It’s unfit to stop population hitting 70 million: Sir Andrew Green
18th November 2009: The points based system is like a fake Rolex; look at it closely and it is fatally flawed, believes Chairman of MigrationwatchUK Sir Andrew Green.
Formerly HM Ambassador to Syria and Saudi Arabia, Sir Andrew Green says it fails completely to meet the challenges; and is not fit to stop the population hitting 70 million.
The assertions come soon after Prime Minister Gordon Brown in his first speech on immigration in two years talked in praise of the PBS for immigration and citizenship. Brown had claimed "together they constitute a fundamental reform of a decade’s old system – a reform founded on the British values of personal responsibility and civic duty."
Sir Andrew Green believes this “reform” fails entirely to address the central challenge they face. Statistically speaking, he says by 2029, official forecasts show the population will hit – and then exceed – 70 million mark.
As much as 70 per cent of this growth would be due to immigration. As such, in 25 years they would need to build seven cities the size of Birmingham to house new migrants.
He says to avoid all this, migration needs to be reduced dramatically – from 237,000 net migration in 2007, to around 50,000.
He adds the coverage of PBS is very limited, it is very complex, and there is enormous scope for abuse. Also, there is every risk it will collapse in chaos. If it does, the ability to remove those fooling the system is pathetically weak. So, if the challenge is to stop the population hitting 70 million, the PBS is not fit for purpose.
He also asserts the claims the PBS will stop the population hitting 70 million are misleading. Even though the Government trumpet recent falls in immigration as proof of PBS’s working: as much as 70,000 or 76 per cent of the fall was due to a reduction in net migration from the EU, which i not subject to the PBS and over which the government has no control.
Referring to the assertion of the Conservatives that they will accept the PBS subject to modification, Sir Andrew Green says the first modification must be to restore the role of immigration officers.