The Declaration on Population
In January 2010 a document entitled ‘The Declaration on Population” was published. It warned that a UK population of 70 million, which will arrive about 2030, based on current trends “would be seriously damaging to the future harmony of our society.” Later that year in May 2010 a conservative government was elected to power in the UK on the back their primary mandate to tackle immigration. Under this same government the UK is now in the process of leaving the European Union (EU). The false promises made by UK’s Conservative government are now becoming apparent. Immigration, like horticulture is fundamental to Britain’s cultural and societal landscape. Without immigration could Britain ever be called Great? This project features a selection of trees found growing in the UK.
6 January 2010
A DECLARATION ON POPULATION 70 MILLION IS TOO MANY
1. We are gravely concerned about the rapid increase in the population of England that is now forecast. We note that the official projections show the population of the UK will increase from 61.4 million in 2008 to exceed 70 million by 2029. Over the next 25 years the population will increase by 10 million, nearly all of the increase being in England. 70% – 7 million – will be due to immigration. We believe that immigration on such a scale will have a significant impact on our public services, our quality of life and on the nature of our society.
2. We welcome the considerable benefits that immigration has brought to British life. However, we note that over the last decade immigration has reached unprecedented levels. Furthermore, we note that a major enquiry by the Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Lords found no evidence that net immigration generates significant economic benefits for the existing UK population. We note also that the latest household projections show that nearly 40% of new households to be formed by 2031 will be the result of immigration – approximately one every five minutes.
3. Accordingly, we call on the major parties to make clear commitments in their General Election manifestos to reduce net immigration to the levels of the early 1990s – that is less than 40,000 a year compared to 163,000 in 2008 – in such a way as to ensure that the population of the UK will not reach 70 million.
4. We recognise that this will not be easy to achieve. Over the last decade or so we have lost control of immigration. It will take several years to put this right. But the first requirement is a clear political decision to put in hand the measures required to restore control over our borders, to break the present almost automatic link between coming to Britain and later gaining citizenship, and thus take a range of further measures to limit the growth in our population.
5. We are convinced that failure to take action would be seriously damaging to the future harmony of our society. Nearly a million votes by our fellow citizens for an extremist party amount to a danger sign which must not be ignored. For too long the major political parties have failed to address these issues and the intense, if largely private, concern that they generate throughout our country. If politicians want to rebuild the public’s trust in the political system, they cannot continue to ignore this issue which matters so much to so many people. The time has come for action.
Signatories to the Declaration on Population
1. Rt Hon. Frank Field MP 2. The Hon. Nicholas Soames MP 3. The Lord Jordan CBE 4. Daniel Kawczynski MP 5. Rt Hon. Michael Ancram QC MP 6. Peter Bottomley MP 7. Christopher Chope MP 8. Roger Godsiff MP 9. John Horam MP 10.Robert Key MP 11.Peter Kilfoyle MP 12.Rt Hon. the Lord Anderson of Swansea 13.Rt Hon. the Baroness Boothroyd OM 14.Rt Rev. and Rt Hon. the Lord Carey of Clifton 15.The Baroness Cox 16.Rt Hon. the Earl Ferrers DL 17.The Lord Leach of Fairford 18.Professor the Lord Skidelsky 19.The Lord Vinson LVO DL 20.Hazhir Teimourian