crowded country in Europe, after the Netherlands, excluding island and city states.

The UK population is projected to grow by over 9 million (9.4m) in just 25 years’ time, increasing from 64 million in 2013 to 73 million by 2039. Of this increase, about two thirds is projected to be due to future migrants and their children - the equivalent of the current populations of Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Bristol, Cardiff, Newcastle, Belfast and Aberdeen.

To keep the population of the UK below 70 million, net migration must be reduced to around 40,000 a year. It would then peak in mid-century at just under 70 million (about 69.7 million).

Revised July 2014

  • “One spectacular mistake in which I participated (not alone) was in lifting the transitional restrictions on the Eastern European states like Poland and Hungary which joined the EU in mid-2004. Other existing EU members, notably France and Germany, decided to stick to the general rule which prevented migrants from these new states from working until 2011. Thorough research by the Home Office suggested that the impact of this benevolence would in any event be 'relatively small, at between 5,000 and 13,000 immigrants per year up to 2010'. Events proved these forecasts worthless. Net migration reached close to a quarter of a million at its peak in 2010. Lots of red faces, mine included.”

    Jack Straw, the Labour MP for Blackburn and former Home Secretary, speaking to his local newspaper about the 2004 Accession of the A8 to Europe and Labour’s decision not to impose transitional controls on workers from these countries. The Home Office forecast that just 13,000 would move to Britain. The current population of A8 nationals in the UK is over one million. (November 2013)

  • Helen Boaden, Director, Radio and until recently Director, BBC News, accepts that when she came into her role in September 2004 there had been a problem in the BBC’s coverage of immigration. She was aware, she told us, of a “deep liberal bias” in the way that the BBC approached the topic, and specifically that press releases coming from Migration Watch were not always taken as seriously as they might have been.

    Helen Boaden’s Evidence to BBC’s Prebble Review (July 2013)

  • People didn't believe the authorities knew what they were doing and there's a very good reason for that - they didn't.

    Phil Woolas, Immigration Minister, reported in The Sun (21 October, 2008)

  • I have made this point many times before but can we please stop saying that Migration Watch forecasts are wrong. I have pointed out before that Migration Watch assumptions are often below the Government Actuarys Department high migration variant.

    An internal Home Office email they were obliged to release to MigrationWatch (29 July, 2003)

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