[Mr. Edward O'Hara in the Chair] — Population and Immigration

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:11 am on 2nd February 2010.

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Photo of Philip Hollobone Philip Hollobone Conservative, Kettering 10:11 am, 2nd February 2010

It is a huge privilege for me to follow three excellent speeches by three great parliamentarians-Mr. Field, and my hon. Friends the Members for Mid-Sussex (Mr. Soames) and for Cities of London and Westminster (Mr. Field)-who all have very well deserved reputations in this House. Indeed, I believe that, in years to come, people will look back at the speech today by my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Sussex and regard it as visionary, for telling us what will happen and reminding us that politicians down the years have ignored the pleas of our nation on this issue, as the right hon. Member for Birkenhead also pointed out.

It is worth bearing in mind what we are actually talking about today, because the vision that my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Sussex has set out is that the population of our great nation will rise to a staggering 70 million people in 20 years' time, up from today's figure of 61 million. Indeed, we will be able to cap our population at 70 million only if we do something about it; if we do not do anything the number will be far higher. So, even if we take action now, we will be bolting the stable door after a large part of the horse is already out of the stable.

That is a tragic situation for our country, because it means that there will be huge problems facing us in the next 20 years, which we will have to deal with. There is no way that we can keep the population at 61 million. Another 9 million people are going to be in this country, even if we take effective action now.

The issue is space, not race. The one positive benefit of immigration from the new entrant EU countries in the past few years is that we can start to talk about immigration once again, because now white people-essentially, the immigrants from those new EU countries are white-are immigrants too. I suspect that every Member in Westminster Hall today has been accused in the past five or 10 years of being racist, mainly by politicians on the left, because we dared to speak out about the wave of immigration affecting our country. However, because we now have a large number of white immigrants in this country, suddenly it is okay to talk about immigration once again.

The problem is the scale of the immigration-the number of people heading our way-and it is going to overwhelm our indigenous culture in ways that are frankly unacceptable.

At the crude end of the debate, the problem is reflected in talk about the burqa. I must say that I have huge sympathy with those who want action taken against people who want to cover themselves up in public. How ridiculous would the House of Commons be if we were all to wear burqas? How would Mr. Speaker be able to identify which Member to call next?