Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Let's hug, not hate, EU migrants

'You’re talking about us as if we’re not in the room,’ is how many EU migrants have expressed their hurt and alarm at how some British people now display deep hate for them. 

It doesn’t really make sense.

After all, these EU migrants represent only 5% of our population – that’s small, and can hardly be described as ‘mass migration’. 

Almost all of the EU migrants here are at work, paying taxes, and making a substantial net contribution to our treasury. 

They enrich our country economically and culturally

Britain has a record number of people at work, and a record number of vacancies – almost 850,000 job openings in the last three months alone. That’s far more than can be filled by British workers, so those EU migrants here are vital.

They not only serve us coffee, help on our farms and in our factories, care for our elderly and infirm, but they also do highly skilled work too. 

Such as scientists, doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, teachers, pilots, engineers, architects – skills this country urgently needs.

Since we have more vacancies than can be filled by the indigenous workforce, and since most EU migrants are gainfully employed here, it must show that the numbers already here are about right. 

• Some say migrants are to blame for a shortage of schools, homes and hospitals. 

But it’s hardly fair to blame hard-working, tax-paying migrants for the failure of successive governments to invest sufficiently in the country’s infrastructure. 

This country should be able to accommodate all the people that our economy requires to work here – whatever nationality they are. 

• Some say that Britain is full. 

But actually, less than 3% of Britain is built on – most of the country is countryside. 

Of course, we want to preserve our ‘green belt’ and most of our countryside, but it’s quite absurd to claim we’re full. We have plenty of space.

• Some say that EU migrants shouldn’t come here unless they go through an Australian style ‘points system’. 

But such a points system would be totally inappropriate for EU migrants coming to work in our hotels, on our farms and as care assistants in hospitals. 

A points system would mean each employee and their prospective employer having to wait months to know if the employment could go ahead. 

Bosses here wouldn't bother. The red tape, delay and cost (yes there would be a significant cost each time an employer tried to sponsor a foreign worker) just wouldn't make sense for most jobs.

And EU migrants wouldn’t bother; they would just work in another EU country instead. And that would be our loss, not theirs.

If EU migrants couldn’t easily come here to work, it wouldn’t mean we’d have more homes, schools and hospitals. It would just mean we’d have less builders, teachers, doctors and nurses.

And don’t forget that there are about two million Britons who have gone to live in the rest of the EU, mostly for work. 

If we make it difficult for EU migrants to come here, for sure, the rest of the EU are going to make it just as difficult for us to go there. 

In summary, EU migrants are a boon to this country, not a burden.

They are filling job vacancies that mostly Britons can’t or don’t want to do. They are making a significant contribution to the wealth of Britain. They have become our work colleagues, friends and partners. 

If all EU migrants here took the day off tomorrow, Britain would come to a standstill. Then which way would the EU referendum vote go?

It’s time to appreciate EU migrants here. Let’s hug them, not hate them.


Other articles by Jon Danzig:


 Readers comments are very welcome, including opinions that oppose mine. Comments need to be on-topic. Personal attacks and anonymous postings will not be allowed. To read more about the style of debating that I encourage on all my blogs, please read my article: 'Debate, don't hate'

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