HOW MANY MORE CAN BRITAIN TAKE
Sir Andrew Green
[Chairman of MigrationWatch and former
ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Syria.]
Daily Mail-December 27-2006
THE GOVERNMENT has taken a big
risk. It has been forced by domestic political pressure to 'do
something' about immigration from Romania and Bulgaria.
The Labour heartlands have had enough.
The BNP are making inroads and the chairman of the Labour Party, Hazel
Blears (herself a former Home Office minister, is clearly rattled.
She is reported to have said recently that IMMIGRATION is set to EXPLODE
-as an ISSUE before the next General
Election in a way 'unseen before in UK politics.'
Perhaps the Government should be
applauded for making some effort, at last, to reduce IMMIGRATION.
The problem is that their measures
WON'T WORK, so they can expect a continuous stream of negative news
CRUNCH TIME is next MONDAY when Romania
and Bulgaria become full members of the EU and their citizens acquire
the right of free and unrestricted access to Britain.
we about to see another wave of East European immigration?
Bulgarian builders be hot on the heels of Polish plumbers?
many will actually come?
how much does it matter?
This time round, the British Government
is saying NOTHING about NUMBERS. Very wise. After their ABSURD errors
over the MASSIVE inflow from Poland, nobody would believe then in any
taken together, Romania and Bulgaria
add another 30 million to the EU. Officially their unemployment rates of
eight to ten per cent are well below those of Poland at 15 per
cent, but their people are even poorer.
With an average income in both
countries that is less than a third of the average income in Britain,
there is a RISK of considerable MIGRATION.
The Bulgarian government is playing all
this down. It says that very few Bulgarians plan to emigrate and that,
in any case, most of them prefer the warmer climes of southern Europe.
The catch here is that Greece
and Italy might keep their labour markets CLOSED as they DID for the
first eight new members.
If so, the UK will look much more
attractive. With the Polish example before them, it is hard to believe
that there will not be quite a few tempted by the thought of wage rates
four or five times those at home in Romania and Bulgaria.
There is also the mystery of the
Macedonians and Moldovans. Fifty thousand have lodged an application for
Bulgarian passports and '20,000'foreigners'already have one. These
are people with Bulgarian parents or grandparents who are entitled to
Why should there be this sudden
rush of applications unless the whole purpose is to emigrate to the EU?
Very similar factors apply to the large
number of Moldovans seeking a Romanian passport. As Moldova used to be a
part of Romania, the numbers again are considerable.
So far, the only estimate of
immigration to Britain is a guess by the Institute for Public Policy
Research think-tank that
will come in the first year.
This assumes that the proportions will
be similar to the first wave of eight countries. HOWEVER, , British
Government research suggests that there is a close link between wealth
per head and the likelihood of emigration from Eastern Europe to the UK.
If the Government's own methodology is
applied to Romania and Bulgaria, the answer comes out at
-in the first year. That is a very
unlikely scenario, but it serves to illustrate the degree of
Ironically, we might never know
the true answer. NO RECORD is kept of who COMES and GOES from Britain.
From January 1-2007, Romanians and
Bulgarians will not need a visa. like all other EU citizens, they will
be able to show their passport and walk straight in. This time
round there will not even be the registration scheme that applies to the
first eight countries. The theory is that there will be a quota of
20,000 for low-skilled workers in agriculture and food processing while
skilled workers will have to apply for a work permit.
There will be no restrictions whatever
on the self-employed who have a right to work anywhere in the EU. This
is a regime with more holes than a Swiss cheese.
All Romanians and Bulgarians have a
right to come and live in Britain for three months. After that, they are
supposed to move into a 'free movement category' such as worker, self
employed, student, etc.
You do not have to be Einstein to work
out that in that time you could either find a job on the black market or
declare yourself self-employed and thus legally present in the country.
There are some who say that immigrant
workers come to find jobs and that , if there are no jobs, they will not
There are two snags about that belief.
First, strange as it might seem, IMMIGRANTS DO NOT FILL
The Government repeatedly claims that
they do, and that seems to be common sense. YET, despite net IMMIGRATION
-over the past five years, vacancies in
the British economy remain
So the claim is demonstrably false.
THE REASON? Immigrants fill some
vacancies but also generate additional demand and thus create new
vacancies. So to argue vacancies, as the Government does is to promote
an endless cycle of IMMIGRATION.
The second snag is that , if
anyone accepts a low enough wage, they are likely to get a job. There
are plenty of British workers earning £8-an-hour who could be replaced
by East Europeans at the minimum wage of £5.50
We are already seeing that
process on a limited scale. One such case hit the headlines earlier this
month when 16 British glaziers were laid off, only to be replaced the
following week by 16 East Europeans. If that trend should develop on any
significant scale, the
GOVERNMENT WILL BE IN DEEP TROUBLE.
Yet it could well happen. The chairman
of a large construction company was recently quoted as saying that his
labour costs would be 20 per cent cheaper if he employed Polish
He said that most of his competitors
are now pricing at Polish rates and so he faces the prospect of putting
British workers ,who have been with him for 25years , on the DOLE if he
was to remain COMPETITIVE.
Are we as a country really happy, he
asked, to put our own workers on the DOLE and USE cheaper labour from
For the time being, the Government can
only hope for the best and keep repeating its MYTHS about the
VALUE of this MIGRATION.
Unfortunately, MINISTERS' own figures
show that 95% of the first wave of East Europeans are earning less than
As a result, they are paying HALF the
amount of TAX and NATIONAL INSURANCE that a BRITISH WORKER pays. As long
as they are mainly young, single and healthy, this need not matter too
much - but none of us stay like that for ever.
despite the recent focus on immigration
from Eastern Europe, the latest Government figures show that four out
five immigrants are , in fact from OUTSIDE THE EU.
This underlines the fundamental point
that the Government has allowed border controls to crumble, immigration
to balloon and our social cohesion to be threatened.
All this has happened against
the wishes of a large majority of the British people and, certainly,
without consulting them. The day will come when they pay a heavy price
for their disregard of deeply felt public concern.
SIR ANDREW GREEN is chairman of
MigrationWatch and a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Syria.
[Font altered-Bolding & Underlining used -Comments in brackets.]
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