Countries throughout the world are responding to higher population levels and rising migration pressures by limiting immigration.
There will always be reasons why people want to move from one country to another. Ever larger numbers of unemployed in poorer countries lead growing numbers to seek a better life abroad. However, large scale and persistent net immigration can result in an imbalance between demand for consumption and sustainable resources. Balanced migration, where the number of people moving into a country is limited to the number leaving, seems a sensible compromise between individual rights and those of society as a whole. Whatever the numbers, it is important to apply policies in a humane and non-discriminatory manner and to maintain the right of those in fear to seek asylum.
We believe the only just and long-term solution to migration pressures is to address its underlying causes in the countries of origin, such as poverty, lack of or over-exploitation of resources, climate change and conflict. Developed countries have a clear moral responsibility to help with this, in that they contribute to migratory pressures through being both major consumers of resources from developing countries and the principal source of the causes of climate change.
For countries such as the UK, which have an ecologicial footprint larger than their carrying capacity, we propose balanced migration. This would still allow substantial movements in both directions for family, economic and other reasons.
We support the right to asylum for refugees with a well-founded fear of persecution, and believe that immigration controls should be applied humanely. We accept intra-EU migration, to which its member countries are committed by treaty and which is intended to come into balance in the longer term as European economies converge.
Read more about sustainable migration.