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

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:30 am on 2nd February 2010.

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Photo of Paul Rowen Paul Rowen Shadow Work and Pensions Minister 10:30 am, 2nd February 2010

We believe that the debate on population obscures the real issue. It is easy to say that there should be a limit of 40,000 immigrants a year or a population limit of 70 million, but we have to ask why there has been such a large explosion of people coming into this country. It is primarily because, in 1994, the Conservative Government dismantled the exit controls in this country. Even now, we do not have a proper idea of who is coming into and, more importantly, who is leaving the country. If identity cards are fully introduced, it will be 2014 before we have that information. That is why we have a problem.