Parliament set for UK immigration debate

05 Sep 2012 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Parliament is set to debate UK immigration this week (September 6th) after a petition was lodged through the government website.

The petition, entitled 'No to 70 Million', received 100,000 signatures within a week from individuals calling on the government to take the necessary steps to reduce immigration and stabilise the country's population to ensure that it does not reach 70 million.

At the moment, the country's population is projected to reach around 78 million by the middle of the century, but the petition is looking to stabilise this at closer to 65 million.

Two-thirds of this increase is predicted to come from immigration, according to those backing the petition. They continue: "While we recognise the benefits that properly controlled immigration could bring to our economy and society, this population increase … will have a huge impact on our quality of life and on our public services yet the public has never been consulted."

The matter will now be debated and while it will not result in the passing of any laws in the short term, it could result in the ongoing government support of a stricter approach to immigration and UK visa quotas.

Government has already committed itself to reducing immigration levels from the current level of around 250,000 a year to the "tens of thousands" by the end of its term in power. This is being achieved through much stricter UK work permit and visa conditions and a reduction in the number of visas allocated in the first place.

Sir Andrew Green of thinktank Migrationwatch UK created the e-petition, which has so far gained over 143,000 signatures. Two MPs have already posted a joint statement saying that they will support the aims of the petition and lead the debate for the motion.