Immigration truths

I donít much like the way many political issues are reported in the national press. All too often stories are dramatised and distorted simply to sell more papers. In the process the truth suffers. Politicians are then too inclined to bend with these views and do not say what they honestly believe.

Take for example the opening of our borders to Romania and Bulgaria on 1st January 2014. If you believed all that you read in the papers, you would think that the populations of these two countries had been queuing up months in advance waiting for the clock to strike midnight and the borders to open so they could come and claim UK welfare benefits.

One newspaper ran a story saying that all flights from Romania and Bulgaria to the UK were fully booked for the first few days in January. The truth was that the flights scheduled for these journeys had many seats available.

I agree that uncontrolled immigration can put real pressure on schools and housing. It can also cause sudden and unsettling social change in our communities. So, I understand some of the concerns that are often raised. However I do think the language used in relation to immigration is profoundly unhelpful.

The vast majority of Eastern Europeans who have already come here came to work and make a positive contribution to our country. They often plug skill shortages or do the jobs that UK citizens donít want to do. In the Vale of Evesham, for example, growers depend on migrants.

And the total numbers are actually rather small. Non UK EU Nationals make up only 5% of the working population in Britain. We must also remember that many British nationals live and work abroad as well Ė so are contributing to and taking advantage of economies outside of the UK.

I honestly believe the free movement of labour in Europe brings real benefits.


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