David Cameron on immigration

On 25th March 2013 David Cameron made an important speech on immigration in Suffolk. He said:

“Immigration has to be properly controlled. Net migration needs to be brought down radically from hundreds of thousands a year, to just tens of thousands”. He reported good progress in curbing non EU migration and went on ” Now what we need is to work across government so that our immigration policy is factored into our benefits system, our health system and our housing system”. He wanted to stop Britain being a “soft touch”.

Yesterday he had to report disappointment in hitting the targets, explaining that continued recession and poor economic performance on the continent was pushing more and more people to the UK to find work. Yesterday he announced further measures to curb new migrants access to benefits and housing for the first four years after their arrival. He said

“I want to get net migration back to the tens of thousands which it was in the 1990s. This is not some sort of outlandish unachievable pledge”. “It is not wrong to express concerns about the scale of people coming into the country. It boils down to one word. Control”. In the 30 years to 2004 net migration totalled 1 million. In the next 7 years there were an additional 1.5m people from migration.

Both the 2013 and the 2014 speech shows he fully understands the level of public concern, and shares the worries about how we provide sufficient healthcare, housing, welfare and other public services for all the people currently coming.

The main things he now wishes to do to control numbers is to require people to be here four years before getting any tax credits, child benefit or access to social housing. He also wishes to stop people claiming child benefits for children not living in the UK.

Do you agree with his aim of controlled migration in the tens of thousands? Do you think these new measures will do the job?


  1. Tim
    November 29, 2014

    No and no. Migrants are good for economy. But for good or ill I think that any such limit is a matter for the people of the UK and their representatives.

    1. Richard1
      November 29, 2014

      I agree with Tim. By and large immigration is good for the economy, all the most dynamic economies through history have encouraged immigration.the fact that so many people want to come to the UK shows, contrary to leftist doommomgers, that the govts economic policies area working.

      Any arbitrary limit on numbers is a nonsense. What we want is high quality immigrants – people whom will work, not commit crimes or claim benefits. We could and should have given passports to the Hong Kong population in
      1997 for example. If Mr Cameron thinks he can renegotiate the free movement principle then he would do best to get powers to block people who will cost the rest of us.

      1. Denis Cooper
        November 29, 2014

        Are you sure that “all the most dynamic economies through history have encouraged immigration”? The US did, on and off, because it had vast and sparsely inhabited tracts of land to colonise, but when the UK was in the midst of the Industrial Revolution the government did not have a policy of encouraging mass immigration as far as I know, and nor do I think the rise of Germany as an economic power was based on immigration.

        1. Richard1
          November 30, 2014

          Certainly the C19th saw huge population growth. The US has of course seen huge increases based entirely on immigration. Travel was much more difficult and expensive then, but in the case if the UK there was always a principle of free travel throughout the Empire.

          1. Denis Cooper
            November 30, 2014

            But the rise in the UK’s population in the 19th century was not down to mass immigration but simply down to natural growth with births exceeding deaths, partly thanks to better food supplies but also with gradual improvements in both sanitation and medical care leading to reductions in infant mortality and increases in longevity.

            The main exception, insofar as it could be considered an exception given that Ireland became part of the UK, was that some employers brought in Irish workers, but as far as I’m aware it was never actually a government policy that this should be done and in any case the numbers involved were not that large, the Irish born population in England and Wales never went above about 3% of the total:


        2. libertarian
          November 30, 2014


          Germanany’s rise after the war was indeed based on their immigration program ( mostly Turks and Poles ) both East and West Germany operated schemes. The West German Gastarbeiter was more successful http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastarbeiter

          In England in 1740 at the start of the Industrial revolution the population was 6 million people . By 1850 it was 16.8 million. Workers were imported from Ireland and the colonies. The first big growth of the industrial revolution was in Textile industry and lots of Huguenots, Flemish and Wallonian textile workers were encouraged to come

          1. Denis Cooper
            November 30, 2014

            Germany’s original rise was in the second half of the 19th century, that was when its production of coal and steel and industrial goods greatly expanded and started to overtake that of the UK, and it was nothing to do with Gastarbeiter after the Second World War.

            The population growth for England that you quote was the result of natural growth at an average of 1% a year over 110 years, not the result of mass immigration; the numbers of immigrants were never large:


          2. libertarian
            November 30, 2014


            First you denied it happened at all then you come up with a fatuous set of reasons for it happening. Germany DID and still does encourage mass immigration. England did and does too as I already told you Irish, Northern Europe and colonials. I could embarrass you with links to the data

            Germany only became a unified country at the end on the 19th century under Bismark.

          3. Denis Cooper
            December 2, 2014

            I’m not following you here. Where is your evidence that Germany’s economic rise in the 19th century depended on the government following a policy of mass immigration? As far as I’m aware that was no more the case with Germany at that time than it was with the UK earlier, and I’ve already given you a good link about that if you care to look at it.

      2. Tad Davison
        November 29, 2014

        Do you believe in a secular liberal democracy Richard, where everyone is free to practise the religion of their choice, or not to practise a religion at all if they so wish?

        I’d like to keep the UK free, but some times, that isn’t compatible with the views some would impose upon us given the chance.


        1. Richard1
          November 30, 2014

          Absolutely, everyone should be free to practice their religion of choice or none. The only constraint should be you can’t stop someone else doing what they want, assuming they are within the law.

    2. Lifelogic
      November 29, 2014

      Some migrants are good clearly for the economy and some are clearly a huge net liability.

      That is the beauty of a sensible, Worldwide, points based selective system but Cameron is simply not remotely serious. His heart and soul is clearly EUphile, green cap, tax borrow and waste – but pretending not to be near elections.

      Points based on qualifications, skills, personal capital, age, dependents, earning capacity, having been offered a job at a good salary, having accommodation available, not having any serious criminal record, good health and an ability to speak English. How can anyone sensible argue against this position but Cameron does?

      1. Iain Gill
        November 29, 2014

        because it doesn’t matter how good the individual is if they are simply being allowed in to undercut the wages of natives, and to discourage training British workers.

        you cannot have open doors, if you try it you will quickly find half of India turning up.

        1. Lifelogic
          November 30, 2014

          I am not saying open door but restricted by the points needed. With the points system adjusted according to needs and changing circumstances.

          1. Iain Gill
            December 1, 2014

            we already have a points system. except its ignored in some visa categories. and many folk are let in legally when there are many equivalent Brits out of work, and allowed to work for significantly less than the prevailing rate amongst British workers.

      2. Bazman
        November 30, 2014

        How do you square this off with employers needs for low cost labour and your desire to have this by a lack of employees rights and no minimum wage to facilitate this? British people are reluctant to do any work under these conditions leaving it to ‘hard working East Europeans’ and the like . Who in reality are no more hard working than the British just often more desperate, young and fleet footed. You propose to make the British more desperate living five to room/car to achieve this or have employers pay a living wage with better conditions? Which is it?
        Try having two or more ‘sensible’ thoughts at the same time.

        1. libertarian
          November 30, 2014

          Welcome back Bazman

          See you went awol when the conversation got a bit sticky for you.

          Still back with the drivel. Employers don’t need low cost labour they actually need skilled workers. As I’ve told you so many times less than 5% of the workforce earn less than the living wage. 1% are on zero hour contracts

          The German economy seemed to manage pretty well with no minimum wage. Again as I’ve told you many times, 1. The NMW is detrimental to low pay workers 2. The cost of EMPLOYMENT is the total cost of a minimum wage, plus taxes plus “workers rights costs ” If all the costs that employers incur was paid to workers instead of the government the NMW would be £9-10 per hour.

          Bazman try having at least ONE sensible thought theres a good lad.

    3. Denis Cooper
      November 29, 2014

      “Migrants are good for economy.”

      Well, I think you would have difficulty justifying such a sweeping claim.

      Basically the problem is that there is no sensible selection process to admit only those people who would clearly be good for the economy, or good for our society in a wider sense, while excluding those we don’t really need or want.

      While we are in the EU the selection criteria for immigrants from the rest of the EU boil down to citizenship of, or maybe even just right of residence in, another EU member state; we can no longer say, as we once could, that we will welcome this Bulgarian because he’s a top scientist in his field and we know nothing bad about him and so we believe that he will be a significant asset for our society, in the first instance just the legal fact that he’s a citizen of Bulgaria is sufficient to guarantee him the right to come and live and work here.

      However because our politicians are in favour of mass immigration a rather similar lack of selectivity also applies to potential immigrants from outside the EU, for example with Cameron inviting the entire youth of India to come and study here – OK so far, in general terms – and then stay on permanently provided that they can get jobs paying not that much above the average wage.

      “any such limit is a matter for the people of the UK and their representatives.”

      Well, the reality is that overall the people and their present representatives have diametrically opposed views on the matter. Opinion polls repeatedly show that the great majority of the people want immigration drastically curtailed, and when they are asked to state their preferred maximum annual rate of immigration, that is GROSS immigration not NET immigration, the median view is about 70,000 a year or even lower; however they keep electing representatives who are part of a very small minority, a few percent, who favour unlimited immigration.

      1. Bazman
        November 30, 2014

        They are good for profits especially when they can be attracted by subsidy from the state. Companies would have to pay more for labour if ‘sensible’ measures where put in place. Sensible for who? As a right whiner you are caught between a rock and a hard place.

        1. Denis Cooper
          November 30, 2014

          I’d have thought you’d want wages to rise to counter what your favoured party calls a “cost of living crisis”. Make your mind up.

          1. Bazman
            December 3, 2014

            If wages were forced up by immigration curbs would this be ‘sensible’ is my point. Oh no wage inflation!!How can we stop it? Will be the Tories true to form. Make the population more desperate and cut employment rights will be the answer
            Make your mind up. Poverty British or desperate foreignness. The idea that companies should pay more and stop scrounging is not even on your radar.

    4. Mondeo Man
      November 30, 2014

      Tim – The dire welfare figures show that you are wrong.

      The western economies which are doing best operate strict points based systems for immigration.

      In answer to Dr Redwood’s question – No. These welfare reforms will not bring the immigration figures down sufficiently. Only a points based system and proper border controls will do this – with an emergency halt until this is implemented. I think the Conservative party already knows this and is trying to dupe the public again.

      2015 will be the last time I vote. Hopefully the people will not waste their last opportunity to deliver a stinging rebuke to the political class.

      They will live to bitterly regret it if they don’t.

  2. petermartin2001
    November 29, 2014

    If people were moving to the UK , in significant numbers, to obtain welfare payments social housing, and child benefits then the measures would probably succeed in reducing the net immigration flow to below 100k per year.

    But, IMO, they aren’t. That’s just a Daily Mail inspired myth. They are, by and large, decent people who have made the decision to come to the UK to look for work because there are few, if any, opportunities for them in the economic disaster area known as the Eurozone.

    Therefore the measures announced are unlikely to have much effect.

    1. Lifelogic
      November 29, 2014

      Clearly the available benefits both “in work” and “out of work”, free health care, schooling, university loans, social housing, housing benefit etc. all do have an effect in drawing people here and encouraging them stay.

      People look at the overall remuneration and cost of living.

      1. zorro
        November 29, 2014

        Of course they do…. What we have at the moment is the state sponsoring extensive low paid work for companies by paying big top ups in the form of tax credits which are very attrative to migrants from East European and even countries like France, Italy, and Spain. The benefits are too easily accessible and not strongly enough linked to (already) paid contributions.

        We can’t afford it. It is pointless building endless coffee shops and spoiling the landscape if we have to pay higher tax and borrowing costs to fund it.


        1. Lifelogic
          November 30, 2014

          Indeed and the small coffee shops that were paying taxes here being replaced/bought out by large chains that do not pay tax here or indeed much tax at all.

    2. lojolondon
      November 29, 2014

      Again – intensely ironic – Labour also completely believe that “immigrants are decent people who have made the decision to come to the UK to look for work” but at the same time vigorously oppose any attempt to remove benefits from any such “workers” who turn out to be lazy beggars, just here for the dole, free housing, healthcare, education, tax credits, allowances, easy thieving, non-violent police force, etc.

      1. Bazman
        November 30, 2014

        They oppose the removal of the benefits to all migrants and how do you propose to find people who will work for less than seven quid an hour in London without state subsidy? You think companies should pay more? Of course you do not. What a pickle you must be in? Though I doubt it.

        1. libertarian
          November 30, 2014


          No what should happen is to stop the socialist pork barrel nonsense

          Stop taking it away in taxes and handing it back as subsidies. That way employers pay less in costs and workers earn and keep more in wages and the government can get smaller and do less. Simple, really really simple. Oh and I agree it means then that London employers will need to pay a minimum of at least £10 per hour to make work viable or relocate their businesses to other areas of the country. Do you see how free markets work for everyone?

          1. Bazman
            December 2, 2014

            Laughably pay more in wages as they seek out cheap labour? They exploit labour like any other commodity. Will they pay more for electricity? The difference is they pay less for electricity as their is no race to the bottom or electricity suppliers that can be exploited. If there was they would be doing it. Get real.

    3. Mondeo Man
      November 30, 2014

      Peter – The answer is to ban the press then if what you say is true about the Daily Mail.

      What do you think happens ? That the Daily Mail moves towards the people and poisons their minds ?

      Or do you think that the peoples’ minds are already poisoned and that they move to the Daily Mail to find out what on earth is going on ?

      The fact is that we have non-selective immigration, we don’t count the figures properly so we can’t possibly verify whether or not your opinion on the quality of immigrants is correct. What we do know is that there are a lot of public figures now talking about various crises as regards to limited resources.

      If the Daily Mail were truly stoking up xenophobia then the people would have resorted to voting BNP rather than waiting for Ukip to arise.

  3. Margaret Brandreth-J
    November 29, 2014

    As I commented yesterday, I think it was a good speech.The comparison with other EU countries also highlighted the fact that we are not being unfair as a stand alone members of the EU.In fact it is the opposite, we are ( have been ) a soft touch. We have let out own resources drain and have made ourselves weaker and less attractive as a consequence. The balance between allowing people to enter into British citizenship yet keep their own identity has meant that our natives are being undermined. I am tired of living in this racist society which does not allow the British the same freedoms as other EU countries and quietens us if we try and establish our own roots. I am tired of fuddy duddy’s harping back to tired old statements about an imperial past. Well done David Cameron.

    1. Lifelogic
      November 29, 2014

      He said nothing of substance at all. He clearly is not prepared to negotiate anything serious with the EU, other than a few benefits cuts at the edges he will struggle even with those.

      He ruled nothing out, but did not even say that he was going to do anything. Certainly nothing of substance. He does not want a fair worldwide points based immigration system. But he clearly wants a racist (against non EU people) open door to EU immigration. This regardless of criminal records, merit, ability, qualifications, command of English, capital, available accommodation or anything else it seems.

    2. Timaction
      November 29, 2014

      I despair at your Leader and the other failed legacy parties. How many people can fit into our Country? Immigration isn’t just about the economy and the EU funded CBI’s balance sheets (Next in the papers today bringing recruits straight in from abroad in a unemployment hotspot!!), paying immigrants minimum wages whilst we the British people suffer the tax subsidies to pay for £ billions in work related tax credits, their health, education and the unemployment costs of our own etc. Quality of life, culture, overcrowding, building on the greenbelt, free World Health Service reaching crisis, school places, Doctor visits taking weeks and being rationed. Our very way of life is being deliberately destroyed. Building on the greenbelt to accommodate immigrants.
      Mr Cameron has waited just a few months before the election to announce these very modest PROPOSALS knowing full well nothing can or will be done BEFORE the election. This follows on from his previous devious patterns and “no ifs and buts promises” and the Conservative manifesto published public “contract” to reduce the numbers to the tens of thousands.
      There is only one party with moderate policies to address the publics concerns on a whole range of policies. I’m afraid the extreme constitution wrecking LibLabCon parties (Gay Marriage, Habeas Corpus, Magna Cater, EU Treaties, deliberate mass migration) have had their day and people are wise to their lies, deceit and dishonesty, especially with their beloved EU.
      We don’t have to be in the EU to trade with it. It is a political construct for the creation of a superstate by stealth led by unelected dictators!

      1. Timaction
        November 29, 2014

        Did you also see Mr Van Rompuy ridiculing your leader for not achieving his much vaunted treaty veto that never was? It was changed to a fiscal pact. The exact same outcome in a different name and no repatriation of powers for UK agreement. Bit like the Chancellor claiming negotiated rebate on the recent £1.7 billion surcharge which was really all about having our rebate early. In return he abstained when the vote for a further increase was on the table for the EU a few weeks later. Didn’t read much about the addition £34 billion we’ll have to fork out to pay more to the EU for foreign causes. Not only do we have to suffer the indignity of foreign rule and invasion but we have to pay for foreign infrastructure and rich farmers! Didn’t see any reports on the EU subsidised about these issues. Propaganda. A voice at the top table Mr Junker please! Roll on May.

      2. fedupsouthener
        November 30, 2014

        totally agree. This country is overcrowded and all we hear about is how the NHS is struggling. What is it struggling with? Too many people! We don’t have enough housing for our own population so why are we inviting immigrants in? Sure, if they are coming to fill in much wanted posts for much needed jobs which cannot be filled by the home population, then yes, but if they are coming to do low paid work backed up with benefits, then no. There are plenty of people here now living on benefits who could fill these posts or else do without their benefits without having to employ and pay benefits to foreigners! Saw today that Ed Davey wants to throw more money at green projects. For God’s sake, when is that man going to get real? He wants to help other countries so not only do we fund those coming here to live but those left behind too!! You couldn’t make it up.

  4. Lifelogic
    November 29, 2014

    What is clearly needed is a sensible system that accepts higher skilled migrants on a points basis from all around the world. Rather than the current, clearly racist, open door to anyone from the EU policy. Cameron has done nothing of substance for four and a half years on immigration. Even immigration from the rest of the world (which he could control) running at around 260K PA and has recently increased further.

    His speech yesterday was a total climb down, he is not even asking the EU for the rights of the UK to be selective on EU immigration. He is simply not serious on the EU as everyone now realises. He needs to do something not just make cast iron, and non if no buts speeches that he just ignores. Vacuous hot air (especially from a proven serial ratter) butters no parsnips.

    1. Lifelogic
      November 29, 2014

      I see that the lowest ever number of winter deaths was recorded (England and Wales) last year. An estimated 18,200 excess winter deaths occurred in 2013-14, the lowest number since records began in 1950-51.

      Les us hope that we get more mild winters given the absurdly high UK energy prices by government, green crap religion and decree. Otherwise the Ed Davey/Cameron green crap dopes will surely be responsible for a several thousand more winter deaths.

      A small increase in temperatures in the UK is clearly on balance beneficial for death rates and crop growth. Though as we know world temperatures have not increased for about 17 years. How many more years before these priests (and the BBC loons) start coming back to scientific reality? Rather than endless, hugely exaggerated, fiery hell scaremongering aimed at indoctrinating our children and the gullible.

      1. Bob
        November 29, 2014

        “An estimated 18,200 excess winter deaths occurred in 2013-14, “

        18,200 people freezing to death? Where’s Bob Geldof when you need him?

        1. Lifelogic
          November 29, 2014

          No just over priced energy and Ed Davey in his role as the grim reaper.

        2. lojolondon
          November 29, 2014

          I hope that everyone can see the irony – where our present and previous government collaborate in combating the fake global warming scam results in far higher energy prices, which in turn results in far more of their own citizens (voters!) dying of hypothermia. I feel that someone should be made culpable – perhaps the last minster of energy, who signed off the £18Bpa windmill lunacy policy. Perhaps those elderly citizens will strike back by voting for a party that repudiates the whole idea, and promises lower energy prices?

          1. Lifelogic
            November 30, 2014

            Perhaps all the MPs, who (almost all) voted for the bonkers climate change act.

    2. Lifelogic
      November 29, 2014

      I just listened to Evan Davis “interviewing” Owen Patterson on Newsnight the other day. Not so much an interview as Davis endlessly pushing his personal, half baked BBC/Oxford PPE/pro EU/anti democratic views – not even letting Owen Paterson get so much as a couple of words out between his half witted interruptions.

      It was dreadful, tedious and Davis should be fired. Can the BBC not find another sensible Andrew Neil type. Paxman before him, was clearly a lefty/pro EU/BBC think person too, but at least he listened occasionally to the interviewee and attempted to hide his personal views a little.

      1. Mark
        November 29, 2014

        I think Mr Paxman hid his sympathies very well, given that allegedly he has since been approached to be the Conservative London Mayor candidate.

        1. APL
          November 30, 2014

          Paxman the “Conservative London Mayor candidate”

          The Tory party adopts another Socialist – shock!

          Reply Mr Paxman has made very clear he has no wish to be the Conservative (or any) candidate for Mayor.

    3. Tad Davison
      November 29, 2014

      Interesting point LL. We would rather take unskilled EU migrants who might be a drain without question, than those from other parts of the world with skills and talents we desperately need. To give preferential treatment to one, does seem like a form of racism.


      1. Lifelogic
        November 30, 2014

        Indeed it is very clear racism. No to the top surgeon or scientist from India or Australia, but yes to the unemployed criminal murderer and all his family from the EU.

      2. Margaret Brandreth-J
        November 30, 2014

        Yes Tad , but we have loyalties to our own Country which for other reasons rather than race we need to build up economic stature.

  5. matthu
    November 29, 2014

    Is there anything preventing Cameron from implementing those changes now?

    Instead “no ifs, no buts” cameron is trying to frame the whole EU debate around whether or not he succeeds in remving benefits from EU migrants when there are so many other objections to being part of the EU.

    Apart from which, his record on keeping his promises is hardly anything to write home about.

    So, no, the new measures won’t remotely resolve the issue over the EU. Our concerns about the EU don’t focus solely on benefits being paid out to immigrants.

    Most of us simply don’t want to be ruled by an undemocratic, unaudited and dishonest group of ex communists and Marxists who despise us, and very few people in Westminster can appreciate that.

    1. Lifelogic
      November 29, 2014


      “his record on keeping his promises is hardly anything to write home about”

      Has Cameron even kept a single one of his promises? IHT, Cast Iron, no ifs no buts, a bonfire of red tape, immigration to the tens of thousands, the EU surcharge, the deficit, the balance between tax and expenditure cuts, the rolling back of the EU, simpler employment laws, making the UK pro business, the 299+ tax increases, the repaying of the debt …… does he ever read his last manifesto or read his old speeches or do they go down the loo straight after they delivery?

    2. DaveM
      November 29, 2014

      Well said Matthu. It’s your last paragraph that the pro-EU MPs just don’t seem to get. In fact, if Brussels told us to close our borders to all immigrants, I’d be hiring coaches to bring them over here by the thousand, just on principle!

    3. behindthefrogs
      November 29, 2014

      All the commentators seem to agree that only a proportion of the changes require EU legislation to be. changed. We need to get on and implement those that don’t so that they can be in place before the end of the current parliament

    4. Tad Davison
      November 29, 2014

      Excellent! That shows Cameron up for what he is – a slippery con-man!


  6. Leslie Singleton
    November 29, 2014

    I don’t trust his slippery words one bit–in fact it makes me cringe just watching him speak– I just don’t get it that he should think that merely lowering or deferring benefits is going to do much if any good. I strongly agree with the lady who has just said that immigrants do not come here for the benefits. And to answer your question, Why as high as tens of thousands? We want total control of our borders just like Japan or America or anywhere else, letting in whom we want when we want if we want and as we want. I detest the ghastly EU homogenising idea of people charging hither and thither over Europe based on which country is perceived at any point to be best to go to. Why should we suffer because of the terrible effects on Southern and Eastern Europe of the Eurozone fiasco? Now we are apparently seeking foreign teachers presumably to teach the incoming foreign children in whatever languages the latest incomers speak (though clearly impossible to cater to them all), this to add to the foreign nurses to speak to the foreign patients. Not very funny at all. Obviously Cameron has greased this latest effort with his mistress in Germany and the result is a miserable half way house attempt at a compromise.

    1. zorro
      November 29, 2014

      Indeed, it is a silly, continual Ponzi scheme which is just destroying slowly but surely normal family life in the UK, and creating single, economic serf units to milch from on high…..


    2. Mondeo Man
      November 30, 2014

      Leslie Singleton – We can ask these questions until we’re blue in the face. Quite clearly perfectly reasonable concerns are being ignored or – at best – paid lip service to.

      This is a deliberate assault on our nation and the Tory party is up to its neck in it.

  7. Brian Tomkinson
    November 29, 2014

    Stop using the words “controlled immigration” as you know perfectly well that whilst we are in the EU we have no control over numbers entering this country. Of course your leader’s suggestions won’t do the job. You know that but won’t admit it for party political reasons. Braver souls such as Philip Davies MP have no such compunction. We don’t need to speculate about the future likelihood of Cameron achieving anything from his proposals when we can look at his history of broken promises.
    How about Cameron’s and your pledges in 2010? “A contract by the Conservative Party, signed by David Cameron, was issued which said that you would “control immigration, reducing it to the levels of the 1990s – meaning tens of thousands a year, rather than the hundreds of thousands a year under Labour”. Elsewhere in the same document your leader wrote: “If we don’t deliver our side of the bargain, vote us out in five years time”. I am quite happy to comply with that request, as Mr Cameron would say “no ifs, no buts”! Unlike him, I mean it.

    1. Tad Davison
      November 29, 2014


      I’d like to see more people like Philip Davies in parliament. There are still too many like the former Tory Culture Secretary, the former Tory Chief Whip, or the former Shadow Attorney General. They have delivered nothing but failure, but I am afraid the tipping point was reached and quietly passed years ago. The damage might now be irreparable.


    2. zorro
      November 29, 2014

      Indeed, and to claim that recession in Euroland is to blame is just twaddle. Did they not know about the EU when making the pledge in 2010? Probably not bearing in mind their serial incompetence….


  8. Brian Tomkinson
    November 29, 2014

    How about John Redwood on immigration? Is anything Cameron says ok with you?

  9. Peter van Leeuwen
    November 29, 2014

    As far as I know not one word on exploitation of foreign workers by some misusing employers, undercutting the wages of British workers. That is one of the greater problems concerning immigration to be tackled. British workers will rightfully keep complaining that their jobs are being taken by foreigners and the possibilities for misuse of (more dependent) foreign workers by have only become bigger with this policy. This policy may help to diminish the claiming of benefits, but wasn’t that an invented problem anyway? Wasn’t that the issue where the government never could produce figures to the European Commission? This leaves some larger immigration related problems still unaddressed.

    1. zorro
      November 29, 2014

      A policy of beggar my neighbour rarely works in practice….


    2. libertarian
      November 30, 2014


      ………I told you why you where wrong about worker exploitation and the licensing and vigorous enforcement in place to protect low skilled immigrant workers in the UK. So why did you ignore it and post the same drivel again?

      There is NO undercutting of British workers wages, its a load of nonsense put about by people who have no, zero, nil knowledge of the UK job market. You sound like a Euro version of Bazman. Make it up as you go along

      1. Bazman
        December 3, 2014

        British will not work for minimum wage and this wage is what is is in many cases the maximum wage as employers do not have to pay more, because of the migrants who are willing and able to work for less than seven quid due to more favourable personal circumstances. There is an unlimited supply of this labour to be exploited for low skilled work. This is not undercutting pay? Get real.

  10. Cheshire Girl
    November 29, 2014

    Even if these measures did work ( and i don’t think they will) it is going to be another three years before they come into effect. In my opinion, we can’t afford to wait that long. How many more people will be here by then? We need action now. Surely we could at least do more on immigration from outside the EU.
    Regarding not allowing immigrants access to social housing until they have been here four years, we already have a serious homeless problem and this will only get worse. This problem should have been tackled years ago but it was convenient to ignore it and hope for the best. Now chickens are coming home to roost!

    1. Tad Davison
      November 29, 2014

      Couldn’t agree more!

      And it is surely a measure of Cameron’s cynicism that he should play ‘vote for me’ politics with what is a national emergency that needs to be sorted RIGHT NOW!


  11. Dan
    November 29, 2014

    Do we agree?

    How about telling us if you agree with him, have confidence in his ability to deliver the results….and finish off by telling us how you live with your conscience remaining in your party when it’s leadership clearly fails to represent your views…

    1. zorro
      November 29, 2014

      As the song goes….’Silence is golden, golden….’


  12. Ian wragg
    November 29, 2014

    CMD has been to bed since yesterday’s speech so that’s that. Now let’s move on and talk about the economy. Another speech next week and sorted
    We can go ahead and lose the next election
    Can you have a word John and tell him we need action not meaningless words.

  13. Cheshire Girl
    November 29, 2014

    By the way, if anyone could tell me how to save my User Name and e mail address on this site, so that I don’t have to type them in every time, I would be very grateful.

    Thank you.

    1. BobE
      November 29, 2014

      I type the first letter in each case and they pop up.
      You could try…
      Click the 3 horizontal bars
      Click Settings
      Click advanced setting.
      Tick “Enable Autofill to fill out web forms in a single click. ”
      (you might need to set up your autofill settings)(Im not convinced that this will help though as I think the feature is part of the blog – but worth a try)

    2. Tad Davison
      November 29, 2014

      I think it might have something to do with ‘cookies’, but I can’t be sure. My own computer saves mine.


    3. Richard
      November 30, 2014

      More important would be the site checking the user name/email address combination is correct so that someone cannot pretend to be another user as has happened in my case.

    4. Jagman84
      November 30, 2014

      Cheshire Girl: Click on Privacy settings (which stays above the taskbar as you scroll) and ensure that you consent to analytics being saved on this site. It need cookies to be enabled to save your details.

      1. Cheshire Girl
        November 30, 2014

        Thank you very much Jagman, also Tad, and Bob for your kind attempts to help me. However the problem still persists, but I’m sure I can learn to live with it until a solution is found. I appreciate your kindness.

  14. JimS
    November 29, 2014

    We aren’t listening. We learned that from you guys. He’s just feeding the Westminster Bubble.

    Cameron’s EU masters and the European courts won’t let him do anything of any consequence.

    1. Tad Davison
      November 29, 2014

      Exactly Jim, and finally the public are beginning to see just how much power was given away to the EU by the likes of Brown, Blair, Major, and Co.

      I was reported that Cameron had a phone call from Merkel before he gave the speech. What the hell has it got to do with her unless of course, she has some power of veto?


  15. alan Wheatley
    November 29, 2014

    Why does a well-established, island nation with a population of more than 60M NEED tens of thousands of more each year? With two million unemployed we should concentrate on getting these people into work.

    To claim we need migrants to do the jobs the unemployed can’t or won’t do is insulting. If they really “can’t” or “won’t” then that is a failure of governance of many years.

    Migration is said to be an economically good thing because migrants contribute more in taxes than they take in benefits. But that ignores the benefit cost of supporting an unemployed person who would otherwise be doing the job taken my a migrant. It also ignores the capital and revenue costs of supporting an increasing population, such as more schools and higher capacity transport systems.

    It is argued that migration has been good for Britain. True. Indeed migration has been good for humanity since there were humans on the Earth. But it is simplistic and illogical to argue that because something has been beneficial in the past it must be beneficial in the future. This is especially true for an island nation where ever more people are being squeezed into a fixed landmass.

    As for David Cameron, his latest speech is yet another example of a man whose strong suite is smoke and mirrors, and who continues to flounder out of his depth. The “Peter Principle” exemplified.

  16. alan Wheatley
    November 29, 2014

    When recently it was announced that UK GDP was at last growing, it was also said that this was not true for per-capita GDP. Where are we now with per-capita GDP?

    Governments seem only interested in GDP. For citizens it is per-capita GDP that matters.

    Migration, and with it growing population, is good for big, multi-national businesses, which is why they support the free movement of labour. Undoubtedly good for profits. Fortunately, it is increasing bad for votes.

    1. ian wragg
      November 29, 2014

      GDP is growing because of immigration. Half a million each year is bound to increase GDP but reduce per capita as the cake has more portions.
      This is why Gideon wants to maintain immigration, to give the illusion of growth.
      Double the population ,double GDP.
      They really think we are all stupid. Roll on polling day and lets give them a beating.

  17. alan Wheatley
    November 29, 2014

    How will the increasing population affect the carbon targets we are committed to?

  18. John E
    November 29, 2014

    Obviously it was stupid and crass to set a numerical target over something which is not at all within our control.
    I welcome the signs that our negotiations are now being conducted in a less embarrassingly amateur fashion.
    Irrespective of our EU membership we need to do much more to secure our borders against non EU illegal immigration.

    1. Tad Davison
      November 29, 2014

      ‘Obviously it was stupid and crass to set a numerical target over something which is not at all within our control.’

      Absolutely, and surely that is telling us something about a politician who keeps trying to convince us otherwise. It is nothing short of a con upon the public. He started with so much promise, but I’ll bet Cameron goes down as one of the worst Prime Ministers this country has ever had along with Blair, Brown, and Major.


  19. Old Albion
    November 29, 2014

    Headmistress Merkel will be having a stern word with Cameron jnr over this.

    1. Brian Tomkinson
      November 29, 2014

      I don’t think so. It is reported that he sent a draft for her approval some days before he deigned to tell the people he, not she, is supposed to represent.

    2. Tad Davison
      November 29, 2014

      She had a word before the speech too OA! Seems he had his homework checked and approved beforehand.


  20. agricola
    November 29, 2014

    CMD said some of the right things just as you report, but based on his track record and the intransigence of the Brussels EU I do not think it achievable. His track record suggests to me that it is said with the election in mind rather than any deeply held conviction or damascene moment.

    There is I submit ,only one way to achieve his stated aims and that is following the invoking of Article 50 to take proper control of our borders. We do not have to be negative about receiving EU migrants for proper jobs, they are in most cases beneficial.
    In proper jobs they would pay taxes and contribute to the economy. Something that the indigenous dole dependants would seem to wish to avoid, and I do not include those who really need our support. Government must share some of the blame in this area due to poor education and the subsequent low ambition that it breeds.

    We must gear immigrant volumes by need, quality, and what our social service,and education regime can sustain. We could put an end to the human rights scam under which we are obliged to retain elements in our society that vary from the begging to the criminal and terrorist.
    It must also be made clear that there is only one law in the UK, said knowing that there is a variant in Scotland, and that this is what everyone is judged by. Additionally there are responsibilities in terms of behaviour and tradition in England that immigrants should learn to comply with. The importation of alien law or third world attitudes has no place in England. We are a tolerant and generally fair minded society that has developed over many hundreds of year, a reason why many wish to come , so lets ensure it stays that way.

    What CMD has said is no more than UKIP has been saying for a long time, but unlike them he offers no credible way of achieving it. He hints that he might be prepared to sacrifice his virginity and leave the EU, but do not risk betting on it.

  21. Iain Moore
    November 29, 2014

    No I don’t think they will work, and don’t think they are designed to work, they are just being suggested as a means to pretend to do something. A case of a few more years deferral in getting some action, even pretend action they are now deferring.

    Credit card companies can record billions of transactions, across millions of terminals, for hundreds of millions of clients. Our Oxbridge educated establishment can’t manage to run an immigration system that counts people in and out of our country across a couple of dozens ports of entry and exit. Now are our Oxbridge educated establishment really that stupid and incompetent, or , as I believe, what we are being served up is a manufactured incompetence, because they don’t really want to get control of immigration, so what they serve up is one blunder and cock up after another , pretend to do something about mass immigration but not achieve any restriction in the numbers at all.

    So what has Cameron suggested to get control of immigration when the establishment can’t manage to do the simple things? A highly complex system of time limited benefit restrictions? What chance of that getting implemented let alone working ? Not a chance in hell.

    What will happen is that we will have two three years of talking about it. So net an additional 750k immigrants added our population. About three years of half heartedly trying to implement it so another 750k added, and then we will be told the whole system is unworkable and six years down the road scrapped after they have added a 1 1/2 to our population and wasted few billion in software programming costs.

    Cynic? Moi ? You bet!

    1. Iain Moore
      November 29, 2014

      Please read the last line as ‘1 1/2 million ‘

  22. oldtimer
    November 29, 2014

    The idea of “controlled migration” is sound. Yet his definition of “controlled” is so narrow (“control” only applies to benefits and tax credits not to total numbers) that it is most unlikely to achieve his stated aim.

    The EU demands free movement across borders for citizens of the EU. So long as there are jobs available in the UK and a shortage of jobs available in other EU members, people will continue to travel here looking for work. “Control” of immigration in the full sense of the word of controlling the overall number is impossible for the UK government while remaining in the EU.

  23. alexmews
    November 29, 2014

    Personally – I have no issue with immigration from EU.

    The issue is whether folks can access various benefits w/o contribution to the system and therefore shop the EU for hand-outs. This seems something wholly within the UK domestic control as it is in other less generous EU countries. So why has nothing been done about this in 5 years? Our benefit systems not fit for purpose? Government actually wants lots of immigration but tells folks otherwise? Either they are incompetent or devious or both. Theoretically i would love to exercise my right to move to Amsterdam or Copenhagen or Hamburg or Rome or Barcelona or whatever and work. That more Brits don’t is only in part due to the economics in the EU today but rather more to do with skills, including language. Coming to the UK is by comparison a big draw and getting bigger. Good. This is to our benefit i believe, as an outward facing, globally competitive & dynamic society.

    Overall – i guess i would prefer a global points based system for immigration like any other independent country. i speak with an interest here – i am an economic migrant to this country and arrived 20 some years ago off a student visa. Nobody seems to worry about me though: i originate from Canada, pay my taxes, vote, I am educated, of recent British stock and a net contributor to the system. I suspect I’d have real issues trying to emigrate to UK now…

  24. Andyvan
    November 29, 2014

    Why was this an important speech? All he was doing was trying to make people believe that he has some control over immigration when the facts say otherwise. For the last 40 years Parliament has busied itself with giving away sovereignty that was not theirs to give. It’s members have assumed that the that they have the right to take our rights and give them to foreign institutions whilst accusing anyone that protests of racism. Now events move out of control of Cameron and Miiliband and all the other bought and paid for politicans. We can see the results of the EU obsession and the instant obedience to Washingtons orders. Economic stagnation, enormous debt and constant wars.
    It would be an important speech, maybe, if Cameron were a leader and not a poodle but, sadly, he isn’t.

    1. Brian Tomkinson
      November 29, 2014

      It was only ever important to the Conservative party who hoped that Cameron would take this opportunity to con the Bristish people once again. What they don’t realise is that many more people have now recognised that he has failed to deliver on his 2010 pledges, he cannot be trusted and they have stopped listening to the mendacious statements from him and his duplicitous colleagues in Westminster.

  25. English Pensioner
    November 29, 2014

    I don’t think that the proposed measures will make a significant difference. The minimum wage here is more than in the old east bloc countries so people wanting to work will still come.
    Whilst I am far from being on the left of politics, I have to agree with their assertion that the availability of cheap labour depresses wages and will make it even harder for our own unemployed to get work.
    And will the proposals be allowed by the EU or indeed our courts?
    One suspects that those new arrivals who have no money and no accommodation will not be left to starve as it won’t be long before a court rules that it is against their human rights and the state must give them benefits.
    In any case, it is not EU immigration that most of us are worried about, it is those coming from outside with their propensity for FGM, child rape, etc.
    We should also be concerned about emigration. A large number of those leaving are not recent immigrants returning home, but long term British citizens who have decided “enough is enough”. Unfortunately, as most desirable countries such as Australia and NZ only let in qualified people that they require, essentially doctors, nurses, teachers, scientists and engineers, we are losing the very people that we most need.
    Cameron is only addressing a small part of the overall problem and neglecting to look at the whole picture.

  26. Denis Cooper
    November 29, 2014

    “Do you agree with his aim of controlled migration in the tens of thousands?”

    No, I have never agreed with his aim, because he has only ever been talking about getting NET immigration down to the tens of thousands, and it should be GROSS immigration which is cut back to that level or lower.

    However I should add straight away that I do not mean “immigration” as defined by the government and ONS, which is what he means, but that is a longer story which should be the subject of another, separate, comment.

    “Do you think these new measures will do the job?”

    No, I don’t, because I’m not one of those who automatically thinks the worst of anybody who wants to come to this country, and so I don’t assume that they’re only interested in milking the benefits system; on the contrary, in the great majority of cases the incentives for them to uproot themselves from their homelands and leave their family and friends are the possibility of finding work, and moreover finding work which will pay very much better than anything they could hope to get at home, and generally getting themselves a much better life both materially and in other ways.

    So restrictions on benefits will only affect the small minority who are abusing the system and will have little effect on the total numbers who wish to come here; it is a secondary issue, the primary issue being the lack of control over the numbers who do come.

  27. DaveM
    November 29, 2014

    No. Sorry. The measures are designed to sound good and appease his EU buddies, but they are little more than a deterrent that can be circumvented with forgery, fraud, and a few lies. And of course they are easily reversed.

    Nothing less than complete control of borders with thorough, piecemeal changes to employment and benefit laws is sufficient.

    I bought The Sun today – curious as to what their reaction would be (as one of the Conservatives’ main supporters) and I have to say that “The Sun Says” has it pretty much bang on.

  28. Bob
    November 29, 2014

    1) No ifs no buts we will reduce immigration to the tens of thousands.

    2) “If we don’t deliver our side of the bargain, vote us out in five years’ time”

    He didn’t deliver on (1) so now he makes another undeliverable promise.

    Time to move to (2).

    1. Duyfken
      November 29, 2014

      When Cameron made that commitment, he must surely have had some reason for doing so, confident that whatever procedure his government were to put in place would achieve that goal.

      But no, it is evident there was no such plan and his speech was just so much hot air (again). He failed to follow through to ensure the relevant Minister (May) and civil service executive instituted and enforced the necessary measures. Failure, incompetence and deceit.

      Now he gives no apology and in slippery fashion points to the successive European recessions as cause of the missed targets – all ifs and buts.

      For this offence alone, he should be sacked by his own Party colleagues were they less gutless than appears so. Add the trail of broken promise, U-turns and inept performance (eg the Scottish referendum), there is every reason to cast this fellow out of office. I hope the voters do so.

  29. M Davis
    November 29, 2014

    I agree with controlled migration but not just from the EU. Why has David Cameron not done anything much about certain other immigrants, the ones who multiply far faster than the indigenous people? (Altbough, I am aware that it was Tony Blairs’ Government that flooded us with immigrants in the first place).

    Instead, David Cameron preferred to foist ‘Gay Marriage’ on us, hug hoodies, and put expensive windmills all over our green and pleasant land.

    And, no, I don’t think the measures will do the job, the EU will not listen. We do not need more and more immigrants, the infrastructure is not there and it has changed the demographics in so many places that the indigenous people feel like they are living in another Country.

    The only reason Mr Cameron is talking about immigration and the EU now is because there is an Election on the horizon and he has to compete with UKIP.

  30. Kenneth
    November 29, 2014

    The fact that you had to ask the question “do you think these new measures will do the job?”, says it all.

    I feel that immigration is vital to keep our society vibrant and healthy. However too many too quickly brings a critical mass that eliminates the need to integrate. This is when we end up with multiple cultures that exist separately – a dangerous and unhappy situation.

    When we get to the point where I cannot strike up a conversation with a stranger in a shop or bus or train for fear that they don’t speak my language or share my sense of humour, we have gone too far.

    When we have places of worship being spied upon or internet activities being monitored – when we are moving towards a police state – we have gone too far.

    I am sick and tired of being told about what the eu will not allow. We urgently need control over our borders.

    As the PM said, it boils down to one word: “control”. If our ability to reduce immigration is a question that needs an answer then there is no control.

    1. Brian Tomkinson
      November 29, 2014

      “We urgently need control over our borders” – and independent self-government.

    2. Tad Davison
      November 29, 2014

      Boy do I agree with that!

      There are unwritten cultural values within the UK, but essentially the country is for the moment, a free and liberal secular democracy that respects the law and the rights of free speech. I’d like to keep it that way.

      And race has nothing to do with it. I am suspicious of cultures that would change this country to something else entirely. I have no wish to go back in time. Our forebears fought hard for our freedoms and liberties, and their sacrifices should not be in vain because of the inadequacies and shortcomings of those whom some vote for in error, who see the immigrant vote as a way of advancement.


  31. Bert Young
    November 29, 2014

    Cameron can say what he likes ; the fact is he can only achieve what the other 27 EU countries will agree to . His speech on immigration follows his previous one – promising controls that would bring down the numbers . The numbers have far exceeded the 100,000 target and all indications are the influx will get worse . Farage quickly responded by reminding everyone that we can only get what we want by exiting the EU – expecting to convince 27 others is beyond belief .
    Communities in this country are strained to bursting ; hospitals , medical practices and schools cannot cope with the number burdens . Add to this the complex languages involved and the snowball just gets bigger .
    The time has come for decisive action – vacuous PRism has been rumbled and the political establishment found wanting . The public need to have proof that their votes cast will mean something here and not be over-ridden by influences outside .

  32. stred
    November 29, 2014

    Was it the Defence Minister who was interviewed this morning and admitted some proposals do not need Treaty change? Last week, Peter was explaining that the Dutch have already similar measures in place, as do the Germans. Is there any explanation for why, after 4.5 years, Mr Cameron has not taken similar measures, especially as he had caught on to the problem in another of his important speeches in 2013.

  33. bluedog
    November 29, 2014

    There are reports that David Cameron briefed Angela Merkel on the contents of his immigration speech. It may be that a transcript of Cameron’s conversation with the German Chancellor would be more informative than his public relations exercise with the British electorate.

    Taken at face value the measures sound impressive, of course. But will the cost of implementation exceed the benefits to consolidated revenue? For example, cancellation of benefits being paid to children living outside the UK will save £30m per year, scarcely a massive windfall.

    It is important to put this speech into the context of David Cameron’s current activities, which are clearly directed towards the General Election in May 2015. This speech is therefore aimed at Ukip followers following their party’s success at Rochester and Stroud and reflects Cameron’s belief that immigration is a key electoral battleground. As the economy is a key Coalition success, Cameron needs to target areas of weakness on a methodical basis so that nothing detracts from the positives. One can expect more policy statements of this type, however the policy measures announced seem largely peripheral and disposable.

    The principal dangers to Cameron are two issues that are largely beyond his management control, the EU and Scotland/the British Constitution. We know Cameron is a Europhile because he says so and on this at least he is believable. Cameron’s dilemma is that he needs to betray his Europhile beliefs to defeat Ukip and win in May 2015. It follows that as much as anything Cameron is talking to himself when he adopts Europhobic positions, such as the immigration speech, it’s part of a process by which he seeks to grant himself absolution.

    As yet, Cameron shows no sign of having a strategic view on how the constitution should evolve, other than realising the England is getting a raw deal and that could loose him votes. His proposed speech on the constitution will need to be more than window dressing.

  34. Bryan
    November 29, 2014

    It is the add-on cost of many immigrants which is a problem in the UK. A GP practice in Dover has recently closed because it was not economic. Some 3,000+ of its patients were immigrants. For the majority of these an interpreter had to be engaged before treatment could be assessed and given. The surgery had to cater for dozens of different languages.

    Spain, a member of the EU, has a draconian system which applies to all non-Spanish nationals who wish to live and/or work in Spain.

    It could be introduced today in the UK and resolve the entire problem for the future, but not for those already here.

  35. libertarian
    November 29, 2014

    Oh please !

    I don’t believe a word Dave says. He probably had the speech written for him by Mrs Merkel.

    I’m truly sick of the vacuous, talentless, career politicians who think running the country is a game.

    He has done yet another complete U turn based on UKIP’s poll ratings, is he now considering himself a “fruitcake & loony”.

    Osbourne has been even more duplicitous with the utter garbage about writing the banning of large public deficits into law.

    For God’s sake go the lot of you. Stop playing politics, stop treating it like an XBox game.

    We need some REAL leadership in this country. There is a massive great gaping void in our public life. I can’t see a single member of the House of Commons currently who has the cojones or the intellect or will to make a stand. Farage isn’t the answer either

  36. Javelin
    November 29, 2014

    My weekly review of the newspaper comments reveal that nobody believes David Cameron. He appears to be a busted flush. If you can find a supportive comment I will be surprised, because. I couldn’t. There are a lot of comparisons with Tony Blair ‘s rhetoric.

    The REAL issue that hasn’t happened yet is that every economic bust focuses on house price bubbles. We’ve just had the banks being blamed for the last bust, even though it was the mortgage brokers, and the banks are now tied up in regulatory work and not developing products. I have to deal with the consequences very day.

    What most people don’t realise is that we are only 4 years from the next bust. All the long term indicators show we are in the boom – but it’s only asset holders – the rich – who are benefiting.

    The next bust is going to be house prices driven up by immigrants. You cant simply bring in 250,000 people in to London every year and not drive rents and house prices through the roof. At least another million will come to London before we leave the Eu. There will be a stampede to the UK before we close the borders.

    Once house prices bust the English will turn on the conservatives and punish them at the ballot box. I simply don’t understand how the strategists can’t see this. This issue will destroy this Government. Not now but in 7 years time. It will leave the UK worse off. It clear the Conservatives are not being assertive for the British people but just seem to manage news on a weekly basis. Wisdom and leadership is sadly lacking.

  37. Max Dunbar
    November 29, 2014

    It’s tinkering and talk.
    We are never going to get any real change in this area as long as we have the current crop of marionettes being manipulated by the real establishment in this country, and most of us who are clued up know who they are.
    When has free movement from European countries been a problem? We have been a member of the EU for years but it’s only fairly recently that these issues have arisen. The old eastern European countries which were conquered and subjugated by the Communists in 1945 have created the imbalances that we now see in this particular area of immigration. Prior to their accession to the EU, free movement within Europe had never been a factor of any consequence.
    The greatest worry for most people has been non-EU immigration both legal and illegal. It is this that has changed whole cities beyond recognition in Europe as well as in the UK. This is the issue that politicians will never properly address for fear of accusations of racism.
    etc ed

  38. acorn
    November 29, 2014

    I think we have got to the point where nobody believes a word that comes out of Westminster / Whitehall. Let’s face it, the system is knackered. Most of our continental associates, have suffered far greater trauma than the UK, that by necessity, brought new thinking and new ways of running countries. Alas, their fear of repeating past conflicts, led them to blind acceptance of a poorly constructed EU.

    IMO, this has left the UK resembling a square peg in a round EU hole. Under right wing management, the UK will never fit in the EU; we would be better off becoming the 51st State of the USA. Under left wing management it might be adaptable but attempts will be savaged in our Punch & Judy parliament and media.

    The choices for next May are dire. Jon Cruddas MP’s speech about “building a digital state”, appeals to me because it has a vision, which is sadly lacking in the rest of Westminster. It is a pity that it will never see the light of day. But, as my late father frequently said. Britain always gets the government it deserves and no more.

  39. David Waring
    November 29, 2014

    The real problem is the main parties hide their EU political groupings and all the associated policies which never get discussed.
    We the poor much maligned Voters have to dig into the Byzantine mass of EU news and data feeds to establish what the Mainstream Parties are doing.
    If we establish that we discover you all have little or no influence and we get saddled with the unstated costs. Examples are Muslim rapists we cannot deport and E. European criminals we have to accept.
    These latter classes are never raised by the politicians during discussions as you all prefer to talk glibly about the honest taxpaying immigrants who add value to public services such as the NHS even there you overlook the fact the Training posts for Nurses are cut.
    Now once again we have jobs advertised only in Poland which should be filled by English nationals.

  40. brian
    November 29, 2014

    Cameron’s proposals will have a limited effect. Most migrants will still be better off than in their homelands, although I can’t judge the effects of the relative cost of living. Eventually, some form of cap or points-based system will have to be introduced to achieve politically acceptable control of migration.

  41. adams
    November 29, 2014

    Cameron is all talk and waffle . The Tory have failed and will continue to fail on immigration . It is time for action not more proposals and endless talk . You are seriously compromised by this dawdling mendacity Mr Redwood .

  42. Atlas
    November 29, 2014

    Do I agree with a limit on Immigration? – yes.

    Do I think Cameron’s proposals will achieve this? – no.

    If George Osborne was behind the dropping of an emergency brake on numbers then it will not assist his leadership aims.

  43. Shieldsman
    November 29, 2014

    The simple answer is NO, the aims are not achievable. We have heard it all before.
    “A contract between the Conservative Party and you.
    Control immigration, reducing it to the levels of the 1990s – meaning tens of thousands a year, instead of thr hundreds of thousands a year under Labour.

    If we don’t deliver our side of the bargain, vote us out in five years time.”

    They are sound instructions to follow.

  44. Eddie Hill
    November 29, 2014

    The answer to your questions are “Yes,” but even tens of thousands is way too many given how many have already arrived, and “No,” even if I believed Cameron either intends to deliver or can deliver, which I don’t, for the following reasons:

    • immediately he stands up and says he wants to do things like this, his European “partners” stand up and say he can’t;

    • he has said many things like this before and failed miserably to deliver them; and therefore

    • the conclusion is that he’s up to his old tricks of lying to the electorate again.

    Furthermore, in the Daily Telegraph today, Tim Stanley writes: “…two cheers to the emergence of a non-xenophobic take on migration and foreign affairs” which will “shoot the UKIP fox.”

    How come when Cameron talks about immigration controls it’s “a non-xenophobic take on migration and foreign affairs,” but when Nigel Farage talks about it, it’s racist and xenophobic?

    Stanley also writes: “Cameron, against his better instincts, has a vote winner on his hands. Let’s hope that this time he stands by his word.”

    In other words, (a) Cameron doesn’t believe this is right and it isn’t instinctively what he wants to do, and (b) historically, he hasn’t stood by his word, and it’s pretty naïve to think he will this time.

    If UKIP is racist, looney and swivel-eyed because it wants to end mass immigration and benefits tourism, then Cameron is too, no matter how eloquently he makes the same arguments and how accurately he shoots the same fox.

    An added problem is that the “success” of the UK economy (which apparently doesn’t include reducing the deficit) doesn’t just attract migrants, it also attracts additional invoices from the EU, so arguably, even if migrants do benefit the economy (which you can never prove, due to the causality argument), much of those benefits are given to the EU to pay back to the very countries whose people are coming here to find work, so we effectively pay twice.

    And even if there is an economic benefit to the revenue from migration (which again, you can never prove, due to the causality argument), the pressure on housing, services and social cohesion (© Angela Merkl) is probably negating much of it.

    Added to which, we really don’t need incoming cultural deficits such as “modern slavery,” jihadism or public beheadings either.

  45. formula57
    November 29, 2014

    “Do you agree with his aim of controlled migration in the tens of thousands?”

    Controlled certainly as aside from the UK’s economic needs, the overriding consideration should be the ability of the host socially to comfortably absorb new migrants as well as having the absolute right to deny entry to those (criminals et al) it does not want.

    Whether tens of thousands is the appropriate number is hard to say but probably it is.

    “Do you think these new measures will do the job?”

    No. The measures are aimed at making life rather less easy post arrival, not to “control people coming to the country”. I suppose they might induce some who do arrive to then leave but where they seek: –

    “to require people to be here four years before getting any tax credits, child benefit or access to social housing”

    that may well result in extra numbers of impoverished people resorting to undesirable measures to support themselves with consequent adverse impact upon everyone else; and

    “to stop people claiming child benefits for children not living in the UK”

    that may well result in extra numbers of children migrating too and hence requiring schooling, medical treatment and other services.

  46. BobE
    November 29, 2014

    UKIP sets the agenda: Cameron would not be talking about immigration at all if it were not for the UKIP surge.

    1. Lifelogic
      November 29, 2014

      It is only UKIP that is moving both Cameron and indeed Labour with Yvette Cooper Balls, very, very slowly towards the rational UKIP policy.

  47. Graham
    November 29, 2014

    Like a student thesis – with about the same chance of anything being done.

    It’s about time that the full impact of having more people in this country was recognised.

    More cars on the road and more in the shops
    More wanting healthcare so those who have paid in all their lives have to wait
    More pressure on education with local kids held back by kids who speak no English and understand less
    More crime and more alien criminal beliefs than we cope with.

    Only when we see that our quality of life is stuffed will perhaps people care more about their country.

    As mentioned earlier with the encumbant English being marginalized it all adds to a situation where this country is falling into third world status at an alarming rate.

  48. Liz
    November 29, 2014

    I am not hopeful that these measures will work. The executive seems totally incapable of implementing the rules we have already and anyone who wants to just strolls through our airports and ports with either no or feeble checks. Immigration from outside Europe that is able to be controlled by the Government has risen too – why?
    A lot of the opposition to immigration comes not because of benefit claims but because of the social impact the sheer numbers are having. We are not building even half the houses needed for all these people so our own young citizens cannot get their own homes, even in their thirties, because of the pressure on housing, making rents and house prices unaffordable. Many schools in the area I live in have had to be expanded and the health service is bending under the strain of over 1.5 million babies born to immigrants. There has been no Government move to increase the training of doctors,nurses, teachers to cope with these numbers. These hidden costs of immigration are enormous. Wages have been held down by imported cheap labout impoverishing the local population – this is the main cause of Ed Milliband’s so called “cost of living crisis”. They display the symptons of a Metropolitan elite who have one or two homes, themselves and only want new homes to be built on reclaimed land so they can preserve their views, can afford to buy their children homes and are either ignorant or contemptuouse of the problems large scale immigration is causing.These problems and costs are scarcely mentioned, let alone discussed by large sections of the media. This is to say nothing of the social costs of bringing in people who are not sympathestic to our way of life and have no intention of integrating into it.

  49. Lindsay McDougall
    November 29, 2014

    I want net immigration to be as close as possible to zero. It won’t actually be zero because we have an ageing population, with the proportion of over 65s set to continue until at least 2026, probably longer because the medical profession keeps extending life expectancy (without ever asking what the quality of life is). I am looking at the lower tens of thousands, say 30,000 per annum.

    You would think that by now HM Government, with the demographic forecasting ability of its Office for National Statistics, would be able to put a number on it. Not so far, they haven’t.

    We are now seeing the difference between David Cameron and Eurosceptics-for-Out. David Cameron has proposed measures on benefits that he believes are the MAXIMUM that the EU will accept. Genuine Eurosceptics propose immigration measures that are in our best interest, without regard to EU opinion.

    1. Iain Moore
      November 29, 2014

      Indeed Cameron sets his policy to what is acceptable to the EU, not what the British people want.

  50. Tad Davison
    November 29, 2014

    We keep getting told that immigration is good for the UK. From the purely financial aspect, some of that may well be true.

    I personally don’t have a problem with people coming to the UK who are net contributors, whose skills we cannot source locally, who wish to be a part of the community, and who wish to abide by and uphold our traditional values. Yet I seldom hear anyone talk about the unsustainability of mass immigration long-term. This is a small island, and we are constantly having our living standards eroded. Hypothetically, were the UK the only country to have a viable economy, it would simply not be possible to accommodate everyone who wanted to come and take advantage of it. It’s down to practicality, but not exclusively so.

    I often hear too about ‘the rich diversity that multiculturalism brings’ and it’s a line that is spoken all-too glibly without much thought for my liking. Diverse it may be, but when some sections cut themselves off from the rest, refuse to assimilate, create enclaves, and express their wish to change this country from within, the indigenous people are right to be concerned. Yet we are called racist if we ever try to raise the matter.

    This is why I have long argued for a written constitution so that no-one can railroad us into something we don’t want, or change us by stealth from within. Our values are hard-won, but so easily lost when the custodians of those values are so weak and pathetic.

    That applies to our membership of the EU too, and perhaps explains why we never had a written constitution in the first place. The Europhiles wouldn’t have been able to get away with all the lies and deceit if we had one to start with, and they wouldn’t have wanted anything to stand in their way.

    Those of us who are old enough have a sense of perspective. We have seen this country change into something few of us now recognise. David Cameron’s promises are too little, too late, and totally lacking in credibility. He’s been found wanting so many times, the people just don’t trust him anymore. But nor do they trust the leaders of any of the three main Westminster parties. They’re just not cutting it. They are seen as out of touch, and these latest announcements from a party leader who is desperately in trouble merely confirms that fact.

    Tad Davison


  51. Kevin Lohse
    November 29, 2014

    Dear John. One has to have a certain cynical admiration for Devious Dave in that he has reduced the EU question to one of benefits paid to immigrants. The wider and more pressing issues such as sovereignty, border control and financial prudence, much trumpeted in the MSM even 10 days ago, have been quietly dropped and left to moulder on a back shelf in the Cabinet Office, where no doubt Dave hopes they will stay. The sequence of events highlights the short-termism that has bedevilled the Cameron Government since 2010. The speech highlighted an area on which the EU could give ground within existing rules, giving Dave some sort of sham victory in the run-up to May ’15. The more percipient media, Reuters and Business Insider, have already picked up on this, and our own Richard North of EU Referendum has produced a piece today openly critical of the Manchester speech. Dave’s not getting away with it this time.

    1. Chris
      November 30, 2014

      Very much agree with you, K L.

  52. ian
    November 29, 2014

    The only speech all parties believe in and which you hear all time, is that this country is and will always be build on immigration, any thing else they say is not accordance with the facts.

    1. Iain Moore
      November 29, 2014

      They will be telling us soon that the lazy good for nothing English wouldn’t have got out of the primaeval soup if it hadn’t been for hard working immigrants.

  53. Gumpy Goat
    November 29, 2014

    Read the economist http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21635041-britain-imports-young-sprightly-migrants-and-exports-creaky-old-ones-balance-ailments 2 million UK citizens have immigrated to the EU they love the superior services provided by the Spanish and French health services, Would actually cost us more if all these British old age pensioners failed to exploit the French and Spanish health systems!!!! Give them an excuse and understandably, the French Spanish and Italians, would expect us should pay for their care.

    I work for some software companies they require immigrants to fill the roles UK workers are not qualified or just as they have and often seem to lack the work ethic. They would have to leave that UK to operate if unnecessary curbs where put in place. 200 brits lose their jobs because you cannot import staff from the EU. Sure there are companies thinking the same way. It Could be very costly!!! We export our old, we import the young and enterprising – a great bargain!!!! Would nice to have Prime minister with a bit of a brain!!! What happened to leaders who could lead not just follow the whims of the gutter . What is the problem? Go to Reading centre it was not immigrants doing the jobs we do not want to do. Virtually all the restaurants in the Reading Oracle would close. Look carefully who the staff are in the old folks homes and who do the menial tasks in the NHS. And do not say pay more, sadly the NHS is becoming unaffordable, staff is the highest cost. Be careful for what you wish for !! Why do we have to follow UKIP in to the gutter lets have some real leadership with politicians looking at the countries needs and just interested in power for its own sake!!

  54. alan jutson
    November 29, 2014

    Sorry John, far too little far too late from Mr Cameron.

    Yes what he is proposing is certainly good news, and perhaps should also be considered in part for our own nationals, some of whom see nothing wrong in never attempting work of any kind having left school.

    The simple fact is whilst immigration IN LIMITED FORM may be good for the economy in some areas.
    Unrestricted immigration on the scale we have seen for the last 15 years simply makes a nonsense of housing, infrastructure, school, hospital planning and welfare budgets.

    Hence we need a scheme to be able to choose who comes here, as is the case with many other Countries.

    The simple example is on your own doorstep here in Wokingham.

    Having had Mr Prescott dictate that there must be 20,000 more houses in the Wokingham area, few of which have yet been built and occupied we are now already suffering gridlock in the Town for extensive periods, Schools are all Full to capacity and more are needed. Doctors and Hospitals cannot cope (Royal Berks under special measures as I understand it).

    Face facts, we are but a small and densely populated Island, we cannot forever take more and more people.

    Before we take any more people we should concentrate on getting our infrastructure and services fixed and working properly for the population we have here now.

    I am sorry but I simply do not buy into the “we have no suitable labour” chant of many businesses.
    Fix our education system, training and work ethic problems, and we should be able to fill many of these so called positions in house, with people that already live here.

    Only as an absolute last resort should employers have to import labour from abroad.

    1. Chris
      November 30, 2014

      The congestion in the Wokingham Bracknell area and the pressure on infrastructure and resources is already too great, and we have many, many more houses being forced onto us in the near future. This is the price we pay for mass immigration, and the politicians have to be honest with the electorate. So much for cost benefits analyses apparently showing mass immigration in a favourable light – what simply has to be taken into account is the unacceptable and unsustainable pressure brought to bear on all aspects of our living and our infrastructure. These are costs and have to be factored in, and if they were a very different result would be obtained in any cost benefit analysis.

  55. Antisthenes
    November 29, 2014

    “Do you think these new measures will do the job?”

    They will certainly help but not on their own. It is also necessary to leave the ECHR(but of course that will most certainly mean leaving the EU). Also as other EU countries(or should that be regions now as the EU is I believe seeing itself as the country) are so free with allowing non EU immigrants EU status and passing them on that their status should not be binding on the UK. Immigration is only a problem when the wrong sort of immigrants are attracted to the UK i.e they do not benefit the economy or undermine the culture of the indigenous people and destabilise society.

    Where is David Cameron’s commitment to other just as important if not more so issues that need reforming; energy, competitiveness, sovereignty, democracy and the like. Is he hoping to get some concessions on immigration claim it as resounding success and hope nobody notices that other issues have not been tackled or even addressed?

  56. They Work for Us?
    November 29, 2014

    Thank you JR for your efforts on our behalf. Would that you were part leader,
    We need to consider a number of issues.
    Do we have too many people in the UK for the infrastructure we have and to satisfy the will of the people?
    Is net migration misleading because it does not represent the dilution of our ways and culture and should we be using gross migration?
    Should therefore immigration be cut down as much as possible? Zero is not possible but could be an aim.
    The answer to all of these is yes!
    Let us now consider Mr Cameron’s speech.
    Does it tackle the fundamental problem?
    Can he deliver what is “promised” in his speech?
    Do we believe based on past record?
    The answer to all of these is no!
    We have to prevent the entry of immigrants except on a carefully considered points system.
    We need to ensure that immigrants are in the main temporary residents and ensure that nationality and indefinite leave to stay are not granted ie you go home when your work permit expires taking any family with you. Any children born here have the nationality of the immigrant. Many other countries do these sort of things and we must too because we cannot accept anyone we can avoid accepting who may be a burden on the state. We would need compulsary medicals for immigrants, proof that they have a job to go to that will support any family they are allowed to bring in and that they have (or their job provides) medical insurance.
    There is an almost indefinite supply of migrants who want to come here to better themselves and we cannot be expected to cope with them.
    Politicians must remember that they work for us and must do what we want even if this offends their sensibilities are are denounced as not being good Europeans,

  57. Dennis
    November 29, 2014

    Neither in Any Questions nor in Question Time this week concerning immigration was a single word mentioned about the effects of taking in skilled immigrants on their country’s need for them, particularly doctors and nurses,

    The whole discussion about immigration is how good and profitable it is for the UK which is supposed to be the 6th richest country in the world and want to be even richer – it’s all about us, us, us – this policy of boosting our economy is a disgusting, greedy and selfish one.

  58. matthu
    November 29, 2014

    Why WOULDN’T an honourable PM, having willingly entered into a contract with the electorate to reduce net immigration to the tens of thousands, having begged to be voted out if he failed to deliver on his contract and having so spectacularly failed to deliver, not simply resign?

    No ifs, no buts: simply fall on your sword, Mr Cameron.

  59. Julian
    November 29, 2014

    Its a move in the right direction.
    I would like to see an actual reduction in the population – radical!
    We are vastly over populated for the size of the country (225/sq kilometre) – we should aim to have a population density similar to France (118/sq kilometre) which is possible over a couple of decades. Reduce the population and reduce the problems associated with over population.

  60. Mitchel
    November 29, 2014

    A popular “streetwise” expression from a few years back was “talk to the hand,’cause the face ain’t listening”……I think that applies to anything Cameron says these days…his credibility is gone,gone gone.

    Let us know when you finally get a trustworthy leader,til then we’re just not interested.

  61. Mark B
    November 29, 2014

    Good afternoon.

    It is important to divide EU and non-EU immigration coupled with, productive and non-productive immigrants from both.

    We should also assess what level of immigration can the nation reasonably absorb and, where immigrants usually like to settle. Many it seems, wish to settle in London and the South East, rather than elsewhere. This is understandable because this is where many of the jobs are. But is this too desirable ?

    When you create a new class of citizen, ie the European Citizen, then those tasked with making sure signatories to treaties negotiated and signed by the Member Countries treat all those EU Citizens the same. It is here that we have a problem. We cannot afford to treat people differently to that of our own, because thee treaties do not allow it. Neither can we, thanks to the ECHR, deport non-EU citizens even to other EU Member States, less their human rights be violated. And here both the ECHR and the EU hit us with a double whammy. We cannot deal with non-EU immigrants, whether in work or not because of the ECHR, and we cannot leave the ECHR because of the EU. So when illegal immigrants come over from Calais, even if found here, we cannot send them back to France because France is not considered a safe place, despite being both an EU Member and therefore signatory to the ECHR.

    In short, the pull and the stick factors are working against us and, the only way is to leave the EU and renounce the ECHR. That way, even if people who come here illegally get caught, we can send them back to the first safe place they landed.

    But immigration should be about quality and not quantity. We need smart, ambitious and clever people who will fit in and integrate. The Huguenots are a perfect example from our history. They brought with them skills in lace and metalwork that benefited the nation.

    Cameron cannot deliver on the promises made. And immigration is only one of many issues concerning the EU that trouble me. I want my country back. I want to live in a Sovereign nation and not a vassal states

    November 29, 2014

    What is the optimal number of people for the United Kingdom in the event of housing and other infrastructure projects being in lockstep? I ask because the Left give no figure but say the problem insomuch they agree to there being one is “Not enough houses,schools, hospitals etc” But it can’t have escaped them even when small children that if you walk too far in any direction you get your feet wet.

    So, will even the most communally and socially minded of us consider the present number of 64.1 million about right? Or 100 million or 500,000,000?

    At what number do we consider that even one more soul even highly skilled will be unfair to the rest of the world in say football because we will have such a size of people from which to recruit players?

    Forgive me but credit must go to the Labour Party in particular for they seem to have uncharacteristically thought ahead and concluded Regionalism will afford us the opportunity of having teams England A , England B and so on. But what about when we get to Z ? Would the answer be to build more football grounds and change to a language with a larger alphabet?

    Please, please, no-one mention Houseboats to anyone who looks like a Labourite or we’ll be building more of them and re-attracting even more immigrants to build canals. A Houseboat-bridge to Calais could very well be in a future Labour Party Manifesto.

  63. ian
    November 29, 2014

    You will see next year, people coming in going to over 600.000 a year, good news for the elite and establishment. I see that all forms of slavery are increasing in this country also controlling the way you think like black Friday and internet Monday. Spend spend spend on the back of your house price going up, grab as much as you can. The true state of the world can be seen in the oil price, as everything go up like houses shares bonds food elec and so on but the one that counts, oil is going down. Funny how you hear everything is great. The debt of this country will go right up next year. The reason they do not care about the debt is because they have no intentions of paying it back. What can not be paid back will not be paid back. Spend spend spend. Default is the only way out when inflation go back up with no wages rises again with the debt interest doubling to over 100 billion a year which will have to come out of service like NHS council schools and so on. As this country is at nearly at full employment with 5 1/2 per cent unemployment the government have nowhere to go but down. The country is at full output and capacity with service and everything else and it still going down like it has been seen the year 2000. Somebody needs to write a new book for the establishment to read. Their tired and proven way of immigration is not working nor is fiddling the books. The establishment is running out of tricks.

  64. Mike Wilson
    November 29, 2014

    Mr. Redwood, I wonder if you answer a few questions.

    Given Cameron’s ‘no ifs, no buts, immigration down to the tens of thousands’ PROMISE, why were 272,000 NON EU migrants allowed into this country in the year to June 2014?

    Recently there has been kite flying about a ‘brake’ on migration from the EU – because numbers are so high.

    Why is there no ‘brake’ on NON EU immigration?

    In fact, why has NON EU immigration increased?

    If we had had no NON EU immigration during that period, net migration would have been negative!

    So, what is going on? Is the government simply completely incompetent?

    Could you explain the basic rules on immigration? Is there a web site somewhere showing that the UK needs x doctors and y nurses etc.?

    I really hope you answer because I am completely baffled. Many people believe we have too much immigration. All politicians are making noises. Yet the immigration you CAN CONTROL – NON EU immigration – is taking place at the rate of 272,000 a year.


    1. Monty
      November 29, 2014

      That’s a very good question. He could have applied the brakes to non-EU immigration, and that would have halved the extra burden of new arrivals in recent years. So why hasn’t he dealt with this, and why has he announced no plans to do so?

      It’s because he’s bluffing. This whole thing is just a face-saving exercise, he intends to cave in at the first sign of Brussels intransigence, at which point he will hold up his hands and claim that he gave it his best shot.

  65. con
    November 29, 2014

    What this exercise shows us is that the so called renegotiation of the UK’s terms of membership of the EU is a sham.
    Backing off having a limit or cap on immigration before negotiations actually begin, shows there is no real determination on Cameron’s part to change anything.
    This is purely an anti UKIP ploy and it will not work either in reducing immigration or in stopping people being attracted to UKIP.
    I am afraid that the tory party is more or less unmanageable and the problem is always the same – the EU.

  66. Rods
    November 29, 2014

    Before the last Labour government in Australia they had a very good points based system where they allowed immigration for the skills they needed and didn’t allow in the people they didn’t need. Yes, we do need migration, obviously for those that have genuinely married somebody from outside of the EU so they can have a family life in the UK, should they so choose and also for the skills that industry need, that are not available locally.

    Charts for wages for the US and UK since the 1980’s have shown that the unskilled and semi-skilled wages in real terms have been going down,. This is because many of these jobs have been replaced by better machines and automation to reduce costs and increase productivity. The skilled are holding their own and the very skilled at degree level, equivalent or higher have done well, where there are not enough of them with the sought after skills and they can add very high value to a business and are rewarded accordingly.

    What we have a surplus of in the unskilled and semi-skilled and where we have migration from Europe especially Eastern-Europe they will happily take the massive pay rise of a minimum wage which has reduced to wages for the local unskilled and semi-skilled population. If before they were above minimum wages they are now on the same or unemployed which is causing much hardship and resentment.

    What would be a much more sensible migration policy would be to encourage people from areas of high unemployment in the UK to take the many vacancies that are difficult to fill in London and the South-East, where unemployment is very low. Unfortunately, the last Labour government made this much more difficult, where the last thing that they wanted was to lose their voters from the north and did so by making it much more difficult to sell you house and buy another one by vastly increasing the cost of doing so through massive rises in stamp duty and also making the gap between Council Tax much wider, by subsiding the North and doubling it over 13 years in the South. That along with very restrictive (Stalinist?) planning policies means that rental costs are far too high for most people to be able to bridge the gap from moving from the north to the south, unless they have relatives living in London or the South East they can stay with while getting back on their feet.

    In all three areas the Conservatives have made very little difference, stamp duty has remained unreformed, the lobby groups won when it came many sensible reforms the Conservatives put forward for making it easier to build the houses badly needed in the south of the country and I’m certainly not aware of any schemes which help with relocation costs for our unemployed to be able to escape from unemployment black-spots to taking a job in other parts of the country? In the US migration to where the jobs are has always been much easier and this is what the population readily does.

    Where I contribute on various forums, I know people that have lose their jobs are many years of employment and are finding life very difficult, not only financially, but also where going to work is a central pillar of their lives and they also hate the ‘scrounger stigma’ attached to their situation. Despite writing hundreds of job application letters, expanding their skills base, where possible through available courses, they are finding it very difficult to escape their situation.

    Yes, our benefits system does badly need reforming as what is very telling on that we are a soft touch is the migrants at Calais where they are in mainland Europe so have a vast choice of countries they can settle in, but are only interested in getting to the UK, where our benefits system is so generous. I will believe that the UK has effectively reformed their benefits system once these crowds of migrants disperse to live in more generous countries in Europe.

    Another are of botched reform by Labour and has been made even worse by the Conservatives is for UK citizens who marry somebody from outside of the UK and EU where they may have made significant tax payments over many years, but this is not taken into consideration and they are treated as second class citizens in their own country. It is much easier for a migrant to claim asylum, regardless of any contribution they may make, compared to a UK citizen bringing a foreign spouse here!

    Personally, where at the end of Margaret Thatcher’s government spending was 32-33% of GDP and the economy was booming, this including the deferred tax burden of massive borrowing is now much, much higher with little sign of it reducing where every year since the present Government came to office have increased spending, including in many non-vital (IMO frivolous) areas like overseas aid and subsiding near to useless windmills.

  67. Mark
    November 29, 2014

    I have updated the tabulation of ONS data for the latest immigration numbers to June 2014 in thousands by reason for migration and citizenship. The Total columns include other reasons (e.g. asylum, retirement etc.). “Job” is to take up a definite job, “Look” is looking for work. OCW is Old Commonweath (ANZAC+SA); NCW is New Commonwealth. Numbers in brackets are net emigration. The previous figures are here:



    Tot EU….82….60…..40……….16……..228..[…..57……44…….33………11………142

    Non EU…44….12…..121……..54……..272..[……17…..(28)……114…….46……..168


    It is evident that EU migration is dominated by economic migrants, but that also there is a high level of Non EU immigration, dominated by those who come here as students, many of whom stay on legally or illegally afterwards.

    For comparison, here are the same data for 1989:



    Non EU..16…..3……….22………48………114..[….10……..3……..20………..30………53


    Of course, then 12 present day EU countries were included in “Other – non EU”. Nevertheless, it is very striking that 42% of immigrants were British returning from abroad, and net British emigration was somewhat lower – obviously the country was less unattractive to the British in those days. Also notable is the low level of migration from the EU, and the much smaller numbers of students. Not shown is the fact that most of the students emigrated after their courses.

    Unless Cameron is prepared to tackle the reallocation of resources away from educating foreign students, and towards providing suitable vocational education for British residents – something he implied was neccessary in his speech, without offering any commitment to do anything about it – tinkering with trying to cut out the 60,000 EU “looking for work” immigrants will still leave us with 200,000 net immigration.

    1. Denis Cooper
      November 30, 2014

      Thanks for that detailed information.

      It seems that I went a little too far below with my surmise that previously the flows both in and out of the country were “dominated” by the movements of UK citizens not those of foreigners, but even so taking that 42% figure for 1989 as typical it would mean that of Cameron’s 8.3 million people “who came to the UK as long-term migrants in the thirty years leading up to 2004” about 3.5 million were just UK citizens returning to their own country; while from your table in 1989 the net immigration of people who were not UK citizens was 62,000, which as shown on the charts to which I linked was already starting to rise above the typical 40,000’sh of preceding years.

      It is also evident that by 1989 the annual outflow of “students” was already only a fraction of the inflow, the gross number in of 37,000 being offset by only 8,000 out to give the net number in of 29,000, so on the face of it about 78% were not leaving the country after they had finished “studying” here; now that is even worse, not only with about 87% not leaving but that being 87% of much higher totals who are coming.

      The gross number in of 176,000 in the year to June 2014 being offset by only 23,000 out to give a net number in of 153,000, which was by far the largest single category of net immigration and made up no less than 59% of all the net immigration.

      In fact Cameron could almost have met the recent, most elastic, version of his pledged “tens of thousands” a year target for maximum net immigration if he had just said back in May 2010 that while foreigners were very welcome to come and study here they must all go home, or at least leave this country, when they had completed or abandoned their course, and had then enforced that so that net immigration of “students” had dropped to zero and total immigration in the year to June 2014 had dropped to 107,000.

      But of course Cameron has said the opposite, and obviously there is no hope of getting total net immigration below 100,000 a year if the net immigration just of “students” keeps running at levels like 153,000 a year.

      1. Mark
        December 1, 2014

        We have only recently started to measure the emigration of those who immigrated to be students officially: the latest data to June 2014 show 73,000 – of whom 4,000 British, 51,000 from outside the EU and 18,000 from the EU. This should be compared with levels of student immigration in earlier years to allow for the time lag of completing a course of study (all student immigrants are by definition coming for courses of over a year – shorter courses are covered by student visitors). In 2010 that was 181,000 non EU and 45,000 EU students; in 2011 180,000 non EU and 41,000 EU; in 2012 139,000 non EU and 28,000 EU as closure of bogus colleges started and EU students declined because of higher fees.

        However, we have long measured a student category of occupation prior to migration. Of course, those who were students prior to emigration will include some British (and some foreign) students who are emigrating to do further studies and a few British emigrating directly on completing their studies to take up foreign postings: however, the rest will be students returning home at the end of their studies in the UK. End 2013 data show 76,000 student emigrants, compared with 72,000 emigrants who originally came as student immigrants (which will include some who stayed on after their studies for work, and re-emigrated later).

        The number of students emigrating at the end of their courses needs to be compared with the number who finished their course, and thus immigrated 2-4 years earlier. Emigration of students was 47/48/51,000 in 1991/2/3, when these 1989 foreign student immigrants (27/28,000) might have completed their studies.

        1. Denis Cooper
          December 2, 2014

          Well, if you take the 2011 inflows the total was 221,000, and the total for 2010 was very similar, but if I understand you correctly the total outflow for the year ending June 2014 was only 73,000, so that would be about 67% not leaving at the end of their studies.

  68. Denis Cooper
    November 29, 2014

    “In the 30 years to 2004 net migration totalled 1 million. In the next 7 years there were an additional 1.5m people from migration.”

    Cameron did say that in his speech, and in that passage he also said:

    “The gross figures are that 8.3 million people came to the UK as long-term migrants in the thirty years leading up to 2004.”

    but without elaborating by saying how many of those 8.3 million people lumped together as “long-term migrants” were in fact just UK citizens returning home after some period spent living abroad, and how many were foreigners; similarly with the 7 million or so people who left the country, he didn’t specify how many of them were UK citizens and how many were foreigners leaving after some time here, for example students who had completed their studies and went back to their own countries.

    Nor can the split actually be deduced from the charts here:


    but it is clear that the net immigration of non-British people was low for most of that period, in the region of 40,000 a year, and the net emigration of UK citizens was either a bit higher or a bit lower than that, which suggests that the flows both in and out of the country were dominated by the movements of UK citizens not those of foreigners.

    But it is also clear from those charts that the transition from the longstanding official policy that the UK should be a “would-be zero-immigration country” to a policy of the UK being a “country of immigration” had actually started at least a decade before the Labour government flung the gates wide open to the eastern Europeans in 2004; the breaks in all of the curves, but especially in that of net immigration of foreign citizens, occur around the end of the 1980’s, or in the early 1990’s at the latest, and the net inflow of foreigners climbed steadily from the previously typical rate of around 40,000 a year to over 300,000 a year, and it is still not far below that now.

    1. Mark
      November 30, 2014

      Between 1975 and 2004 inclusive there was net emigration of 1.556 million British, and a further 678,000 up to end 2013 according to ONS data. The last year for which the estimated total net immigration was below 50,000 was 1992, being pushed to 127,000 in 1995 as Hong Kong citizens were allowed here ahead of the return of sovereignty to China. Not long after the Labour government dismantled many immigration controls, and the numbers rose inexorably (and much higher than the official statistics as the new cheap flights airports opened up: they had not been monitored going back to the era when they mainly provided package tour charter flights – a statistical flaw that was ignored on purpose until after the 2011 Census showed the numbers to be nonsense).

  69. Michael 1
    November 29, 2014

    Do you agree with his aim of controlled migration in the tens of thousands? Yes

    Do you think these new measures will do the job? No

    Most immigrants seem to be coming here to work, not claim benefits. We must somehow regain control of our borders before even more of the country becomes a foreign land. If this means leaving the EU so be it although countries outside the EU such as Norway and Switzerland also seem to have problems with excessive immigration.

    In addition uncontrolled immigration has been one of the driving forces behind the recent increase in house prices putting them out of reach of many of the young indigenous population.

  70. Glenn Vaughan
    November 29, 2014

    It’s the same old story John.

    “Someone’s knocking at the door
    Somebody’s ringing the bell
    Someone’s knocking at the door
    Somebody’s ringing the bell
    Do them a favour
    Open the door
    and let ’em in.”

    “No! No! No!”

  71. Dennis
    November 29, 2014

    I would very much like to know why you didn’t include my post.

    What is wrong with it? Be frank. Please advise.

    1. Dennis
      November 30, 2014

      Now I see it is there now – thanks.

  72. Chris
    November 29, 2014

    The Poles don’t rate his plans and apparently will veto them
    “Economist and Poland’s former deputy prime minister Jacek Rostowski said Poland will veto the proposals. Mr Rostowski is a senior government figure here in Warsaw. By a quirk of Polish politics, his constituents include around 800,000 of his countrymen and women currently resident in the UK.
    Unsurprisingly, he sees any attack on them as a matter of great concern. David Cameron’s plans to cut their benefit entitlements and tax credits are discriminatory, he told me. His government has the power to veto the proposals, and it will.

    Like any European treaty amendment, some of Mr Cameron’s plans would likely require unanimous backing in Brussels, if one country blocks them, the deal would be off. So, Mr Rostowski’s comments could be very bad news for the PM.

    Those sentiments have cross-party support here in Poland, too. Robert Biedron, who leads an opposition party in the Parliament, agrees with the government on this.”It’s a cheap, populist trick”, he told me shortly after Mr Cameron’s speech, “politics should be dictated by politicians, not newspapers, your Prime Minister has just caved in to pressure from the tabloid press. It’s ridiculous”…………..

    Mr Cameron’s plans haven’t exactly struck fear into Eastern Europe, they’ve been met with mild irritation at best. Most here seem to think they’ll make little difference – if they ever happen at all.

  73. Chris
    November 29, 2014

    Mr Redwood you ask us the following: “Do you agree with his aim of controlled migration in the tens of thousands? Do you think these new measures will do the job?

    My response, like several other people here, relates to the absence of trust in David Cameron. I think his promises/assurances/guarantees/aspirations are worthless.

    May I remind you of his wonderful “Contract” with the people, when he was trying to win our votes in 2010. It was in Newsletter, and headed “A Contract between the Conservative Party and you”. It can be viewed on the UKIP website and really it is quite staggering to see it. Drawn up formally, designed to convince.

    It starts off:
    “We go into the election on 6 May with trust in politics and politicians at an all-time low – and I can understand why: the years of broken promises, the expenses scandal, the feeling that politicians have become too remote from the people – they’ve all taken their toll. That is why I am writing to you now. For too long you have been lied to by politicians……………….

    (In bold type):”So this is our contract with you. I want you to read it and – and if we win the election – use it to hold us to account. If we don’t deliver our side of the bargain vote us out in five years’ time…….

    “We will control immigration reducing it to the levels of the 1990s – meaning tens of thousands a year, instead of the hundreds of thousands a year under Labour”.

    Worth looking at the other pledges too. What a sham and how untrustworthy he is shown to be.

  74. Terry
    November 29, 2014

    Only those immigrants and their families who are not a burden on the State are, in fact, a benefit to us.
    Outrageous figures are conjured up by the usual suspects on the left of society to try and convince us that immigration works wonders for this country. If they were correct then all any country need do is to open its doors to mass immigration.
    Behold, a miracle! No more recessions – just everlasting prosperity for the country and all down to a huge increase in immigration. And there is the acid test for such a theory.
    In 2013 England had a population density of 406 persons per Km2. Bulgaria 66, France just around 100, Germany 226, Italy 200, Lithuania 45, Pakistan 234, Poland 123, Romania 84, Russia 8, Spain 93 and USA 32. Aren’t these numbers depressing?
    Now, who is a lover of this country cannot say that these numbers reflect the ever growing problem of our Nation? Immigrants are out-breeding us true Brits, too.
    To those who preach unlimited immigration I ask, “When is enough , enough”? When we reach 60 Millions in England alone? Or 70 millions or 100 millions? Or is there no limit?

    And please do not even think about telling me that it will never happen.
    We were informed by the last Labour Government that just 13000 would arrive from Eastern Europe each year and there was nothing to worry about. How despicably inaccurate was that estimate?

    The same people ridiculed Mr Farage over the lack of thousands of Bulgarians and Romanians arriving in this country on Jan 1st. He did not predict that they would all turn up on the same day but 11 months on, there are thousands of them in this country – just as he predicted. Just as any logical person could have predicted. But Government knew best!! Mainstream Government never knows what is best for OUR country. And that is OUR problem.

    Mr Cameron has to do more. Much more than make speeches . He must put his words into actions and NOW!!
    Else he shall appear to be in the same low class as that wretched man, Blair. The all talk and no delivery, man. Do it now, Dave!

    1. Dennis
      November 30, 2014

      “The same people ridiculed Mr Farage over the lack of thousands of Bulgarians and Romanians arriving in this country on Jan 1st.”

      Didn’t this happen the previous 2 years to that date? I read there were 200,000 Romanians and Bulgarians already here? Is this correct? It is not mentioned much now but it was open door for these groups if they were self employed.

      1. Mark
        November 30, 2014

        The ONS provided an analysis here:


        They estimated the total population to be 177,000 at the end of 2013: mid year it might be higher on account of seasonal agricultural workers.

  75. Mark
    November 29, 2014

    One thing I have noted by looking at the data on intended length of stay in the UK (Table 2.09) is that immigrants tend to under-estimate (or lie) about its duration with increasingly high frequency. In the 1990s, if you added the average of those saying they were staying for 1-2 years over the previous two years, and the average of those saying they were staying for 3-4 years over the previous two years to that, the total was significantly less than the number of emigrants. The surplus eroded rapidly after 2004 – when immigration was under-recorded, so if similar patterns prevailed it should have increased – and throughout this government has been in deficit – i.e. those claiming they were staying of under four years are overstaying. The correlation is with the rising numbers of student immigrants who stay on after their studies are complete – student immigration started to increase sharply in 2002.

  76. Brigham
    November 29, 2014

    It doesn’t matter what the facts are. Cameron has made the stupid mistake of promising something that can’t be achieved while we are in the EU. This was a very naive thing to say. Of course all the left wing politicians have jumped on him. Why didn’t he lie like a proper politician.

  77. Kenneth R Moore
    November 29, 2014

    Well Mr Slippery raised expectations from this speech.then true to form didn’t quite deliver. He couldn’t even bring himself to say the Uk could leave the EU. From that I think we can gather that he wishes to court the majority sceptic voters but will in private move heaven and earth to keep us firmly IN.
    Instead he choose to use weasel words again ‘nothing is ruled in or out’.

    My own view is that most immigrants come here to work and not claim benefits – albeit in unsustainably high numbers and to do work that is mostly low skilled. So the effect of tinkering with benefit entitlement is going to have a marginal effect on numbers.

    On this issue Mr Cameron invited the electorate to ‘vote us out’ if the Conservatives didn’t deliver on his ‘no if’s, no buts promise to reduce migration to the ‘tens of thousands’ . So even by his own reckoning, his party do not deserve to win in 2015.

    I’m sure Mr Redwood would argue that the Conservatives are the only party to offer an in or out referendum. But really, how can we trust your leader to keep his word on anything with his dismal track record of lies and failure ?

    1. matthu
      December 1, 2014

      By rights, the CP MPs (the Eurosceptics amongst them, 200 of whom we assured there are by Bill Cash) should take CMD by his word and vote him out.

      Don’t hold your breath.

  78. John Robertson
    November 29, 2014

    Whatever limits are chosen they need to be communicated to the target audience so that poor immigrants don’t hand over their life savings to an agent to get here on the promise of benefits. So clear signs at mustering points from North Africa, Italy, Calais. Telling the electorate in the UK won’t change it unless those considering coming here are informed.

    I seem to remember the 10s of thousands target was an ad lib comment he made in a speech and sent the policy advisers into a panic, whether that’s true I don’t know.

    If it was advertised to those looking to come here without a job then it may have an effect. If it’s not then I think we will still be paying for it somehow. If it worked like that then it could move the balance to more higher skilled from EU and leave room for higher skilled from say the US etc.

    Things like child benefit to an eastern European builder in a shared house sending the money home where it buys so much more is an incentive. A UK tradesman cannot take his family into a shared house sleeping 8 in sleeping bags to a room to compete.

    1. Brian Tomkinson
      November 30, 2014

      “I seem to remember the 10s of thousands target was an ad lib comment he made in a speech”
      Not a bit of it, it was put down in black and white in “A contract by the Conservative Party and you”, signed by David Cameron in 2010 which said that he would “control immigration, reducing it to the levels of the 1990s – meaning tens of thousands a year, rather than the hundreds of thousands a year under Labour”.
      The same document said: “If we don’t deliver our side of the bargain, vote us out in five years time”.
      That’s what we should do – as Cameron would say “no ifs, no buts”.

      1. Denis Cooper
        November 30, 2014

        I still have a copy of that blue covered document entitled “INVITATION TO JOIN THE GOVERNMENT OF BRITAIN”, and it said:

        “Immigration has enriched our nation over the years and we want to attract the brightest and the best people who can make a real difference
        to our economic growth. But immigration today is too high and needs to be reduced. We do not need to attract people to do jobs that could be carried out by British citizens, given the right training and support. So we will take steps to take net migration back to the levels of the 1990s – tens of thousands a year, not hundreds of thousands.”

  79. DaveM
    November 30, 2014

    Enough now. this is our country, our land. It’s a land we have fought and died for, a land that our ancestors sweated and bled to create and improve for their descendants, and to make safe and independent.

    The PM is our temporarily elected leader. He/she doesn’t own the country. The cities, towns, and villages are ours, not his. He doesn’t have the right to give away OUR right to self-determination and freedom.

    People use the expression “island mentality” as a derogatory comment. We ARE an island nation. DC visited Dawlish enough recently – from there you can still see the beacons and coastal defences where our ancestors stood and fought off invaders to preserve our freedom and way of life. We are a nation of seafarers, farmers, warriors, philosophers, writers, inventors…the list is endless. And many of those who have made us successful have been immigrants. But we’re full up now and we can’t cope with providing for any more.

    The time has come to close the door and sort ourselves out. And that means asking the people of these islands what they want. We’re not stupid – we CAN sort it out, but not while we have to deal will mass immigration and interference from foreigners who don’t know, like, or understand us. The governance of four nations can no longer be done by the archaic construct in Westminster. Each nation needs its own Parliament.

    But at the same time we need a UK government to speak and argue for us. It needs to provide security, external and internal, it needs to make trade deals, and it needs to project our renowned sage wisdom in forums like the UN and NATO.

  80. ian
    November 30, 2014

    All parties will have tell the people truth after the 2020 election and that is all that they been promised in living standards and pensions in government and councils will have to be cut to the bone and people now getting their pension paid will have big cut backs to the money they get now, that how bad its going to be, just like you see in other EU country. You think that it hard now. You got it easy at the moment, think of EU country after second world going forward and you start to see the truth of what is coming and door to something about is nearly closed. Only outright radical policies after next election may save you, hot air will not do the trick.

  81. Richard
    November 30, 2014

    Mr. Cameron :

    “We are Great Britain because of immigration, not in spite of it.”

    This is an insult. I do not remember reading that the Industrial Revolution was based upon mass immigration.

    With regard to EU immigration Mr. Cameron’s speech is all talk and no action showing either that winning the next election has been put before the good of the country, not that any of our current leaders would do anything different, or that the proposals would not be allowed by the EU or both.

    No action either on the larger scale non-EU immigration which when coupled with our leaders wish to turn the country into a multicultural state means that ever larger parts of our country will become indistinguishable from Africa or the Middle East.

    We are the most densely populated country in the EU but our leaders wish to continue with high levels of immigration hoping that this ponzi scheme to increase GDP (ignoring our increasing national debt) will continue until they leave office.

    Our leaders are hoping that net migration will eventually fall when outward migration itself turns into a flood.

    Mass immigration from EU countries into the UK is even bad for these countries as they are losing the economically active and well trained people – often to do jobs in the UK well below their level of training.

    Any voter who wishes to either leave the EU or wishes to see immigration controlled/reduced should take note of Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity and should stop voting Con/Lab/Lib/Green :

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  82. Mike
    November 30, 2014

    We probably could manage annual immigration of hundreds of thousands if they went to live in all four corners of the country but they don’t. The attraction of the UK is work, better paid work than they can find in their own countries, and perhaps our benefit system until now, but really it’s work.
    Good news spreads like wildfire and clearly those who arrived during the Blair/Brown years passed word back home that you can get a job, maybe a house or a house-share, settle, build a life, a family and a future here. So not surprisingly their contacts come here too, to the same towns building a concentration of newcomers and putting unworkable pressures on public services there. Meanwhile places like North and Mid Wales, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, Cumbria and the like are not feeling these pressures. This may explain why attitudes vary in polls across the country.

  83. Kenneth R Moore
    November 30, 2014

    Mr Redwood,
    I have read the comments here with interest, alas readers here have little influence on events just a vote.

    I would be most interested in your view on Mr Cameron’s record and his latest re-negotiation strategy? . Do you agree with your readers Mr Cameron’s latest intervention is just more of the failed ‘news management tactics’ without any real action ?.

    Why has the Conservative leadership been given a free hand to make such a complete mess in so many areas ? – from overspending, to foreign policy, to immigration, massive but preventable mistakes have been made.

    Perhaps you and other like minded colleauges have been too loyal and now is the time to take a harder line and demand that you have a greater say on policy direction ?.

  84. Kenneth R Moore
    November 30, 2014

    All that matters is that big business sees mass immigration as bringing in more potential customers and increasing the supply of cheap labour. The big retail groups and utility companies all want to maintain the status quo.
    The same big business also supports the Conservative Party so their policy will not change just the language used.

  85. ian
    December 1, 2014

    USA sale down, the Spanish will be voting to leave the euro at their next election and wet&mad budget is a mess with oil, will have to fine at less 15 billion next year and cut the budget overspend to 75 billion to keep the budget on track, any chance of that john over to you.

  86. David
    December 1, 2014

    “Do you agree with his aim of controlled migration in the tens of thousands? Do you think these new measures will do the job?”

    I also worry about the quality of immigrants as well as the numbers. For example I don’t want convicted murderers or Jihadis coming here. etc ed

  87. Wessexboy
    December 3, 2014

    No and No!
    Please put an end to EU and non-EU immigration. We’re full.
    Is our ‘Foreign Aid’ guilt money for taking qualified Drs and Nurses from poor counties that need them? Why can we not train our own people? Do we believe the incomers are all as good as our own trainees? etc ed

  88. a-tracy
    December 4, 2014

    Why is this so difficult. Our benefits system is a UK benefits system not an EU one, set the rules so that you have to have lived here 18 years before you can claim benefits or tax credits. If people can’t afford to come and work without top up benefits then wages would have to rise, we are becoming the EU soft touch. Who put Angela Merkel in charge of the EU what she says goes does it, we should look at what we can control in the UK and fix that first without any interference from people we fought to get our freedom from.

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