John O'Neill

When do the children of migrants become British?

When do the descendants of immigrants go from being migrants to being natives? That’s the question raised by a MigrationWatch UK study which says that the impact of immigration on the 4.6 million increase in the UK’s population since the millennium has been ‘substantially underestimated’. Why? Because the government’s statistics agency doesn’t attribute the 1.3 million children born to foreign-born parents to migration.

Sir Andrew Green, the chair of MigrationWatch, said that:

‘It is now undeniable that the massive scale of net migration has been the main cause of our population growth and that, in the future, our population growth is likely to be almost entirely due to migration.’

The Office for National Statistics says that migration has been responsible for 57 per cent of the increase in population, on average, since 2001; MigrationWatch that it has been responsible for 84 per cent – and that ‘in the longer term all population growth is likely to be due to immigration’.

Cue a tweet from Nigel Farage:

And another:

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Frightful! But two of Farage’s children – those born to his German wife, Kirsten, would be included in MigrationWatch’s total, which prompted the inevitable Twitter backlash.

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