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

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:24 am on 2nd February 2010.

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Photo of Julian Brazier Julian Brazier Shadow Minister (Transport) 10:24 am, 2nd February 2010

I am grateful that there are a few minutes left for two of us to speak. I have a few footnotes to the remarkable debate that we have had, which was led by Mr. Field. I have a huge admiration for him. He has consistently pointed out that the scandalous expansion of our population has mostly afflicted the white working-class poor. They are the people who have paid the rate for it.

Having repeated that, I am afraid that the statistics do not bear it out. I was totting up the numbers in the House of Commons Library brief as the right hon. Gentleman was speaking. The average rate of net migration under the last Conservative Government was barely 13,000 a year. Under Labour, it is 180,000 on paper, but because there are no embarkation controls for most of that period, it is much higher in practice.