Days after UKIP leader Nigel Farage blamed immigrants for congestion on the M4 motorway, one of Britain’s most respected economics bodies has declared that there’s plenty of room for more people in Britain.
Professor Stephen Nickell from the the independent economic forecaster the Office for Budgetary Responsibility said the National Health Service would be in “dire straits” were it not for immigrants and that there was a difference between perceptions about immigration – the fact that most Britons believe that a quarter of the population are migrants when just over 13% are – and the real impact migrants had on the British economy.
Rejecting claims that Britain, as an Island, had only a finite amount of room for immigrants, Professor Nickell said that the urbanized area of Britain occupies less than 10% of the country’s surface area.
“The urbanized part of Surrey occupies less of Surrey than Golf courses”, he added.
Professor Nickell also said that Britons needed to carefully explore the issue of immigration by investigating the real reasons behind the debate.
“Since more immigrants mean more housing, more roads, more airports, more incinerators, more of this being required, and since the evidence would suggest that people by and large don’t like these things, especially if they are near them, that’s the key issue about immigration that people may wish to face up to”, he said.