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Live Updates

By the Newsnight team

All times stated are UK

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  1. Editor's reflections

    Ian Katz

    Newsnight Editor

    A few quick takeaways from tonight’s immigration debate:

    1. Whatever the academic truth about the impact of immigration on Britain is, this is the issue that more than any other in this campaign excites real passion. And in a place like Boston there are many with direct experience of its costs as well as its benefits. Some of the most striking contributions tonight were from members of the panel and audience talking about the effect of high levels of immigration on NHS services, and wages.
    2. Even defenders of free movement within Europe are reluctant to defend the idea of a Britain with a population of 80 million – the ONS’s projection for 2060 on current trends. When Evan challenged Remain advocate David Hanson on this, he preferred to argue that the population would never reach those levels.
    3. There is still no settled view within the Leave camp about what Out looks like. Michael Gove this weekend insisted our future would lie outside the single market. But Kwasi Kwarteng, arguing for Leave tonight, thought the UK’s post-Brexit status remained a matter for negotiation.
    4. When this campaign is over, a lot of Conservative MPs will have said a lot of distinctly unhelpful things about the Tories’ record in government. Tonight it was Kwasi Kwarteng, dissing the government’s record on immigration: “That was a clear manifesto commitment that we haven’t reached.”
  2. Recap: Who said what

    The panel and audience

    There was a direct clash of views between two of our experts.

    Jonathan Portes from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research spoke about the cost "benefits" of having migrants here – as opposed to them being a drain on the welfare state: 

    Quote Message: Migrants also pay taxes, especially migrants from Europe. They are actually more likely to be in work, they are much more likely to be of working age. Remember ... most of the money ... the welfare state spends goes on old people and to some extent on kids – it doesn't go to people of working age

    But Harriet Sergeant from the Centre For Policy Studies strongly disagreed:  

    Quote Message: 75% of migrants go into low paid jobs – that means that they are getting housing benefits, tax credits, they're getting child benefit. So we are in this extraordinary position where we are actually subsidising migrants to take low paid jobs and sidelining other people who could have been doing those jobs

    Then another clash – this time on the number of migrants entering the country...

    Harriet Sergeant said:

    Quote Message: We have no control over the numbers. If Greece simply collapsed tomorrow, which could be possible, the whole of Greece could move here. There's nothing stopping numbers

     Which David Hanson MP took issue with...   

    Quote Message: But the whole of Greece is not going to move here, the whole of France is not going to move here

    Then Evan put pro-Brexiteer Kwasi Kwarteng on the spot. Would he accept a single market without restrictions on freedom of movement? Mr Kwarteng replied:

    Quote Message: If they were to say you could only join the single market if you have unrestricted migration from Europe I would probably say no to that

    David Hanson MP said it was worthwhile to accept freedom of movement and explained why:

    Quote Message: The issue is, do we want, as the United Kingdom, to have access to a 500 million market, with investment and sales across Europe? If we do, freedom of movement is part of that...

    We also heard from the audience on EU migration. Caroline, headteacher of a school in Grantham, said:

    Quote Message: We have an amount of migrants in the school population, we find that they integrate very, very well with our strong pastoral support system... The Eastern Europeans add another dimension to our school... They add the cultural aspect, the work ethic, the parents contribute as well as the students
  3. Recap: 'Migration has been positive'

    ... But local business owner Darren Bevan didn't agree. He said EU migration has helped his business stay competitive.

    "The effect of migration has been a very positive one."

    View more on twitter
  4. Recap: 'I've been driven out of business'

    Here's how the programme started... with Angie Cook, a local business owner - who is not happy about the level of migration in Boston.

    She says her business has been ruined.

    View more on twitter
  5. Our undecided voters: have their views changed?

    Person holding remote up to television.

    What do some of our undecided voters think after watching the show at home – have their views on migration changed?

    Padraig Stapleton says his views were strengthened by the discussion:

    Quote Message: I agreed with a lot of the people saying that Polish and Latvian migrants are some of the friendliest and most hardworking people
    Quote Message: A lot of people are moving back at the moment because of the high cost of living in the UK. So I think migration will go down. People are panicking when they don't need to.

    Michelle Joseph Brown also thinks her stance was confirmed by the guests' views:

    Quote Message: I think that immigration is a positive because... they are workers rather than benefits claimants
    Quote Message: There do need to be stronger border controls or a points system
    Quote Message: I'm not sure how that will be incorporated into free movement though
  6. Recap: We can't cope with number of patients – local GP

    One of our guests tonight was Boston GP Dr Rohini Deshmukh. She told us they are struggling to cope with numbers – but it would be "unethical" to turn people away from registering. 

    View more on twitter
  7. "Proper discussion" – your views on tonight's debate

  8. Recap: What happens if migration continues as it is?

    Video content

    Video caption: Evan Davis explores a few facts on the possible future if migration
  9. Recap: How immigration has changed Boston

    Video content

    Video caption: Chris Cook visits Boston in Lincolnshire to see how EU migration has had an impact on the town
  10. What did you think of our immigration debate?

  11. Fact check: Brits abroad

    Menu

    Migration isn’t just a one-way street, you know. Lots of Brits live on the continent. But how many, exactly?

    Lots of politicians like to quote the number of UK citizens living and working in other EU countries at two million – Nicola Sturgeon was at it just the other month.

    The figures are based on research by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank in 2010, which put the number between 1.8 and 2.2 million.

    But wonk wars broke out in 2014 when research by the Migration Observatory at Oxford University – based on the newly-published Census – estimated just 1.1 million UK-born people were living on the continent in 2011.

    The biggest battalions of Brits (is that the right collective noun?) are to be found in Spain and in Ireland. In 2014 there were 314,421 and 233,248 UK citizens residing there respectively, according to Eurostat.

    The DWP compiles a list of pensioners living in the EU – to check the latest figures country by country, click here.

    For more EU fact checking, head over to our colleagues at BBC Reality Check.

  12. A headteacher's thoughts on immigration

    Quote Message: We have an amount of migrants in the school population, we find that they integrate very, very well with our strong pastoral support system... The Eastern Europeans add another dimension to our school... They add the cultural aspect, the work ethic, the parents contribute as well as the students. from Caroline Head Teacher
    CarolineHead Teacher
    Caroline
    Image caption: "The Eastern Europeans add another dimension to our school" says Caroline
  13. Dr Rohini Deshmukh on how immigration helped public services in Boston

    Quote Message: There was a point a couple of years ago where they were deciding to close the maternity unit and following that the paediatric unit at the Pilgrim Hospital because of there not being enough deliveries...and that would be really dreadful for women in labour. from Dr Rohini Deshmukh local doctor
    Dr Rohini Deshmukhlocal doctor
    Dr Rohini Deshmukh
  14. Where would the NHS be without immigration?

    What do you think? We're now off air but the debate continues online. Get involved using #newsnight

  15. Jonathan Portes on UK population levels

    Quote Message: Harriet is right in one sense. As long as we're members of the EU and vote to remain, free movement means we don't have control over our numbers...but if we had control we'd still have hard choices about economics. from Jonathan Portes National Institute of Economic and Social
    Jonathan PortesNational Institute of Economic and Social
    Jonathan Portes
  16. David Hanson says we have to accept free movement

    Quote Message: The issue is, do we want, as the United Kingdom, to have access to a 500 million market, with investment and sales across Europe? If we do, freedom of movement is part of that... from David Hanson MP Security Minister 2009-10
    David Hanson MPSecurity Minister 2009-10
    David Hanson
    Image caption: David Hanson says we must accept free movement
  17. Pro-Brexit MP says no to single market if migration remains unrestricted

    Quote Message: If they were to say you could only join the single market if you have unrestricted migration from Europe I would probably say no to that. from Kwasi Kwarteng Conservative MP
    Kwasi KwartengConservative MP
    Kwasi Kwarteng talking with Evan Davis
    Image caption: Kwasi Kwarteng MP says he could not want to remain in a single market if it meant unrestricted EU migration
  18. Fact check: How easy is it to refuse entry to an EU national?

    Airport immigration

    Can any Tom, Dick or Harriet enter the UK at will if they have a passport from an EU member state?

    Well, no. The Government has the authority to stop EU immigrants from entering the UK if they fall foul of certain specific criteria.

    The Home Office say that, since 2010, more than 6,500 EU nationals had been denied entry. Last year, 2,165 EU passengers were turned away.

    Entry can be blocked on grounds of public policy, public security or public health, according to EU rules, though any EU national denied entry must represent a “genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests in society”.

    Just having a plain old criminal conviction does not constitute grounds for refusal.

    And to put the 6,500 figure in context, in just one year (2014 – the latest available) about 35 million EEA and Swiss passengers, excluding Brits, presented themselves at our border controls.

    For more EU fact checking, head over to our colleagues at BBC Reality Check.

  19. Harriet Sergeant and David Hanson clash

    Quote Message: We have no control over the numbers. If Greece simply collapsed tomorrow, which could be possible, the whole of Greece could move here. There's nothing stopping numbers. from Harriet Sergeant Research Fellow for the Centre For Policy Studies
    Harriet SergeantResearch Fellow for the Centre For Policy Studies
    Harriet Sergeant
    Image caption: Harriet Sergeant suggests the whole of Greece could move to the UK

    Which David Hanson MP took issue with...

    Quote Message: But the whole of Greece is not going to move here, the whole of France is not going to move here. from David Hanson MP Security Minister 2009-10
    David Hanson MPSecurity Minister 2009-10
    David Hanson MP
    Image caption: David Hanson: "The whole of Greece is not going to move here"
  20. Debate still raging on Twitter