Thursday, 29 December 2016

More Migrants Will Come To UK Than Entire EU Populations If Britain Stays In Single Market


More migrants will come to Britain than the entire populations of Bulgaria, Latvia and Lithuania combined if the UK stays in the Single Market after Brexit, a think tank has warned.

A new analysis by Migration Watch found that unless free movement is curbed after Brexit more than 12million people will come to Britain over the next 25 years, putting an ever increasing strain on public services.

It warned that the scope for a "significant reduction" in the level of migration is "extremely limited" if Britain remains a member of the single market and is subject to free movement rules.

The think tank's intervention adds to mounting pressure on Theresa May to formally rule out membership of the single market after Brexit in a move that has been described as a "hard Brexit".

Lord King, the former head of the Bank of England, said earlier this week that the Government should stop "pretending" that Britain will remain a member of the market after Brexit.

Alp Mehmet, vice chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: "“This research spells out the very serious consequences for our society of net migration continuing at its present scale with membership of the single market resulting in a relentless increase in our population.

"An increase of anything like 12 million in just 25 years is, quite simply, unacceptable to the British public and certainly not what they voted for in the referendum.”

The most recent official figures showed that total international net migration - the difference between the number of people arriving and leaving the country - was at a near record estimated level of 335,000 in the year to the end of June.

The paper from Migration Watch suggests that net migration, including both EU and non-EU migrants, is likely to remain at more than 300,000 in the medium to long term unless Britain leaves the single market.

Net migration from the European Union alone will remain at 155,000 as migrants are drawn to Britain by the prospect of higher wages and more jobs.

The report found that the UK's minimum wage remains three times higher than that of Poland, five times higher than in Romania and six times higher than in Bulgaria.

Migrants will also continue to be attracted to Britain because of the high rates of youth unemployment in southern Europe.

The report says: "At a time when the UK government is seeking to close the budget deficit it is hard to see where the money will come from to provide the additional schools, GP surgeries, hospitals and housing, not to speak of how the country’s road and rail networks will cope with such rapid growth.

"The housing crisis, already having a huge impact on people’s lives, is bound to worsen. Indeed we would have to build a new home every four and a half minutes just to house the new migrants and their families."

It urges Mrs May to introduce a work permit system to control the numbers coming to the UK. It says: "Leaving the single market would allow the UK government to control the entry of EU citizens.

"We have recommended that they should have visa free access unless they wish to work.

"Workers would have to apply for Work Permits that would be confined to those offered highly skilled work. We estimate that this would reduce net migration from the EU by about 100,000 a year and would significantly slow our population growth."

The Prime Minister has said that controlling migration will be a red line in her negotiations with the European Union, but has repeatedly refused to rule out staying in the single market.



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