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November 07, 2006

Immigration and Britain

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Britain is experiencing the highest levels of immigration in its history. Nearly five times as many people are immigrating per year now than when Labour took office in 1997. Meanwhile, large numbers of Britons are leaving their native country to move elsewhere. Coincidence?



posted by Michael at November 7, 2006


Ummm, I don't think it's New Labour. The British economy has been doing just fine. In fact, I bet that's what's behind a lot of the moves. It's the combination of real estate boom, the overvalued pound, the EU, and cheap transport in Europe. Seriously. Combine all those and you get the following scenario: British person sells his valuable house, trades his pounds for huge numbers of Euros, then moves away from his nasty, cold, wet country to buy a nice cheap cottage in a warm sunny place in Southern Europe. Returns a couple of times a year using incredibly cheap Ryanair flights (I recently flew from Southern France to London for $20 one way). Visit Spain, France, or Italy and check out the entire villages full of expatriot Britishers if you don't believe me. It's the next British invasion. En route to anywhere warm, mate!

Posted by: MQ on November 7, 2006 1:53 AM

No role, then, for Labour govt dismantling all our immigration controls?

Posted by: dearieme on November 7, 2006 3:19 PM

Whoops, I misunderstood the original post. I thought it dealt only with emigration -- Britons leaving the home country to live elsewhere. Stupid misunderstanding.

Yeah, for immigration obviously government policy has a lot to do with it. Perhaps it contributes to outmigration as well, although as I said I think the combination of the EU and the real estate boom / overvalued pound are impacting that as well.

Posted by: MQ on November 7, 2006 4:45 PM

Here's the strangest part of the article:

"Nearly 70,000 arrivals came from the Old Commonwealth - Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa - and 121,000 from other Commonwealth countries in 2005, today's report showed."

South Africa, that I can understand. But why would anyone emigrate to the U.K. from Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, places with a far better quality of life?

I guess it's people who want to live in a country that now leads the world in ... no, it can't be spoken.

Posted by: Rick Darby on November 7, 2006 5:53 PM

Rick, those people from the Old Commonwealth are for the most part not long-term immigrants. They are mostly people in their early twenties from South Africa (mostly whites), NZ, and Australia (not many Canadians seem to come over), who come to Britain (London, mainly) on two-year visas to work and party. Since they notoriously live stacked ten to a house, they can work in pubs (the 'Ozzie barman' is a famous stereotype, only now being shoved out by the newly-minted 'Polish barman') and still afford to spend large amounts of money on drink, drugs, and travel around Europe, while still being able to brind some home at the end of it (the pound being so much stronger than the either the Ozzie or Kiwi dollar or the Rand).

Posted by: Pearsall Helms on November 8, 2006 8:55 AM

Horrible architecture, poor town planning, lousy public transport, overpriced food and housing don't exactly encourage Briton's to stay either.

Why aren't Scadinavians emigrating South, their climate is even worse?

The areas's currently being turned into immigrant ghettos could have been used to add a bit of grenery.

I think Britain should hire its government out to Finland and see if they can turn things around a bit.

Posted by: nz conservative on November 9, 2006 12:16 AM

Scandanavians can't get instantly wealthy by selling their house. Really, with the pound exchaning as it is against the Euro and the real estate runup in England, selling a cottage in the London suburbs lets you buy half the village in Southern France.

Posted by: MQ on November 10, 2006 3:12 PM

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