Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Gerard stands firm on immigration

London MEP Gerard Batten told the UKIP annual conference that the party has been too slow in pushing for radical immigration policies designed for British citizens "and not designed for the benefit of foreigners".

His address was considered one of the highlights and here it is in full:

Over the last three years I have done a great deal of research to establish facts and figures about immigration. As Chairman of the Immigration Policy Review Committee I delivered a comprehensive policy paper with a twenty point plan on how to deal with the problem. There is only time here to give you a brief summary of my proposals.

As far as it is possible to ascertain immigration to Britain is running at about 600,000 per annum. Allowing for those who leave, the latest figures show this gives a net population gain of about 237,000 per annum; or over one million new people every five years, equivalent to a new town the size of Birmingham.

While illegal immigration is rife, every single European Union citizen has an automatic legal right to come to Britain if they so wish. The Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democratic parties are all enthusiastic supporters of EU expansion. They all support Turkish entry and if that happens, as seems likely sometime in the next few years, 72 million Turks will have the right to come to Britain if they wish.

If we add up the populations of all those countries seeking to join the EU over the next few years we get a figure of over 157 million.

Now not all of them are going to come to Britain but if only one per cent decided to do so that is still over 1.5 million people, in addition of course to current annual numbers of legal and illegal immigrants.

Britain is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. England, where the majority of the British live, is more densely populated that India, China or Japan. And yet our Government does not believe there should be any real limits on immigration.

And amazingly, given their unqualified belief in man-made climate change, they don’t seem to take into account the effect that an ever-increasing population has on our environment and quality of life.

You will all have seen the figures last week when the UK population reached a new high point of 61.4 million people. The Government firmly assured us that the population will not reach 70 million in the years to come.

Well, they should consult what their own Office of National Statistics. According to the ONS figures, on current trends, the UK population will reach over 70 million by 2031, and spiral upwards ever after. Thankfully most of us will no longer be here when England reaches standing room only, but our children and our children’s children will be. If the Labour, Conservative and Lib-Dem parties are still around no doubt there policy will be, “plenty more room on top”.

This population growth can be clearly shown to be driven entirely by immigration and births to immigrants. Without immigration the UK population would stabilize at about 60 million and even slightly decline.

We know from opinion polls and our own experience that the vast majority of people, of all ethnic origins, are extremely concerned by continued mass immigration and want it to be firmly controlled.

UKIP, is not opposed to some limited immigration. But any immigration should be in the interests of the Britain and its citizens not in the interests of those untold millions of people who might want to migrate here.

In my view UKIP has been too slow to propose much needed radical policies and we must now make up for lost time. UKIP’s immigration policy should be designed for the benefit of the British people, whatever their original ethnic origin, and not designed for the benefit of foreigners.

All the arguments in favour of mass immigration are spurious and easily defeated, so I will not spend time here doing that. But let me summarise the problems and propose some solutions.

Since World War II we have experienced immigration on a scale unprecedented in our history. We are now adding to our population by over one million new people every five years.

Millions more will come to Britain through illegal immigration, and through perfectly legal immigration from the European Union.

It is estimated that there are at least one million illegal immigrants in Britain. The asylum system is subject to systematic abuse and hundreds of thousands of economic migrants use it as a means of gaining entry to the UK.

Uncontrolled immigration is driving down the wages of those at the bottom of the economic scale, while at the same time driving property prices up. This has already driven some people into voting for a racist party.

Britain and particularly England are among the most densely populated countries in the world. The continued and unsustainable rise in our population is due entirely to immigration.

A significant proportion of immigrants and their descendents are neither assimilating nor integrating into British society. Encouraged by official policies of multiculturalism we are creating parallel societies: not only with their own traditions and customs but now demanding their own legal systems.

We are witnessing the Balkanisation of the UK with unknown consequences for the future. Academic research shows that on current demographic trends the English will be an ethnic minority in their own country within two to three generations.

Those are the problems. What are the solutions?

UKIP has already made a good start by stating that there should be a five year freeze on immigration until we have the situation under control.

UKIP must declare a clear and unequivocal commitment to end the age of mass immigration. Any future immigration should be on a strict points based system only, such as those operated by Australia and New Zealand. The inexorable rise in population can only be stalled by limited net immigration of less than 50,000 per annum.

Entry to Britain for work purposes should be by work-permit only for limited periods of time, and only where there are proven skills shortages in specific areas of the economy.

People found to be living illegally in Britain should be removed to their country of origin. Illegal immigrants should not be granted an amnesty.

The terms of the 1951 Convention of Refugees should be strictly enforced so that asylum seekers should seek refuge in the first designated safe country they come to, until such time as Britain withdraws from the Convention and replaces it with our own laws for the application and granting of asylum.

We should repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 and withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights. These have prevented the courts from expelling terrorists, extremists, criminals, bogus asylum seekers and undesirable aliens.

There should be an end to the promotion of multiculturalism by local and national government. It is divisive and recipe for future conflict. While individual cultural and religious practices should be respected they should also be private. We should seek to integrate and assimilate existing immigrants into a culture of loyalty to and respect for a common set of political and legal institutions. There must be no place for the official recognition of Sharia law.

We must regain control of our borders and who enters. It will come as no surprise to any of you here to know we cannot do any of these things until we leave the European Union first.

In conclusion: We all know immigrants, and the descendents, of immigrants who are hard-working and law-abiding: people who contribute to the economy and are valued members of society. Many such people are just as vocal in their criticism of the current immigration and asylum shambles as anyone else.

We are not anti-immigrant or anti-immigration, but now is the time for UKIP to be bold. Now is the time for UKIP to say what the vast majority of the British people want to hear.

The electorate has given UKIP another five-year term for our 13 MEPs. They have put their trust in us again. We must not let them down. Now is the time for UKIP to speak up for those people who elected us to speak for them.

Now is the time for us to speak up for our country.

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