A Home Office Minister has warned that immigration has to be reduced because foreign-born mothers are having too many babies.
Lord Bates cited official statistics which showed 25 per cent of children born in 2013 had a mother from outside the UK, compared with about one in nine in 1990, the Times reports.
This means that the proportion of births from foreign born mothers is at its highest level since records began 46 years ago.
The report from the Office of National Statistics also highlighted that women who migrated to the UK are likely to have a higher number of children on average: the fertility rate for women born in Britain is down to 1.79 compared to 2.19 for foreign born mothers.
Unsurprisingly, given the open borders from the EU, Poland tops the list of nationalities of mothers giving birth in the UK, followed by Pakistan, India, Nigeria and Romania – countries where it is traditional that women have larger families and a smaller role outside of the home.
The parliamentary under-secretary made the comments in the House of Lords in a reply to a question about the impact of immigration on Britain’s population.
Responding to Lord Green of Deddington, the chairman of Migration Watch UK, he told peers: “In the year ending December 2013, an estimated 7.8 million people were born outside the UK [and living in Britain], while 4.9 million were non-UK citizens. For the calendar year of 2013, births in the UK to non UK-born mothers accounted for 25 per cent of all live births. That is why we need to reduce immigration.”
Lord Green, whose organisation campaigns for lower immigration into the UK, said that almost 80 per cent of the increase in the UK’s population over the last decade was because of immigration, including children born to immigrants already resident in this country.
His figure was disputed by Lord Bates, who suggested it was 53 per cent, but he agreed with Lord Green that more needed to be done in controlling immigration due to the impact it had on public services.
“We are absolutely at one on needing a firm but fair immigration policy to protect the public services of this country and provide opportunities for those who want to come here to work,” he said.
“We want people who want to come here to study, to work, to invest and to visit. We want all those people to come. What we are doing is drawing a line to say that we must get much tougher with those who want to come here and abuse our openness.”
The coalition government has been struggling with immigration, admitting it failed in its targets on controlling the numbers arriving in this country during the course of this parliament. In February, net migration soared to nearly 300,000, up 41 per cent on the previous year as the growth in the UK’s economy combined with a stagnating Eurozone has seen the equivalent population of the City of Hull settle here in the last 12 months.
And according to a YouGov poll in December, half of voters believe immigration is the issue that will be the deciding factor on who swing voters will back in the general election.
The ONS figures show that there were more than 185,000 live births to non-UK born mothers in 2013, and 513,000 to women born in the UK. 65,000 of those births were to women from the Middle East and Asia, 60,000 to women born in other EU countries and 36,000 from African women.
In some areas, more than half of all births are to non-UK born women, with Newham, east London topping the list at 76.1 per cent: London itself had a majority of children born to immigrant women in 2013, with only 43 per cent coming from women who themselves were born in Britain.
Responding to the comments by the minister, Lord Green said: “The minister’s reply was pointing out that the impact of migration is not only the migrants themselves but their very high birth rate, which will play out in the future.”
UKIP immigration spokesman Steven Woolfe said the figures released by the ONS were of such a high number that the government would be unable to “rationally plan to build the services required to cope with these numbers.”
“The schools, the hospitals, the houses, the roads cannot be provided at such a speed, the capital costs required are huge and burden on the taxpayer will be even more strained,” he said,