We are an independent, voluntary, non political body which is concerned about the present scale of immigration into the UK.

Recent Briefing Papers

The UK Labour Market – EU Workers by Occupation Skill Level
20th May 2015


1. There are currently 400,000 EU14 workers in the UK who are more likely to be in a skilled occupation than the UK born – 70% compared to 55%. However, there are more than twice that number from the accession countries known as the EU10 of whom almost three quarters are in low skilled employment and over one third of the total are in the very lowest category of low skilled employment. It is therefore very unlikely that the latter will be making even the very small net fiscal contribution that has been claimed for them. The NIESR have already found that ‘the long term impact on GDP per capita is expected to be negligible’.


2. It is often claimed that immigration is essential for Britain’s economy as it needs the skills and innovation that immigration brings. Yet fiscal calculations of immigrants’ contribution to the UK show that between 1995 and 2011 all migrants (regardless of the year that they arrived) cost the UK between £115 billion and £160 billion, or about £20 million a day. Some have claimed that recent EU workers have contributed more than they have received however this relies on some wholly unrealistic assumptions about company, share and home ownership which, when adjusted for, reduce the contribution to a neutral one – neither costing nor benefiting the exchequer. Therefore, there seems to be a discrepancy between the narrative of immigration bringing much sought after skills to the UK and their net contribution in fiscal terms. This paper will try to bridge a gap by examining the Labour Force Survey to establish the occupations of EU migrants to the UK who have arrived since 1997.

Read the Full Briefing Paper

Article 8 of the Human Rights Convention - A Russian Case
6th May 2015

The starting point of this paper is a recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights Muradeli v. Russia ECHR 368. There is something mildly reassuring about finding out that in spite of the current view of Putin’s Russia as a by no means benign dictatorship in a not very convincing democratic disguise, the country remains a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and accepts the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.

The facts

2. The appellant Muradeli is a citizen of Georgia who first moved to Russia in 1992 and in 1994 married a Russian woman. They had a son in 1995. In 1996 the appellant and his family moved to Georgia but returned to Russia in 2001. He was issued with a residence permit valid for two years from July 2002. He delayed in applying for renewal of his permit but in August 2006 his permit was renewed on application for three years. He failed to notify changes of address and was notified that on expiry of his permit he would have to leave Russia. He continued to live in Russia without a permit beyond 2009. In October 2011 he was arrested in the course of a police identity check. He was charged and found guilty of a breach of immigration law. He was fined 3000 roubles and his administrative removal from Russia was ordered. He was removed in November 2011.

Read the Full Briefing Paper

Recent Press Releases

Migration Watch UK Press Comment on ONS Net Migration Statistics
21st May 2015

Responding to today’s net migration figures, Lord Green of Deddington, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said:

The latest figures are appalling. We need to stop and think where this mass immigration is leading. It points to a probable increase of three million in the UK population over the next five years in the face of very strong public opinion. Any further cuts in resources for immigration control would be absurd.

The government are right to focus on the need to ensure departure. Non-EU migrants are arriving at a rate of 300,000 a year but only 100,000 are leaving. It seems that half of those staying on (about 100,000) originally arrived as students.

Meanwhile, the nearly 50% increase in net EU migration suggests that simply curtailing benefits is unlikely to be effective.

Read the Full Press Release

75% of East Europeans and 30% of EU14 workers in low skilled work
20th May 2015

Three quarters of all East European workers who have arrived since their countries joined the EU are working in low skilled work, so says a Migration Watch UK analysis of the Labour Force Survey.

The analysis finds that in early 2014 there were 870,000 workers from the Accession countries of Eastern Europe (including Romania and Bulgaria) in the labour market and almost three quarters, or 630,000, were in low skilled work, as defined by the government’s Migration Advisory Committee. Remarkably, about half of these (almost 320,000) are in the very lowest skilled occupations.

Read the Full Press Release


Net migration nearly quadrupled from 48,000 in 1997 to 185,000 in 2003. Once the East Europeans had been granted free movement in 2004 it peaked at 320,000 in the year ending June 2005. Net foreign migration under Labour was 3.6 million, two thirds coming from outside the EU.

In 2013 over half a million migrants arrived in Britain, more than the total population of Bradford. In the same year 314,000 migrants left so net migration was 212,000.

We must build a new home every seven minutes for new migrants for the next 20 years or so.

England (not the UK) is the second most crowded country in Europe, after the Netherlands, excluding island and city states.

The UK population is projected to grow by over 9 million (9.4m) in just 25 years’ time, increasing from 64 million in 2013 to 73 million by 2039. Of this increase, about two thirds is projected to be due to future migrants and their children - the equivalent of the current populations of Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Bristol, Cardiff, Newcastle, Belfast and Aberdeen.

To keep the population of the UK below 70 million, net migration must be reduced to around 40,000 a year. It would then peak in mid-century at just under 70 million (about 69.7 million).

Revised July 2014

  • “One spectacular mistake in which I participated (not alone) was in lifting the transitional restrictions on the Eastern European states like Poland and Hungary which joined the EU in mid-2004. Other existing EU members, notably France and Germany, decided to stick to the general rule which prevented migrants from these new states from working until 2011. Thorough research by the Home Office suggested that the impact of this benevolence would in any event be 'relatively small, at between 5,000 and 13,000 immigrants per year up to 2010'. Events proved these forecasts worthless. Net migration reached close to a quarter of a million at its peak in 2010. Lots of red faces, mine included.”

    Jack Straw, the Labour MP for Blackburn and former Home Secretary, speaking to his local newspaper about the 2004 Accession of the A8 to Europe and Labour’s decision not to impose transitional controls on workers from these countries. The Home Office forecast that just 13,000 would move to Britain. The current population of A8 nationals in the UK is over one million. (November 2013)

  • Helen Boaden, Director, Radio and until recently Director, BBC News, accepts that when she came into her role in September 2004 there had been a problem in the BBC’s coverage of immigration. She was aware, she told us, of a “deep liberal bias” in the way that the BBC approached the topic, and specifically that press releases coming from Migration Watch were not always taken as seriously as they might have been.

    Helen Boaden’s Evidence to BBC’s Prebble Review (July 2013)

  • People didn't believe the authorities knew what they were doing and there's a very good reason for that - they didn't.

    Phil Woolas, Immigration Minister, reported in The Sun (21 October, 2008)

  • I have made this point many times before but can we please stop saying that Migration Watch forecasts are wrong. I have pointed out before that Migration Watch assumptions are often below the Government Actuarys Department high migration variant.

    An internal Home Office email they were obliged to release to MigrationWatch (29 July, 2003)

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