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

Recent Briefing Papers

The Points Based System in Australia – Appropriate for the UK?
5th December 2014

1. Summary

1.1 The Australian ‘Points Based System’ is increasingly mooted, notably by UKIP, as a solution to the UKs broken immigration system. This paper looks at the Australian system in detail and finds it thoroughly unsuitable for the UK:

Read the Full Briefing Paper

The impact of immigration on population growth
26th November 2014


1. The impact of immigration on the size of the UK population is substantially greater than is generally realised. Between 2001 and 2012 inclusive, 57% of population growth has been described as due to net migration, 43% to natural increase (the excess of births over deaths). However, that substantially understates the demographic power of migration. Much of that natural increase came from immigrant parents. If that immigrant contribution to natural increase is included, then the total contribution of migration to UK population growth over the period from 2001 to 2012 was between 83% and 85%.

Read the Full Briefing Paper

Recent Press Releases

Comment on Chief Inspector for Borders and Immigration's report on British Nationality Applications
11th December 2014

Migration Watch UK comment on the Chief Inspector for Borders and Immigration's report on British Nationality Applications.

Commenting on the report, Alp Mehmet, Vice-Chairman of Migration Watch UK said:

Read the Full Press Release

Would the Australian Points Based System be right for Britain?
11th December 2014

An assessment released today by Migration Watch UK concludes that it would be totally unsuitable for the UK.

The Australian immigration system is highly regarded because the Australians have achieved effective control of their borders and they can also identify and accurately record those who arrive and depart. Neither depend on their Points Based System (PBS).

Read the Full Press Release

Recent Press Articles

Higher Education is in the rudest of health, so why suggest otherwise?
22nd November 2014

By Sir Andrew Green
Chairman of Migration Watch UK
Conservativehome Blog, 22 November, 2014 

The UK is one of the most attractive countries in the world to come to study. But if you listened only to Mark Field, the Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, you might be forgiven for being concerned about the future of British Higher Education.

Read the Full Press Article


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 between 1997 and 2010 totalled nearly 4 million, two thirds of it non 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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