THE BLOG

The UK Would Benefit From the EU Rescue Plan for Boat Refugees

18/05/2015 12:38 BST | Updated 18/05/2016 10:59 BST

Helping might be good business

Morally, but surprisingly, also financially, the UK can benefit from helping refugees. In other words, Great Britain can benefit from the EU rescue plan.

While some British politicians claim that Britain granted the 5th highest number in of asylum applications in 2014 in the EU (14,065), they fail to take country size according to population into account. According to the European Commission's statistics body Eurostat, the UK comes in at 14th, accepting only 218 asylum applications per 1m population. To be clear, for every 1 million people in Britain, we take in 218 asylum seekers.

The executive body of EU, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU, wants the member countries of the EU to take immigrants based on a 'key' system set by the EU.

The home office might disagree with what is regarded as a high number.

"The UK has a proud history of offering asylum to those who need it most, but we do not believe that a mandatory system of resettlement is the answer. We will oppose any EU commission proposals to introduce a non-voluntary quota,"
a spokesman from the home office said.

The plan comes after the EU is making military plans to attack in Libya to try and hit the people behind the trafficking of refugees. Britain is drafting the resolution that ultimately authorizes the mission. According to The Guardian, it will be lead by the Italians, with Britain, France, Spain and Italian military on board. This alone should be enough for any Brit to accept refugees coming to the UK. If you intervene in countries with military forces, you are going to increase the number of refugees, history tells us this.

But if the moral aspect is not enough to convince the Brits, there is also a fiscal incentive.

Immigrants take jobs, no?

Earlier this year, researchers at the London School of Economics compared immigrations numbers to unemployment rate and average wages in the British countries. The researchers found that there is no link between unemployment rates and immigration levels.

It might actually be the other way around. The study found that areas with increases in immigration experienced rises in wages, and a lower unemployment rate.

On the other hand, areas with low immigration had a fall in wages.

Many areas that saw huge increases in immigration had seen wages rise and unemployment fall, while many areas, which had seen no immigration, had suffered from falling wages and a rise in employment.

Comparing the numbers, the study found that immigration in fact has no influence of unemployment or wages.

The study's authors said to The Guardian:

"Immigrants, especially in recent years, tend to be younger and better educated than the UK-born and less likely to be unemployed. Perceptions do not seem to line up with the existing evidence and it is perhaps here that we need to understand more."

There may even be something to gain from an increase in the number of immigrants in Britain. A 2013 study by researchers at the University College London found that immigrants had made a "substantial" contribution to reducing Britain's spending deficit.

So maybe instead of focusing on shutting the borders of Britain, Home Secretary Theresa May and her colleagues should focus on the benefits of helping people in need.