The population of the UK is rising at an alarming rate

Morning View

Morning View

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The population of the United Kingdom is rising at a dramatic rate.

For the first time, the number of people living in the country has passed 65 million.

The overall population rose by half a million in one year, official figures have shown.

The main driving force behind the rise is immigration.

The net rise in the population over a decade is 4.7 million.

These are extraordinary, and alarming figures.

Immigration has been a heated source of debate in the EU referendum, but regardless of the outcome there will be intense migration pressure on Britain for years, and probably for decades, to come.

Coming to grips with that issue in a humane way is set to be one of the biggest political and societal challenges in the near future.

The number of immigrants risking their lives to reach Europe is not falling, despite tragic mass drownings in the Mediterranean. Syria is only one part of the jigsaw. There are millions of people in sub Saharan Africa who quite understandably want to come to Europe.

England is already one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

Immigration has made London one of the greatest, most vibrant cities on Earth. It is also true that immigrants mostly are keen to work hard and are generally willing to take jobs that existing members of the population will not take.

But even so, there are massive infrastructure implications from such a sudden rise in population.

It is little wonder that house prices in the southeast of England have ballooned to disastrous levels.

The EU debate is over for now.

We must come together as a nation and find a way forward for dealing with some urgent policy issues, one of the most important of which is immigration – and entirely repudiating racism in the debates and discussions that ensue.