by Stephen Tall on February 27, 2014
The good news is that more people chose to come to the UK last year. Net migration to the UK increased to 212,000 in the year to September 2013, up from 154,000 in the previous year. As the independent Office for Budget Responsibility has shown before: if you want increased growth, you should welcome immigration.
Here’s how Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable put it, according to the BBC:
Vince Cable welcomed the increase in net migration to the UK, saying the target to reduce it to tens of thousands each year had been set by the Conservatives, not the coalition government. He said: “Actually it’s good news because the reason immigration is going up is because fewer British people are emigrating and surely that’s a good thing – people are getting jobs here.”
But that’s not my favourite Vince quote on the subject of the Tories’ anti-growth “reduce net migration at any costs” policy. Here’s what he said a year ago:
The Lib Dem business secretary, who is the most frequent and high-profile critic of his party’s coalition partners, even mocked the policy, adding: “When you think about the logic of it: net immigration means reducing the number of people coming in or increasing the number of British people emigrating. Is that the policy objective? I don’t know …”
* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.