As a result England has become the sixth most densely populated major nation [and the most densely populated country in Europe], according to the analysis from the MigrationWatch think-tank. Only Bangladesh, Taiwan, South Korea, Lebanon and Rwanda have more people per square mile.
Sir Andrew Green, who chairs MigrationWatch which compiled the report, said:
‘The immigration lobby like to talk about the UK, obscuring the fact that England is six times as crowded as Scotland. ‘Since the vast majority of immigrants come to England, it is England’s place in the league table that counts. Leaving aside city states and small islands, England lies sixth among the most crowded countries in the world. As people sit in traffic jams or squeeze on to their morning trains it will be clearly ridiculous to claim that their eyes are deceiving them and there is not a problem simply because places like the Maldives or Mayotte have higher population densities than England.’
The study calculated that 93 per cent of immigrants settle in England, and that 86 per cent of projected population growth will occur there. The Office for National Statistics has projected the landmark 70million figure for the UK is likely to be reached in 16 years.
More than 120,000 people have signed a petition calling for a Commons debate on the need to curb immigration and keep numbers below 70million, a point at which many analysts believe housing, transport and public services would be overstretched.
Brussels said yesterday that it wants to make it easier for immigrants to get into Europe in order to boost economies. Cecilia Malmstrom, EU home affairs commissioner, said new systems would help migrants get visas faster, find jobs matching their skills and make it cheaper for them to send money to family members back home.
She said the EU was establishing ‘mobility partnerships’ with Tunisia and Morocco to manage migration and hoped to establish them with Egypt and Libya.