Letter: Whites only

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Christopher H F Blake (letter, 8 November) makes the familiar, false assertion that British immigration laws since 1968 "have nothing to do with racial prejudice but everything to do with the fact that a small, crowded island cannot allow its population to to increase indefinitely".

The reality is that in some years the number of immigrants settling in the UK exceeds the number of emigrants leaving, and in some years it does not. The myth of an ever-expanding population is now, as it always has been, a mask for the racism of laws that are designed to seem "colour- blind" but in practice to exclude mainly black and Asian people while allowing in most white people.

On 1 January 1973, the very day on which the racially exclusionist 1971 Immigration Act came into force, we in effect ended immigration control for most Europeans by joining what was then the Common Market, which enabled, and still enables, the nationals of all the other member states to enter the UK at will?

If population control is not necessary when the pool of potential immigrants is overwhelmingly white, then we have to admit that our controls are nothing to do with population growth and a very great deal to do with race.

VICKY GUEDALLA

London N1

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