The number of ethnic-minority people in the country will more than double and hit the 10 million mark within two decades, it has been claimed. Oxford’s Professor David Coleman, who has fought a student backlash over his views on immigration, said the face of Britain was “radically changing”.
Immigration accounted for the biggest jump in population since the baby boom more than half a century ago, he added. Professor Coleman’s figures came as business leaders warned that the influx of low-skilled workers from eastern Europe was threatening to displace young white males and was untenable.
Employers were accused of cashing in on cheap labour while leaving the taxpayer to pick up the bill for the knock-on social costs.
Professor Coleman said the birth rate of 0.6 per cent was “primarily thanks to immigration” and that the average net immigration into Britain over the past two years stood at 204,000. He was speaking at a seminar on population trends staged by the Conservatives yesterday.
His figures show that by 2026 the non-white population of England and Wales will account for around 10 per cent of the total, more than double the 4.5 million ethnic-minority population recorded in the last census in 2001. There will be around five million white, non-British people in the country at that time, such as migrants from eastern Europe, according to the predictions.
Professor Coleman added: “Quite radical ethnic changes are taking place.” The don was at the centre of a row earlier this month when student members of a refugee support group called for him to be sacked, claiming he had stirred up hostility towards immigrants. He was criticised for his role in helping to found think-tank Migrationwatch, but Professor Coleman hit back, saying he was being hounded for daring to challenge Establishment views.
Graeme Leach, chief economist for the Institute of Directors, told the seminar that graduates from the former eastern bloc were taking jobs below their ability and displacing non-graduate British workers. Some 800,000 workers have flocked from Poland and its neighbours after Britain granted them full access to the jobs market when they joined the EU in 2004. Mr Leach added: “Membership overwhelmingly disagree that immigration should be unrestricted.”
Professor Coleman told delegates that there was a danger of developing a “car-wash-based” economy rather than an intelligence-based one. He said: “If you are expanding the size of the low-wage labour force, what you are doing is contradicting, very radically, the fundamental and very wise policy of governments for a high-wage, high-protection economy.”
He also accused employers of taking advantage by paying low wages but not contributing to any social costs that low-income workers may then put on the rest of society.