Net immigration should be brought down to around 30,000 people per year, Nigel Farage said as he accused David Cameron of being “wilfully dishonest” in setting a target of tens of thousands.
In the shadows of the White Cliffs of Dover, the Ukip leader said he wanted immigration reduced to roughly the levels seen between 1950 and 2000.
After unveiling a poster condemning the Prime Minister’s promise on immigration, Mr Farage said British people would be more comfortable with net migration of around 30,000 a year, a level at which he claimed integration was possible.
Mr farage delivered the announcement in front of posters depicting the cliffs of Dover with escalators on, posters paid for Yorkshire businessman and UKIP benefactor Paul Sykes.
Speaking in the car park of the Coastguard pub in St Margaret’s Bay, near Dover, Mr Farage said: “When Cameron made that promise he was being wilfully dishonest because he knew the truth and I think now the British public five years on know the truth - that you actually cannot have an immigration policy, you can’t set targets of any kind at all, you can’t attempt to control who comes into Britain, all the while you’re members of European Union.”
Asked what sort of immigration levels he would like to see, Mr Farage said: “A return to normality, a return to about a net 30,000 people a year coming into this country.”
Mr Farage claimed the figure of 30,000 represented a “return to normality”, when net immigration was somewhere between 15,000 and 50,000.
But the Ukip leader said that if Britain pulled out of the European Union after a referendum, those levels could be achieved within the next five years.
He said: “We have to have a referendum first.
“If we had a referendum at the end of this year and within two years, all the details (of withdrawing from the EU), I mean it could take a year.
“There is absolutely no reason why midway through this parliament we couldn’t return to normality.”