Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Enoch Powell said students shouldn't count as immigrants. So why does Vote Leave include them?

The answer seems to be to do anything they can to make the migration numbers are large as possible.

Even Enoch Powell in 'that speech' (yes, the 'Rivers of Blood' one) rejected the idea of including students in migration statistics: "They are not, and never have been, immigrants." (See for yourself below!)
 Yet the "net migration" statistics used by campaigners for Britain leaving the UK regularly quote net migration stats where a big chunk are students. If you're to the right of Enoch Powell *on immigration*, then this should speak volumes...
(Quote is from my book Becoming British (Biteback, May 2016) found at


Ben said...

How much does this really matter, if the figures we're concerned with are NET migration? Students are counted as immigrants when they come in, but then presumably as emigrants if they leave after their studies.

Thom Brooks said...

It matters a lot - as student numbers have increased substantially over the last decade. This gives the appearance of ever more 'net migrants' year on year when they are anything but.

It would be preferable to remove them altogether from the net migration figures - instantly shaving off over 100+k. And then cut out returning British citizens (about 87k). All of a sudden, net migration figures could be roughly halved without doing anything different. The benefits are a more accurate figure of non-British foreign born migration long term - and one that undermines most scaremongering about migration levels thus far.