Britain should be prepared to welcome over a quarter of a million new migrants every year for the next 20 years if it votes to remain in the European Union (EU), a campaign group has warned.
Migration Watch UK says that if Britain does not leave the EU net migration will continue to be incredibly high, having a massive impact on those already living in the country.
In a report published today, the group estimates that 265,000 new people could come to Britain per year by 2035, with 60 per cent coming from the EU. It describes this estimation as “cautious” and excludes the possibility of Turkey joining the bloc.
If Turkey were to join, however, the figure could be nearer 420,000, with up to 100,000 Turks taking advantage of free movement rules.
Even in the best case scenario, net migration from the EU stands at 135,000 per year by 2035, with relatively few of the migrants who arrived in other parts of the EU from the Middle East and North Africa relocating to Britain.
However, EU migration could hit 220,000 by 2031, bringing total net migration to nearer 320,000 – and that excludes Turkey.
The report says that such a high rate of population growth would create “serious competition for scarce resources, overcrowding of roads and transport systems, loss of amenity and green fields and a housing crisis far more serious than anything we experience today, not to speak of the challenge of integration.”
Commenting on the report, Migration Watch chairman Lord Green of Deddington said: “This report is a final wake up call.
“Even leaving aside the prospect of Turkey joining the EU, it shows that net migration could still be running at 265,000 a year in 20 years time. This would bring our population to 80 million within 30 years.
“If we remain in the EU there will be nothing to stop a continuing rapid increase in our population. This would change our country for ever against the express wishes of a very large majority of our fellow citizens.”