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Immigration: a price worth paying for economic growth?

David Cameron blamed the scheduling of the G7 summit for not responding to migration figures that appeared to boost the Leave campaign. Credit: Reuters

There were lots of cameras around at the G7 summit on Thursday if David Cameron had wanted to react to the second highest migration figures on record.

But he didn't manage to say any words to them about the matter.

So Friday's press conference at the end of the summit in Japan was a good moment to ask him why he was so silent on a subject which is so important to voters.

He told me the choreography of these summits does not allow it; leaders talk over days one and two and then hold a press conference.

That is not strictly true.

There is a way to react to these events back home - and he often does.

Nevertheless we did get his views - a day late - and they were not any less interesting for the delay.

The 333,000 net migration figures were "disappointing" he admitted but then he criticised his opponents in the Leave campaign who want to control migration by walking away from the EU.

Instead, he suggested the high levels of migration were a price worth paying for a growing economy.

Mr Cameron told us: "I do not believe for one minute that the right way to control immigration is to wreck our economy."

He clearly thinks this is the big dividing line in the referendum campaign: the economy trumps migration and will ultimately be the way to win.

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