Why One Size Does Not Fit All


Employment, European Union, Migration Trends, Population

Eurobabble is the only word to describe yesterday’s speech on immigration by Franco Frattini. Yet again the "one size fits all" approach of the European Commission produces a result that is a nonsense for Britain

Immigration, he declared, is the key answer to a declining population.

There is just one problem with that. England’s population is not declining. According to the Government’s own projections, it is increasing by more than the population of Birmingham every five years – and 83 per cent of that is down to immigration.

Mr Frattini waves the geriatric card. He tells us that by 2050 one third of Europe’s residents will be over 65.

The short answer to this is: so what? As medical care improves, people live longer – as is true all over the world. The solution lies chiefly in people working longer as they live longer – as every serious study indicates.

Immigration as a response to the pensions problem was dismissed by the Turner Commission on Pensions two years ago.

Then Mr Frattini tells us of the gaps in the labour market that need to be filled. When will he learn?

The Government has been talking about 600,000 vacancies for the past five years. In that period we have had net immigration approaching almost one million people, yet vacancies are now – yes, you have guessed it – still at about 600,000.

The reason is simple. Immigrants fill vacancies but they also add to demand which creates more vacancies and round in circles we go as the island rapidly fills up.

Mr Frattini laments that immigration is a "negatively loaded term"

If so it is because governments have singularly failed to control it and the public are rightly concerned that it is changing the whole nature of our society – a process exacerbated by the not so bright ideas of the Brussels bureaucracy.

14th September 2007

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