EU migration ‘has benefited UK’

21 Jul 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A new report claims that UK immigration from across the European Union has been largely positive.

The Home Office report used evidence from businesses, unions, immigration experts and think tanks to assess the impact of the arrival of people from the EU. One of the key issues it pulled out was that UK-born citizens were more likely to use the benefits system than migrants.

However, the BBC reports that the leaked report has caused a Government row because it is too pro-European migration. It said the report had been rewritten twice and the Government has yet to decide on an official publication date.

The report was originally due to be issued in December but insiders told the BBC that Home Secretary Theresa May sent it away to be rewritten, but the changes were not agreed by the Government. It was written again but although it was ready before the European Elections in the spring, it still has not been published.

The report looks at the overall impact of European immigration on the UK over the last 10 years. An estimated 2.3 million Europeans are now living in the UK, and around 2.2 million British people are living in European countries.

Major benefits were found across a range of business sectors from manufacturing and engineering to healthcare and agriculture.

"The effects are viewed as largely positive, providing a wide range of skilled labour and opportunities for UK workers and their employers in other member states," the report said.

Most EU migrants are more likely to arrive with a strong work ethic and are less likely to come to the UK looking for state benefits, it found.

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Julian Huppert told the BBC: "I can understand why the Tories didn't want this to come out before the European elections, but I think these reports should come out promptly.

"We benefit as a country financially, socially and culturally, our food is better as a result of this migration. We should fix the problems that come with it, but overall we should keep with it."