Professor Christian Dustmann and Tommaso Frattini of University College London published a study of the effects of immigration on the UK. Their conclusions were that non-EU migrants were a drain on public finances but those coming from Eastern Europe are actually contributing more to the exchequer than they receive in benefits. QED, argue supporters of free movement; unfettered intra-EU migration is a good thing for the UK.
Well, not necessarily. Take, for instance, the report’s findings that a higher percentage of migrants from Eastern Europe are in employment than native-born Brits. There is no doubt that our agricultural sector has provided employment for many hard-working migrants from Eastern Europe prepared to put in long hours for low pay in conditions that many UK-born workers would not tolerate. However, not all Polish and Romanian immigrants work on farms. Some are van drivers, some work in the catering industry – jobs which UK workers could equally well do. As Tim Congdon has shown in his booklet Europe Doesn’t Work, immigration from Eastern Europe has definitely destroyed jobs for the UK-born population.
Furthermore, with the workers often come their families, or if the family doesn’t come, the worker is able to claim child benefit and send the money back to his home. David Cameron has admitted that he is powerless to do anything about the sum of at least £15 million in child benefit payments which is sent every year to Poland. Free from the EU, we could address labour shortages with a system of work permits which would not confer any right to benefits or residential rights for family members. We would not be required to allow anyone who did not have a job to come here. We could also deport foreign criminals, which we are currently unable to do if they are citizens of an EU member state.
Finally, one must ask the question as to whether economic considerations are the be-all and end-all. In other words, does the positive benefit to the Treasury as a result of migration from Eastern Europe outweigh all other considerations? To answer this question, it is worth recalling that the objective of the European Union is to create a United States of Europe. It always has been and always will be. The former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl reminded us all of this fact when he launched his recent book on Europe Aus sorge um Europa (Worrying about Europe), stating that Europe should move ahead with a policy of closer ties with courage and determination. “Our future is Europe,” he said. In order to build the European superstate, it is necessary to undermine the homogeneity of the populations of the nation states. This sounds like dark conspiracy theory, but in actual fact the Irishman Peter Sutherland, a former European Commissioner who now works at the UN as their special representative for migration, has been quite open about it. Speaking to the House of Lords EU home affairs sub-committee two years ago, he said, “The United States, or Australia and New Zealand, are migrant societies and therefore they accommodate more readily those from other backgrounds than we do ourselves, who still nurse a sense of our homogeneity and difference from others…and that’s precisely what the European Union, in my view, should be doing its best to undermine.”
Sutherland is wrong, dangerously wrong. Replace a largely homogeneous population with a multi-cultural mish-mash and all manner of problems will result. Josef Stalin moved large numbers of ethnic Russians to the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia in the years following the Second World War. It has left a bitter legacy, with the ethnic Russians forming their own political parties in Latvia and demanding Russian be treated as a second official language in the country. Further afield, Brazil, an ethnic melting pot if ever there was one, has a homicide rate 80 times higher than ethnically homogeneous Japan. In his ground-breaking book The Diversity Illusion, Ed West argues that “Throughout history less homogenous societies have tended to require a harsher criminal justice system”. Do we want to preserve our freedoms and to enjoy the blessings of a small state? We therefore would be better off without hundreds of thousands of immigrants that feel no sense of identity with our culture and traditions. Again, to quote West, “The national community is the only environment in which democracy has thrived, for democracy requires a citizenry that feels itself to be part of the political process…. National history and national identity promote trust and solidarity within a society, something that liberal ideals fail to do.”
Seventy five years ago, we fought a war against an aggressive tyrant. It cost us immensely, not only economically but in terms of lost lives. However, it preserved our nation and its freedom and most people consider the price to have been worth paying. We are not required to fight any war at the moment, but if there is an economic cost to restricting migration in order to preserve as much homogeneity as we can in the UK, it too may be a price well worth paying.