THE BLOG

Immigration and the Importance of Maintaining Our Romance With the EU

06/03/2015 12:59 GMT | Updated 05/05/2015 10:59 BST

With Immigration remaining a significant area of debate in the UK, I assessed the pros and cons of immigration in my interview with Private Law Editor, Amy Ling, exploring the possibilities that immigration allows to students, how it is affects our current housing market and the issue of whether migrants should adapt to British values.

Students have greatly benefited from schemes which have allowed them to be exposed to different cultures and broaden their horizons, with Amy suggesting that young people should be encouraged to take part in schemes such as Erasmus, giving them the opportunity to travel to different EU countries.

Amy said that:

The free movement of workers and the none-discrimination of people based on their nationality are two really fundamental pillers of the way that we set up the EU.
So in being a partner of the EU, it is important we accept these principals to maintain a harmonious and workable relationship with our peers.

With 12.5% of the UK population being foreign-born, the cultural landscape of the UK is largely inclusive of foreign nationals. Amy agreed that migrants contribute more to the economy than they take away, with experts from around the world in a variety of fields, being drafted in to help the UK economy, Canadian Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, perhaps being the most obvious example of this.

Overcrowding and lack of housing she said, is not directly affected by immigration, but more to do with "larger families" and

people splitting up in later life, making the demand on housing greater with people who are in their 50s and 60s deciding to separate.

Perhaps the primary issue facing immigration is the need for migrants to accept British values, with FGM (female genital mutilation), a practice that is outlawed in this country being a major factor, alongside the radicalist preaching that remains a stain on British society. Amy said:

When you come to something like FGM, we have a value to protect the integrity of the human body, protect children against exploitation and I think that it is something that we would expect people who come into this country to accept.
These terms are "non-negotiable" this is our "red line", where a British value is defined on its morals, that we do not accept child exploitation.

As Brits we are quite poor at developing our own language skills and that is something we need to commit to, wherever we move within the EU. This is also something that is expected of migrants, to learn our language and thus enable communication, helping us to integrate and just get on with our lives better.

Ultimately immigration is an important part of British society, we have and will always be an inclusive nation, so embracing other nationalities who want to come to build a better living and accept British values, can only be a good thing for this country, but we must draw a line under what is acceptable and what is not, we must hold onto our communities and the values we hold, to respect and support our neighbours as we do ourselves.