Stephen Nickell, one of the leaders of the Office for Budget Responsibility, said that the urban area of Surrey occupies less space than its golf courses as he rejected claims there was not enough room for migrants.
He said that immigration does not have a particularly bad or good impact on the economy, but that people’s objections relate to pressure on public services.
He said: “One argument said we’re a small island, not much room. On the other hand, of course, there’s masses of room. The urbanised part of Britain occupies less than 10% of the surface area. The urbanised part of Surrey occupies less of Surrey than golf courses.
“Since more immigrants mean more housing, more roads, more airports, more incinerators, more of this being required, and since the evidence would suggest that people by and large don’t like these things, especially if they are near them, that’s the key issue about immigration that people may wish to face up to.