UKIP’s policies could actually cause an increase in immigration. In view of Nigel Farage’s statement (apparently contradicting Mark Reckless) that UKIP immigration policies would not be retrospective, many EU migrants would be likely to rush to the country before the controls were implemented.
Migrants who had come to the UK temporarily might not leave, if they thought that they might not be able to come back again.
Migrants who were still allowed to come to the UK would on average come from further away and therefore be more likely to want to stay longer, bring families or start families in the UK.
Under UKIP’s policies, with a withdrawal from the EU, the outflow of mainly older British people, especially to Spain and France would reduce or could even be reversed.
The current system of migration and border control does not work well. There are estimated to be around 500,000 illegal immigrants in the UK, but no-one knows the real figure. The system is still very porous, even after successive governments have tried to improve the system. Illegal immigrants and gangs would be more likely to exploit the creaking system as it would be under added strain.
And then there are UKIP’s climate change policies. The impact of uncontrolled climate change could dwarf all the other issues, when it comes to migration. Few people would leave Britain if the climate became warmer and sea levels rose. However, virtually uncontrollable surges of refugees could be displaced by drought, storms, floods, drinking water shortages and rising sea levels in countries such as Bangladesh and parts of Africa. Many could seek refuge in the UK.