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

Recent Briefing Papers

The impact of immigration controls on skilled migrants
28th July 2014

There is no evidence of a negative impact of immigration controls on the availability of skilled migrants. Less than half the Tier 2 quota has been taken up in the three years since it was introduced. Nor is there any evidence to link a fall in non-EU skilled migration with an increase from the EU – the so-called “balloon effect”. The UK recession and the difficulties in the Eurozone are much more likely explanations. Meanwhile, the proportion of all recent migrants who were highly educated increased from 50% in 2007 to 60% in 2013. This suggests that immigration policy is pointing in the right direction.

Read the Full Briefing Paper

The fiscal impact of migration to the UK - Where are we now?
23rd July 2014

It now seems beyond doubt that migration is a considerable cost to the exchequer. Even on assumptions favourable to migrants, the most recent and extensive academic research found that migration from 1995 to 2011 had cost the taxpayer £96 billion or about £15 million a day. The claim that recent EEA migrants had contributed £22 billion between 2001 and 2011 is fundamentally unsound: other calculations make it closer to zero.

Read the Full Briefing Paper

Recent Press Releases

Migration Watch UK Press Comment on the latest Immigration Statistics, August 2014
28th August 2014

Today’s numbers are deeply disappointing with an across the board increase in immigration, a fall in British emigration, and no increase in departures.

Net migration at this level is simply not sustainable. It will put huge further strain on our infrastructure, housing and school places. If current levels were allowed to continue, the population would increase by 12 million in 20 years.

Read the Full Press Release

Migration Watch UK Press Comment on Romanian and Bulgarian Labour Migration
13th August 2014

Commenting on the figures released in today’s Labour Force Survey, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said:

"A 13,000 increase in the number of Romanian and Bulgarian workers compared to the same quarter last year is significant, especially as transitional controls were still in place for the first half of the year. Once dependants are factored in it is likely that the increase in population over the whole year 2014 will be between 30,000 and 70,000 as we predicted.  Our central estimate of 50,000 remains a very likely outcome."

Recent Press Articles

We must curb EU freedom of movement – the lesson of the latest immigration figures.
29th August 2014

There is no point in trying to disguise that the latest immigration statistics are bad news for the Government. Their goal of reducing immigration to the tens of thousands by the next election will now almost certainly not be met. Overall net migration was 243,000 in the year to March 2014, up from 175,000 in the previous twelve months. Two thirds of the increase was due to immigration from the EU, which now accounts for 45 per cent of net migration to the UK.

Immigration on this scale is simply not sustainable; if it continues at this pace, the UK’s population will grow by another 12 million in the next 20 years – the equivalent of 12 cities the size of Birmingham. Where will all these people go? England already has one of the highest population densities in Europe – not to mention the massive strain that such a large population will place on the country’s infrastructure, schools, hospitals and environment.

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 273,000 in 2007. 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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