England’s population to boom by 4mn in 10 years - ONS

© Neil Hall
Mass migration to England is expected to ratchet up the population by more than 4 million in the next decade, new government projections suggest, revving up the debate on EU membership.

According to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), London’s population is set to surpass 10 million between 2017 and 2018 — for the first time putting it on par with the world’s mega cities.

The projections, drawn up to help local authorities plan ahead, reveal that populations in some inner city areas will jump by 25 percent by 2024.

If current trends continue, the population of England will hit 63 million by 2039, the ONS predicts.

A rapidly-aging population is also contributing to pressures wrought by increased migration. Over-65s are the fastest growing age group across England. The number of people over the age of 90 is set to surpass 500,000 in the next year, and 1 million between 2033 and 2034.

The new data is likely to fan the flames of the EU referendum debate as a slew of high-profile Brexit supporters have seized on the predications to make the case for leaving the European Union.

Brexiters argue that the growth will strain housing, transport and education systems and that the only way to bring down net migration is to leave the 28-member economic bloc.

Euroskeptic leader of the House of Commons, Chris Grayling, says the mass migrant influx will change “the face of our country forever.”

“Additional demand for housing will gobble up vast tracts of green belt land and mean we will have to dramatically expand our transport system to avoid gridlock,” Grayling warned speaking to the Telegraph.

“It is the biggest democratic deficit that we face at the moment.

“These changes are happening now. There is no doubt that EU migration is at the heart of this.

“We have no way to even slow it down.

“When we stand on the doorstep and look people in the eye and they say to us I don’t want this to happen we can't do anything about it.”

Ex-mayor of London and staunch Brexit supporter Boris Johnson also used the ONS data to suggest a vote to remain the European Union would mean the UK would relinquish all control over immigration.

“We are adding a population the size of Oxford to the UK every year just from EU migration,” Johnson said.

“The system has spun out of control. We cannot control the numbers. We cannot control the terms on which people come and how we remove those who abuse our hospitality,” he said.

“This puts huge pressure on schools, hospitals and housing. It is exploited by some big companies that use immigration to keep wages down.”

‘Remain’ supporter and former Home Secretary David Blunket argues cooperation and collaboration within the bloc are the most sensible way of managing migration.