Opinion: Why do UKIP and the ONS ignore my son?

UKIP logoAbsolutely fed up with UKIP quoting only one side of the story – they have done it for years over the cost of the EU without taking into account the cash returns through the CAP, research grants etc.- I decided last night to check the immigration statistics.

Latest figures appear to be 27th February 2014 from the ONS. The ONS, like UKIP, conveniently forgets that Britain is IN the EU. British migrants, such as my son who went to work in Paris two and half years ago and who now lives and works in Berlin, are all EU citizens too. They should therefore be include in any “net EU migration statistic” for the UK. To get this figure one has to add the “British” and “EU” ONS figures together.

Do that and the startling result is that since ONS records began in 1975 there has been a net EMIGRATION of more than 1M people. It is true that there has been net immigration over the past 5 years but this is entirely due to a reduction in the number of British people emigrating and in any case amounts only to a total of 150,000 or 30,000/year. In the five years before that, i.e. the first five years after the accession of Poland and the other first round Eastern bloc countries there was net emigration of 36,000.

Putting those two together the last 10 years since the expansion of the EU we have had net immigration of 114,000, which is only 11,400/year, or 220 per week – less than one bus a day!

If immigration is an issue then it is not an EU issue. All the net migration into Britain can be accounted for by the inflows of people from the Commonwealth and what the ONS calls “Other Foreign”. We have total control of our borders in respect to those countries – so how would Mr. Farage reduce net migration nowSo let’s go out and challenge Farage and his pals and force him to spell out how he would curb immigration and why?

We do not need to leave the EU to solve this “problem”. If he were Prime Minister today how what would he do to reduce immigration – or is immigration not a problem?

Footnote: the ONS does not publish statistics for all the countries of destination for British emigrants so it is not possible to calculate the net migration of EU citizens within the EU but this is not really a concern to the public at large as the issue is to do with the over-loading of public services, pressure on housing, wage compression etc. and these can ALL be accounted for by non EU citizen migration.

* Mike Biden is an Executive ordinary member in Winchester. A lifelong supporter of the Liberals, he has become an activist since his retirement. His career saw him in senior corporate positions in Sales & Marketing and as a Chief Executive.

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  • Yes but….
    firstly the gross payment to EU is a measure of the quantity of UK taxpayers money over which control is lost to the EU. Once the gross amount has gone to the EU then it only comes back to UK in accordance with EU-decided rules and objectives. So it is not a meaningless figure – even if could be made clearer.

    And if you want to compare the significance of immigration and emigration then you have to go much further and consider the social impact of each. Self-funding pensioners who emigrate do not have anything like the same impact on the recipient country as young families competing for jobs and with high demands on social services.

  • Colin downes 9th May '14 - 4:13pm

    Civets has reported that there are no net economic benefits to the UK from being in the EU.
    It is not racist to promote sensible controls on immigration. My parents came to UK from India to fill a skills gap. Our youth unemployment levels are high. We should be implementing policies that get UK residents into work rather than allowing more unskilled into the country at this time. It works for USA/New Zealand/Australia. Opponents of this should visit inner city Birmingham to see the impact of uncontrolled immigration. Wonderful people/great children who have come here for a better life but we are no longer a rich country that can afford totally open Borders if there is no economic benefit.
    The government have cut compensation by 80% for 1.3m hard working tax paying families who saved for retirement with Equitable Life and were let down by the regulators. Reason given is that we cannot afford to honour this debt. If we reduce immigration then that will reduce costs to the country. Leave EU and we will reduce net outgoings. Simple house-keeping. It does not mean we are less supportive or more insular. Government have not published any cost-benefit analysis to show that these savers represent a drain on the economy. Paying the outstanding compensation would be self-funding as it would be spent to create jobs/wealth and taxes.
    Simple economics.

  • So to get the result that you wanted, you quote the total emigration figure going back to 1975 approaching 40 years, yet for immigration ignore a total figure completely, preferring to play creative accounting for the last 10 years, which I have no doubt was carefully selected to fit your narrative.

    You seem to have completely ignored immigration from outside the EU, Illegal immigration, overstaying students, and large numbers of dodgy asylum seekers.

    The problem is immigration from everywhere, and the lack of effective border controls.

    I’m not going to bandy data with you as you have obviously gone to a lot of effort to get the result you wanted, but perhaps if you are unable to find data to create a balanced analysis you might find this useful.


  • Tony Greaves 9th May '14 - 6:35pm

    There seem to be no accurate stats for the number of UK citizens resident in other EU countries, either permanently or on a shared basis (ie partly in UK and partly elsewhere). But it appears to be at least 5 million. We need to make sure they all et their votes in any Cameroonian referendum that may or may not take place.


  • Richard Dean 9th May '14 - 6:38pm

    My impression is that all forms of immigration have been accounted for in Mike’s calculation, unlike Farage who seemingly does not take account of British emigrants to other parts of the EU. Mike’s calculation therefore looks a lot more honest.

  • Magnacarta
    I think you’ll find that young, usually childless workers make less demands on state services that pensioners who typically have or will have high health and care needs.

  • Magnacarta

    On that point generally we get well qualified young EU workers educated at other countries’ expense and we ship out retired elderly people who are then looked after by other countries’ health care systems funded by their own tax payers.

    That said it now appears that large numbers of elderly ex pats are returning from places like Spain for health care not because of poor quality of local care but because they have, in true British fashion, never learned to speak the local language and now that they are developing chronic health care issues can’t explain to the doctor what’s wrong with them.

  • @magnacarta The EU budget is voted on by democratically elected British politicians in the EU Council and the EU Parliament – and, as far as I know, the elected British politicians voted in favour of it in the Council and the majority of elected British politicians voted in favour of it in Parliament.

    So, in what sense was control “lost” over the spending? The elected representatives of the British people voted in favour of the budget.

  • @raddiy I wonder if you read to the end of the piece? Immigration is undoubtedly an issue that exercises many but the issue is entirely accounted for by migrants from the Commonwealth & “Other Foreign”. and those migrants are completely within our control in the sense that the EU does not set our border controls for those migrants. So how would UKIP reduce the number of migrants? EU migration is in balance and to harp on about it is plain wrong.

  • Robert :
    Al those elderly pensioners who stayed but become ill in Spain would presumably create extra jobs for carers and health professionals in a country (Spain) desperately short of jobs

  • Peter Chivall 10th May '14 - 10:10pm

    Presumably, when my son’s contract with a Dutch research institute ends in September, if he is fortunate enough to get a post in the UK (unlike the years 2009 – 2012 when not a single job offer of any kind was available to someone with a Doctorate in Biochemistry), then Mr. farage will be able to claim it as an increase of 1 in the ‘uncontrolled immigration’ into the UK from the (rest of) the EU!

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