“Everyone Could Move To Basingstoke!” O’Brien On Immigration Fears

26 May 2016, 13:06 | Updated: 26 August 2016, 10:55

As immigration moves back to the forefront of the EU debate, James O’Brien illustrates why so many of the claims are so unhelpful.

With dramatic pictures of a boat full of immigrants capsizing, record high figures for net migration into the UK and a new campaign ad that has been accused of being racist, immigration fears are at the top of the news agenda.

Much of the debate is fashioned by hyperbole and unsubstantiated claims, and James O’Brien clearly, and quite humorously, illustrated why it is all so unhelpful.

"If you’re really worried about overpopulation we should start talking about sterilisation.

"Did you know that if every woman in this country who was fertile had a baby in the next 12-months the population would fly through the roof. And it’s possible as well, there’s nothing to stop them!

"That’s the intellectual equivalent of talking about 75m Turks or however many Poles and Romanians it was [coming to the UK].

"You could point out that there’s nothing to stop everyone in Britain moving to Basingstoke. Tomorrow! They could do it! But no one worries about that because it sounds absurd.

"Bring foreigners into it and all of a sudden a certain type of person finds it a lot less absurd."