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Population problem

After the biggest immigration wave in our history, Labour is starting to worry about numbers

By David Goodhart   March 2010

Labour is seeking a population plan for the next election—not about birth control, but immigration. Insiders tell me that the government, aware of the popular Tory plan for an annual immigration cap, is preparing to retreat from its laissez-faire approach to the size of Britain’s population.

Labour has been jolted by the success of lobby group Migrationwatch, which has popularised the idea that Britain’s population is heading to 70m (from 61m today) in the next 20 years. Government insiders now concede that overall numbers do matter. You will hear more on this from ministers in the run-up to the election.

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