UK Immigration figures to hit record high - why we need a radical solution

Home Affairs
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Nic Conner

UK immigration and migration quarterly figures (April to June) are released by ONS tomorrow 27 August 2015 at 09:30. and

It is expected that the report will show an increase in immigration and migration; by both EU nationals and non EU nationals.

It is also expected to show an increase in the numbers of migrants applying for asylum and an increase of asylum applications being turned down, detained or removed.

This could be further embarrassment to David Cameron's ‘tens of thousands’ net migration pledge in 2010.

David Cameron will also be under the spotlight for his record on refugees and asylum claims. Cameron’s pledge to take-in just ‘a few hundred’ refugees could be strongly criticised.

Some may say this shows Cameron turning his back on the legal refugees who have been approved to be genuine in processing centres and are ready for resettlement, whilst leaving the door open for illegal immigrants to break into the UK.  

Nic Conner The Bow Group Senior Research Fellow:

‘We are facing a migration crisis in Europe. Worldwide the number of refugees has reached 50 million, just under the population of the England. The Government needs to put in place a coherent long-term strategy to deal with the crisis, working with international partners. The defences at Britain’s borders will not cope with a constant influx of millions of migrants, the largest movement of people in human history.

The immigration and migration figures released today run up to June 2015 only, and will not show the figures from the ‘Calais Crisis’ in July and August. This crisis is seen by many as a failure to process the sheer volume of migrants, and sort genuine asylum applicants from economic migrants and illegal immigrants.

It can also be seen as a failure to address the question of why migrants choose to travel to yet further to the United Kingdom, after arriving in Europe."

Nic Conner's report for The Bow Group, published in June 2015, calls on European leaders to adopt the Australian maritime immigration policy of stopping the boats that bring thousands of migrants across the Mediterranean each week at source.

The paper, entitled ‘Stop the Boats’, calls for European Union-operated Migration Processing Centres (MPCs) to be set up in Morocco, Algeria or Tunisia to processes legitimate migrants before they enter Europe.

The paper also argues for any migrant boats in the Mediterranean to be rescued or redirected to the MPCs by naval vessels of cooperating nations, where migrants can be identified and applications for political asylum and other forms of legal migration into European nations can be considered. The design would be to remove both the incentive and the danger to attempt to enter Europe illegally.

Nic Conner, the paper’s author:

‘Europe needs to come together to set-up Migration Processing Centres in North Africa so we can process genuine asylum applicants apart from economic migrants and illegal immigrants’.

‘We need to send a message out that if you want to come to the UK and other European nations you need to do so legally, any attempt to do otherwise will fail.'

‘The UK has seen this summer with the Calais Crisis that our borders cannot cope with this level of migration. The UK and other European nations must work together and move the processing of migrants out of Europe and into North Africa. The past months have proven that processing migrants in Italy, Greece and Macedonia does not work, as they move into Northern Europe and then attempt to break into Britain’

‘As we have seen in Australia if you stop the boats you stop the illegal immigrants. The UK needs to say to the migrants “if you want to start a new life, do it legally or not at all”.

Bow Group Chairman Ben Harris-Quinney said:

"International aid foundations, charities the UN and a wide array of nations identified more than 2 years ago that, following conflicts in Eastern Europe, Libya, Syria and the wider Middle East, the resulting global movement of people would be unprecedented.

A business as usual approach to the greatest movement of people in history has unsurprisingly failed to deal with the scale of the problem.

Given the strength of feeling amongst the British public over the issue of immigration and the vulnerability of many of the migrants, it is the urgent responbility of this government to enact a solution that meets the scale of the problem. It requires a revolutionary approach,  otherwise the recent scenes at Calais will become a commonality."

You can read ‘Stop the Boats’ here:

You can see Nic Conner debate the issue on France 24 here:

And on BBC’s The Big Questions here: