Why is immigration such a big issue?  Why can it provoke such extreme responses?  Why are those concerned about immigration often labelled ‘Little Englanders’ or, worse, racist?  One quick look popular surnames in the phone book illustrates the ‘foreign’ nature of our culture, and our language draws much of its richness from the absorption of French, German, Dutch, Italian and Indian influences.

The editors of this website are both children of economic migrants, and have lived and worked in America, France, Germany and Belgium between them. Many within UKIP enjoy spending time in continental Europe, speak a number of languages, and even have partners who are citizens of other European nations.

So, why, are we getting hot under the collar on this issue?  After all, we are a nation of seafaring traders. Should we not be accustomed to seeking commercial opportunities around the world, and should we not welcome in commerce seekers here?

To us, the answer is simple: we can only welcome in work-seekers on a qualified basis, i.e. they are bringing in skills that cannot be sourced sufficiently here, and we cannot allow visitors to take advantage of our welfare system. Moreover, the doctrine of multiculturalism needs to be replaced by that of multi-ethnic monoculture; that is to say, immigrants, whilst not forgetting their roots, should want to embrace a British way of life.

 

So, what are the costs of unlimited immigration? The discussion normally focuses on jobs, so let us start there.

In 2012, Migration Watch produced a report on immigration, in which they said:

Between the first quarter of 2004 and the third quarter of 2011, employment of workers born in the A8 {New Eastern Bloc EU Members} increased by 600,000. Over the same period the number of unemployed young people in the UK almost doubled, from 575,000 to just over a million.

While it would not necessarily be true to say that every Pole that moved here has put a British citizen out of work, there is a worrying similarity in these numbers.  There is also sufficient evidence from these numbers to suggest that this increase in UK youth unemployment has put an increased burden on the welfare state.

Next, the impact on housing. Current demands for new homes are running at approximately 230,000 per year with supply running at 100,000 per year.  These are the bare statistics that underpin our housing shortage.  While the ease of divorce and the benefits trap in part go to explain this, we also have to look at the effects of immigration on our housing stock.  Between 10 and 25% of council housing waiting lists are occupied by non-UK nationals, predominantly from the EU.

The Prime Minister proposed to the House in March 2013 that immigrants should wait 2-5 years before joining the waiting list.  Cameron was deliberately trying to grab headlines and steal UKIP’s thunder again, but, guess what: under EU rules we cannot impose such measures that discriminate between UK and EU subjects.

And finally, the impact on education cannot be ignored. Despite the Labour Government throwing money at the education system, in 2000, the OECD/PISA study concluded that the UK ranked number 7 in the world for literacy, number 8 for numerical literacy, and number 4 for scientific literacy. A decade later, the UK ranked 25th, 28th, and 16th.

Frankly, this is unacceptable.  But, the problem is being compounded by immigration as schools struggle to keep up with demand. Migration Watch looked at UK Government data, and concluded that by 2015, as a direct result of immigration:

“550,000 more school places will be needed as a direct and indirect result of migration, costing a further £40 billion, and over the next ten years – to 2020 – this rises to 1,000,000 extra places at a total cost over ten years of almost £100 billion.”

The figures become more alarming once we consider that the grandchildren of the immigrants will, in all likelihood, stay in the UK and require educating.  Migration Watch UK’s estimation of the numbers would require an additional school places required by 2033 will be 1.3 million taught by 75,000 additional teachers in 3,800 new schools.

The financial costs of unlimited immigration are worrying, to say the least. But if our planning system doesn’t start to make provision for our rapidly growing population, we may have more than just the financial aspects to worry about.

 

Forty years ago, Enoch Powell was vilified for what became known as his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech. Although some of the language was undoubtedly misjudged, the sentiment – that the people of Britain had real concerns about the negative effects of rapid population growth thanks to high immigration – was valid. It cost him his political career. Today on UKIP Daily, two authors look at his words and legacy, and ask whether he might yet be able to offer insights into the European Union and what it stands for.

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