Lord Tebbit, the former Conservative cabinet minister, has called for a policy of zero immigration.
In a blog on The Daily Telegraph website, Lord Tebbit said: “These islands are our islands. . . . We live here and it is we, the people, who have the absolute right to decide who may, and who may not, come here and upon what conditions they come.”
Admitting that his comments may hold him up to allegations of “racism and worse” he said immigration could nevertheless bring benefits.
But he added: “The characteristic that such immigrants have in common is at least an acceptance of our ways, and more often a sharing of the inheritance that has shaped our habits and culture here in this European offshore island.
“Not all immigation has been quite like that.”
The population of Britain will hit 70 million by 2029, according to the Office for National Statistics.
But last month a cross-party group of MPs and peers, including a former Commons Speaker and a former Archbishop of Canterbury, demanded that the population be kept below that level or put harmony at risk.
Lord Tebbit concluded: “It seems to me that we must assert that we need to aim for a zero net immigration policy. We cannot achieve that while our frontiers are open to EU citizens, and although that is not too threatening at present, some of the prospective new member states would act like wide open doors to Third World migration.”
Lord Tebbit said Britain needed a “decent policy of giving sanctuary to true refugees” but, he added: “We must close the door to others and start serious work on deporting those here illegally, as well as reinstating proper border controls.
“There is much to be done–but the political class will do almost anything to avoid talking about it at the forthcoming election.”