‘Non-UK nationals living in Britain were more likely than UK nationals to be of working age. Out of all those living in the UK, more than three-quarters from the European Economic Area and more than 80 per cent of non-EEA nationals were aged 15-64, compared to fewer than two-thirds of British nationals…
It added that Britain’s over-65s population was expected to double and the number of over-85s more than quadruple in the period from 2000 to 2050, but the working population would rise by only a fifth in that period.”
We cannot deny that much damage has been done to Britain’s role as an international melting pot; in recent days much has been made of shameful racism and xenophobia that has surfaced in the wake of the vote. The work must now begin to take back the immigration narrative and remind our nation and the world of the integral cultural and economic role immigration plays in British society today.
To this end, a recent report by think-tank International Longevity Centre challenges the notion that immigration crowds Britons out of jobs, finding that ‘“[a]n increase in the number of migrants in the labour force can actually help increase employment opportunities”‘. Crucially, the study showed that ‘areas with a higher proportion of migrants in employment also have a higher proportion of UK-born people in the workforce’, challenging the idea that British jobs are a finite – and increasingly unwelcoming – paddling pool .
As a University College London study shows, ‘European migrants are not a drain on Britain’s finances; what is more, they actually pay in more in taxes than they take out in state benefits. That contribution – valued at £2bn a year – is helping to fuel Britain’s economic growth’.
And of course, as the LC argues in no uncertain terms, immigration is also an indispensable safety net beneath the demographic cliff towards which Britain – together with most of the developed world – is now hurtling.
We may be sick of statistics, but there’s no escaping truth. This one isn’t going anywhere fast.