The ONS (Office for National Statistics) seem to be saying ‘there is nothing to see here’, but they confirm that immigration to the UK is much higher than we first thought. It is a disgrace that the Government has tried to hide the true scale of EU immigration into this country.
Today’s National Insurance numbers further reinforce the fact that, whether migrants leave within 12 months of entering the UK or stay for the longer term, as a member of the EU, we have no control over our borders.
The ONS has said long-term EU migration to the UK in the year to June 2014 was 223,000, but admits that when you add ‘short-term’ migration it was actually 474,000.
Mass migration on this scale is placing untold pressure on our public services. Whether migrants stay for 12 months or 12 years, they still use our NHS, our schools and need housing. With hospitals struggling to cope with the strain, a critical shortage of primary school places and a worsening housing crisis, we need to have the ability to control overall numbers.
These figures today bring into focus how crucial June 23rd will be for the future security and prosperity of Britain. Unless we vote to Leave the EU, Britain will be forever borderless, with all the risks that will bring. A vote to remain would mean the UK will still have an open border to 500 million people in the EU, with the prospect of a further 200 million people from countries such as Turkey, Serbia, Bosnia and Ukraine, which the EU eventually wish to have as members.
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The government’s living wage of £9 an hour, to be introduced by 2020, will act as a significant pull factor to many migrants from all those countries where wages are significantly lower than this proposed living wage.
If we take back control of our own destiny, the democratically elected government of the day will be able to introduce a fair, reasonable and compassionate Australian points based system, so we can decide who comes and who goes at our ports.
The only way we can enact such a policy that does not discriminate against people from outside the EU and controls overall numbers is if we vote to leave on June 23rd.