Immigration 'will add extra Newcastle' to Britain every year and 'change nature of UK,' claims anti-Europe Tory MP

Building enough houses to meet the demands of a rising population due partly to migration would "change the nature and character" of the country, a prominent Eurosceptic MP has said.
Chris Grayling.Chris Grayling.
Chris Grayling.

Commons Leader Chris Grayling has said he could not do anything about EU migration while the country was still a member of the bloc.

Mr Grayling said there was a "fundamental democratic gap" in the EU advising that not enough houses were being built in the UK, while at the same time preventing the country from controlling EU migration.

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He said the Office for National Statistics has predicted rise from 63 million to 76 million over the next generation, of which he said a "substantial part" is down to migration, describing it as the equivalent of adding a city the size of Newcastle upon Tyne to the United Kingdom every year.

He added: "If we have migration on this scale, the European Commission has put its finger on it: we have to build more and it will change the nature and character of many parts of this country."

Remain campaigners have previously pointed out if the UK leaves the EU, any subsequent trade deal is likely to involve Britain allowing EU citizens to live and work in Britain.

Mr Grayling was commenting in the Daily Mail on a European Commission report published on Wednesday, recommending that Britain build 220,00 more houses a year to keep up with demand from those including European migrants.

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In the Council Recommendation on the 2016 national reform programme, it says Britain should "take further steps to boost housing supply" as the new supply is currently at around 150 000 units a year, 70,000 a year short of the number of households being created.

Mr Grayling said: "What we have is the EU telling us we are not building enough houses and yet telling us also that we have to accept unlimited migration from elsewhere in the European Union.

"There is just a fundamental democratic gap in all of this."

Mr Grayling said that while he was not someone who always believed that immigration was bad for Britain, if somebody on a doorstep told him that they wanted to slow it down, he would not be able to do anything about the EU influx.

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He added that in sovereign countries, he believed people with such views on immigration should have a say and while Britain remained a member state, they would not.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage said on Twitter: "Uncontrolled EU migration places a huge burden on Britain's housing stock. European Commission lecturing us about building more houses when it's a crisis caused by EU open borders is a total insult."