Today's ONS immigration figures stating net migration into the UK of 330,000 is astounding. This is the combined populations of York and Oxford. Add the estimated 1million illegal and undocumented migrants and, what is now clear, is that we have Borderless Britain.
The UK now hosts 8million people born outside of the UK, a staggering 12.5% of the UK population and rising. This is the figure we are being told. We have no real way of knowing how many people are here, but I believe the numbers are actually higher. Why, because the ONS figures are based on passenger service questionnaires. The ONS has been wrong on immigration for sometime. It estimates long term net migration at 141000. As for illegal migration its anyones guess, but what we can see are thousands of people attempting daily to get into our country from Calais often paying large sums to gangsters and criminals.
What is certain is that our public services can barely cope. Everybody I speak too has a story of difficulty getting doctors or hospital appointments. Schools with dozens of languages and children having to travel miles are well documented. As for housing, rents are accelerating upwards and the chance of buying a house is almost impossible for many unless we destroy our green belt and build a million homes in just a few years. Beyond that we have to face the reality of life in the third most densely populated country in Europe. If you live in England you live in the most densely populated nation in the EU.
For those of us who are proud of Britain's history of tolerantly accepting those who face egregious inhumanity from governments in foreign places, a Borderless Britain is a depressing place. Today's net migration numbers have a detrimental effect on our national character. Traditional British sympathies for refugees fleeing war torn countries are being blunted by 'migration fatigue' amongst British people who are not so accepting of millions of economic migrants. In a poll out today from Opinium, nearly 80% of UK adults believe that the UK has no space to accept more migrants. If EU rules didn't mean we have to take millions of economic migrants, it is clear that we would be in a better position to offer more places to refugees from war torn regions. In this way, EU migration rules are making Britain a less generous country. Something which the do-gooders and Eurofederalists who always try to stake out the moral high ground of British politics fail to understand because their wishful thinking is not grounded in reality.
We are also told by big business and their lobbying organisations like the IOD that we shouldn't stop immigration as it is a net GDP benefit to the country and there are huge skills shortages. It is obvious that if you keep expanding the number of people who come into the country then there will be always be a need for skills more houses to build, roads to build anything to build. However, despite the largest levels of net migration in the nations history business is still not happy. they still dont seem to have enough skilled workers, yet despite importing human capital we dont see the same level of investment in the human capital of British citizens with youth unemployment and long term employment.
However, its the fallacy of the economic benefit to the UK that gets me more angry. If GDP is the only measure then of course it will rise if you keep expanding the population. What the proponents never cover is the fiscal cost of immigration. It is the indigenous taxpayer that has to pay for the infrastructure costs of building all the new schools or roads or benefits (in work or out of work). Indeed the recent UCL report on the cost of immigration stated that overall immigration costs £98 to £154 billion to the UK as whole. Hardly a small sum and certainly larger the the GDP benefits.
It is the UK taxpayer that has to cover looking after the training or costs of those on lower wages or job displacement that even Mark Carney, the Bank of England Governor and ONS accepts now happens. It is the social costs and quality of life that is reduced by all the other public service costs associated with uncontrolled immigration. It is also recognised that if we had smaller levels of immigration social integration and cohesive is more ably and quickly to happen.
What's more, Government policies on stemming migration are disingenuous and aim to con the British public into believing we actually have controls over our borders while we remain members of the European. Tinkering with benefits available to EU migrants will not stop the rise of EU economic migrants. Until the Prime Minister faces up to the reality that the that the free movement of people within the European Union is a major cause of peoples' discontent over the number of people arriving in the UK, the Government can never come up with sensible solutions to control Britain's borders. Anything less than success in the renegotiation of this principle means failure for the Prime Minister's strategy and the UK needs to leave the EU as soon as possible. In this scenario, you can be sure that UKIP will be at the very heart of the fight for a NO vote - that's a big NO to Borderless Britain.