Thursday 23 November 2017

UK 'needs 200,000-plus immigrants every year'

British Prime Minister Theresa May Picture: PA
British Prime Minister Theresa May Picture: PA

Colm Kelpie Brexit Correspondent

The UK needs over 200,000 immigrants coming into the country every year if it is to avoid the "catastrophic consequences" to the economy of Brexit, a think tank has warned.

The report by Global Futures, a pro-immigration think tank, said the current political debate is dishonest and is failing to serve the public.

Prime Minister Theresa May this week restated the Conservative Party's pledge to bring down immigration to the tens of thousands per year.

But Global Futures said that while there appears to be strong support among voters for cutting immigration - it was a key issue in the EU referendum debate - there is no debate about the consequences of this for national prosperity or living standards.

"The UK is close to full employment, has an ageing population and low productivity growth," the think tank warned policy makers.

"These factors make immigration an essential ingredient of a successful economy looking ahead.

"Global Future's top-down economic view is that a net migration figure well in excess of 200,000 will be needed long into the future to avoid catastrophic consequences for the economy."

It argued that net inward migration of more than 200,000 will be needed to avoid the collapse of whole sectors, as well as to alleviate the crisis in public services such as social care and the National Health Service.

"This report shows that the government's target of cutting net migration to the tens of thousands, either immediately or in the long-term, is based on an outdated and backward looking view of policy in this area," Global Futures said.

Irish Independent

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