Welcome to Bennett's World: a collection of articles and references covering a wide variety of topics in which I am involved. I am a very political person but I have no allegiance to any political party. Follow me on twitter @colinhove

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Important News Bulletin From Migration Watch

Many will be interested in this report from Migration Watch, the body that is concerned about the level of mass-immigration into the UK. It had received little attention in the mainstream media... I wonder why! Please circulate this information to your contacts.

Since I last wrote in February the political world has been turned upside down by the snap election and its entirely unforeseen outcome.

There is no point in disguising the fact that these developments are a serious set-back for those of us who are concerned about the scale of immigration into the UK. In the election campaign itself there was remarkably little discussion of immigration. We analysed the manifestos of the main parties in two short papers (MW 410 and MW 411). The Conservatives had a disappointing record to defend and the Labour leadership did not want to draw attention to their own reluctance to tackle the issue. We also learnt (again) that governments cannot control what a campaign will focus on.

The Prime Minister’s determination to stick to her immigration target and its timing demonstrated her resolve on this issue which, indeed, she had shown throughout her time as Home Secretary. Unfortunately, the election outcome has severely weakened her.

That said, the issues remain the same. We must continue to press for further reduction of non-EU migration where the government has had some limited success but, if we cannot achieve control over EU migration, we will face the prospect of mass immigration for an indefinite period – an outcome that can only increase the stresses on our society.

Those strains will have been further increased by the succession of terrorist attacks in Manchester and London – with widespread concern exacerbated by the revelation that the security service is dealing with a list of 20,000 potential suspects.

Meanwhile, the Brexit negotiations have finally got underway. We have issued a paper (MW 412) setting out the serious drawbacks in the EU’s opening position on EU citizens in the UK. They say that they want full rights to be granted to any EU citizen who has ever lived here – amounting to perhaps six million, compared to the three million actually here now.

They also want jurisdiction to remain with the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for the children of EU citizens now in the UK – a period that could last perhaps a hundred years. This is ridiculous and we will continue to oppose it vigorously.

There is, of course, concern about the impact on British business of controls on EU migration once we leave. We have therefore set out proposals for a visa system that should meet the serious needs of employers while achieving a sharp reduction, of perhaps 100,000 a year, in lower skilled EU migration (MW408). I summarised them on 3rd June in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.

Essentially, we have suggested that the current work permit system be extended to EU workers while free movement should continue for students, tourists, business visitors and the self-sufficient. For some occupations, such as plumbers or bricklayers, there may be a need for a transitional period to give employers the time needed to train British replacements. We have also suggested that the Youth Mobility Scheme could be extended to EU citizens. This is aimed at attracting people between the ages of 18 and 30 from countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Korea to come to the UK for up to two years and it might be helpful to the hospitality sector. Finally, we’ve looked at likely arrangements for skilled Britons seeking to work in the EU after Brexit (MW 406).

Meanwhile, we continue to drive home our essential message – namely that continued massive levels of immigration impose huge costs on our society for only limited economic gain. The latest population estimates have helped our cause. They show an increase in the UK population of over half a million in the year to mid 2016. This is the largest increase for 70 years and a similar rate will continue unless and until we get a sharp reduction in EU migration. Otherwise we will have to build the equivalent of the city of Birmingham every two years – including a new home every five minutes, night and day, to house new migrants.

It has also been necessary to challenge the false arguments that are regularly put forward by the well-funded mass migration lobby. For instance, one of our recent papers rebuts the assertion that achieving the government’s target of reducing net migration would cost the Exchequer up to £6bn every year. As the paper (MW 409) demonstrates, this claim is based on a misunderstanding of a recent OBR report.

So the stakes are high. The times are crucial. And your support is vital.


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