Former Archbishop supports limit on migration

Published 07 January 2010  |  
|PIC1|Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey is calling for a “reasonable limit” on the number of migrants coming to the UK each year.

Lord Carey is part of the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration calling on the main political parties to make commitments in their General Election manifestos to stop the UK population reaching 70 million.

Speaking on BBC 4’sToday programme, Lord Carey said the group was not asking for an outright ban on new immigration. Instead it wants a cap on net immigration at 40 million a year, a quarter of what it is now.

“We are asking for a reasonable limit … to know the Government is controlling the situation,” he said.

The call follows the Office for National Statistics’ prediction last year that the UK population would rise to more than 71.6 million by 2033.

The Archbishop stressed the desire for a limit had nothing to do with the religion of people coming into the UK and that he did not believe Christian immigrants should be given preference over Muslim immigrants.

“What I am concerned about is not saying we must put a limit on people who are non-Christian. That’s not the point, we welcome everybody,” he said.

“But we must call for an understanding on the part of those who come into our country that they have come into one that values parliamentary democracy, which is built upon our Christian heritage.

“They’ve got to understand our commitment to the English language and espouse it and they must understand our history.

“I wouldn’t want to ban any particular group or give preference to any particular group but there’s got to be a limit on numbers.”

The Archbishop said the migration issue would play into the hands of the BNP unless the main political parties addressed it in their manifestos.

"If we don't do something about this, we play immediately into the hands of the BNP. That is very clear indeed,” he said.

“They are working and exploiting frustration, a sense of alienation on the part of white working class people who are saying 'our jobs are being taken by people from abroad'."

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