Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Britain: Ex-minister's immigration warning

Brian Wheeler:

UK politicians are "living on borrowed time" on immigration, a former Labour minister has said.

Frank Field questioned whether current record levels of migration into Britain were "sustainable".

And he told the BBC News website the UK was in danger of becoming a "global traffic station" for migrant workers.

He urged politicians on all sides to stop ignoring public concern on the issue before the BNP found a leader with the "talent" to exploit it.

The UK is currently receiving the highest number of immigrants in its history, following a surge in migrant workers from new EU member states.

When the EU expanded to 25 members in 2004 the UK, Ireland and Sweden were the only countries which decided not to restrict people from the new member countries - notably Poland - taking jobs.

At the time the UK government predicted 13,000 workers a year from the new EU member countries would move to the UK for work, but the actual figure of registered workers was about 329,000 in 18 months.

According to the latest available figures, for 2004, the overall migration picture saw 359,000 people leave the UK while 582,000 settled in the UK. The figures do not include illegal migrants.

There's no ducking it

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Migrant tide is too much, says Field

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Ignore mass immigration at your peril, Labour MP warns Blair


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