For years, immigration has been one of the biggest topics at the forefront of British Politics. Apart from the economy, it is the most talked about issue among the British public. Despite this, it rarely gets debated on and when it does, the level at which it is being discussed does not reflect the priority tag that it has. You would expect that a topic of this magnitude, second to only the economy would be debated upon in a more passionate and convicting way. For us to have an honest debate, we should discuss these six facts about immigration.
- Britain Isn’t Overpopulated
According to statistics, a small 1.5% of Britain is considered as land being developed. This is relatively small when there is 8.5 times much woodland as development. England which holds some of the busiest cities in the U.K. , accounts for only 2.27% of lands built on while the remaining Scotland, Northern Ireland and Whales have less than 1% of developed land. More than half of urban land at 78% is yet to be developed. Therefore urban buildings can be doubled without the risk of overpopulation or moment into rural areas. These statistics suggest that Britain won’t be filled to capacity anytime soon. The issue of overpopulation should not be a factor when debating on immigration because there is plenty of undeveloped land in the UK.
- Birth is the Main Catalyst of Population Growth and not Immigration
The birth rate in the U.K. is responsible for population growth and not immigration. Statistics show us that during the period 2011-2012, there was 254, 400 more birth than deaths while the net migrations stood at 165, 600. British born mothers contributed 75% or 190,000 births to the birth rate according Migration Watch. In comparison to the net migration rate, the birth rate is well higher. Thus, if Britain was to be labeled as having a population crisis, then the emphasis should be place on reducing the birth rates rather that curtailing immigration.
- Immigration Helps Reduce House Prices
Housing accounts for a large part of the living cost for the British citizens. Rather than making house prices higher, immigration makes them lower according to research from the Universities of Newcastle and Cambridge. Therefore if immigration is to be increased and more land being develop then the housing prices in the U.K would become more affordable.
- Immigrants Aren’t Taking Away the Jobs
If you should ask a British citizen about why they oppose to Immigration, they would tell you that the immigrants come to the U.K. and steal their jobs. According to Ryan Bourne of the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), the figures tells us that ‘the evidence suggests little overall effect on unemployment or pay’ from immigration. Immigration only accounts for only 20% of British skilled work reported the Telegraph. Thus 80% of the skilled jobs are being occupied by British citizens. This shows us that immigration does not have a major impact on the job security of British workers.
- Is immigration Free Trade?
Being a part of the European Union (EU), means that E.U. nationals should have free movement to and from the U.K. This allows enables some Nationals to work in the in the U.K. without restrictions. Thus, if you are a supporter of the benefits of free trade, then immigration should not be an issue. If you argue that immigration takes British jobs, then the same should be said about free trade.
- Does Immigrants take the Government Benefits?
It is said that the immigration cost is a burden to the U.K. However, this is not the case as immigrants are net tax benefits. This means that immigrants pay more in taxes that the British and they also receive less benefits. Therefore, Parliament can increase the immigration cap in order to collect more tax which could be used to provide more and better services and benefits to the British seeing that they receive more than the immigrants.
There will always be a debate in the U.K. on immigration. The facts above show that immigration has a different side to what is perceived by British citizens. These facts can be used to defend against the persons who oppose immigration. Thus, when debating the issues of immigration, remember the facts.