I know it isn’t cool to admit it, but I like immigration. In fact, I’d go so far to say that the most important aspect of being a European Union member is the right to live and work in 27 other countries (plus a couple of others with freedom of movement as part of their access deal to the single market).
Had David Cameron come back from the negotiation to say that we no longer had this right, then Brexit would have tempted me.
I LOVE IMMIGRATION. I LOVE IMMIGRANTS.
But I don’t want to make these blogs about me. Well, maybe the last one will be. My decision on how to vote is based far more on what I believe to be right for the country than for myself.
Immigrants have had a large variety of positive impact upon our beautiful country.
Let’s start with economics. Immigrants tend to come to the country when they are young. They are more likely to be employed than UK-born citizens (EU immigrants of working age 79.2% likely to have a job, UK citizens 75.4% likely). They are less likely to be claiming benefits than UK citizens (37% UK citizens (like wtf???!) compared to 29% of immigrants). They will often go back to their home countries before their use of health services goes up through aging.
On the other hand, our immigrants to the likes of Spain/France tend to be more of a burden on the healthcare systems of those countries – should we leave, it may be unlikely that all EU immigrants will be kicked out of Britain and vice versa, but it is doubtful that we would have free/minimal cost access to the health systems of those countries.
There is some evidence that immigrants have a very slight negative effect on wages on those at the bottom of the pay scale. But they should not be blamed for a lack of pay rises. If you haven’t had a pay rise in recent years then you may want to check the rate of inflation – currently at 0.3%. If prices are stable then it is not exactly unusual for wages to be stable or rising only slightly.
Quite simply we need immigrants to be able to pay for our aging society. Just look at Japan with its aging society, sclerotic economy that has not recovered from its banking crisis in the 90’s and its refusal to accept immigration.
Not only that but a quirky fact I read is that immigrants employ more people in this country, than are employed. So not only are they helping to pay for the older generation’s needs, but they are employing those of working age. Why do you think America is such a successful country? To me, it is much down to the go-getting nature of those who settled there. We should be welcoming immigrants with open arms.
Moving on from the economy and you can look across society as a whole as to the benefits of immigration.
There are many nurses/doctors that are European Union immigrants, teachers, care workers, credit controllers and whole host of valuable workers to society.
You could think about the arts instead. I talk from my passion of DJing, and any EU DJ can come and play over here no questions asked. But try booking a Russian or Turkish DJ and you will have visa problems – often shows have had to be cancelled at the last minute as the foreign office have blocked visa applications. And it works the other way around, UK DJs have more opportunities throughout the EU but when it comes to working in the US, for example, it is an administrative nightmare.
Why on earth would we want to put borders up to create problems for the sharing of music and arts?
How many people have eaten at an Italian recently? Or a tapas restaurant? Or had an excellent service from a Polish plumber fixing their blocked sink quickly and cost-efficiently?
I accept that immigrants may not be helping with the housing crisis – however it isn’t their fault that we are not building enough houses. We were not building enough houses in the 90’s. We were not building enough houses in the 00’s. We are still not building enough houses – this comes down to the failure of consecutive governments to get a grip on planning policy and the NIMBYs that cling onto their housing wealth by blocking every single loft conversion.
Plus, where do you think a significant proportion of those building houses come from? Windsor? Ascot? Narnia?
And don’t forget about all the really attractive women that have come to this country:
Apologies to any women/gays reading – I couldn’t find any attractive men on Google, apart from myself and I’m not an immigrant. Well, technically I am as I’m from Hull.
Some people also accuse immigrants of taking precious local resources, whether that be school places or waiting times at A&E – though 84% of pupils get their first choice school and I don’t think A&E waiting times are much different from around 2000. Don’t forget we also need the increased birth rate that immigrants have been providing.
The only way to control immigration is to bring on a recession. Increase unemployment and less people will come to the country, more people will leave as UK citizens look for jobs in Australia, for example, as happened in 2008.
Net migration has risen significantly in the past couple of years. But our economy has also grown significantly in the past couple of years.
If you vote to leave then the demand for immigrants will only go down if there is a recession. There will still be a need for immigration. Non-EU immigration currently stands at 188,000 a year.
I’m going to leave you with something I penned a while back.
I live with an immigrant.
I work with immigrants.
I go to the pub with immigrants.
I fancy some immigrants.
I dance to immigrants.
Immigrants dance to the music I play.
Sven Vath lives in London. He is an immigrant.
Half of the England football team descend from immigrants.
My best friend is an immigrant.
We are all just humans.
Love your immigrants and vote to remain.