Britain needs migrants
The usual debate about migration into the UK is about restrictions, about ‘floods’ or waves of immigration, about how to prevent people coming to the UK to live and work. But we may be facing another challenge: how to attract more migrants to the UK. Human geographer Danny Dorling has produced a paper for the Institute of Public Policy Research which shows that over the next half century, Britain may be less of a migrant magnet than the Daily Mail and Migration Watch assume. We may be facing a shortage, instead.
Writing on the Guardian website, he says
“there is a real risk that declining fertility will create a ‘need’ for migration which will not be met.”
His argument is based on an analysis of long-term human population trends, which suggest, bluntly, that when the brith rate increases in the UK, people emigrate, and when it declines, we need migrant workers to make up the shortfall. His full paper is available on the IPPR website, but essentially this is a much needed rebuttal of the scare stories about mass immigration leading to a huge (and unsustainable) explosion in the size of the UK population.
As he concludes:
“The official migration and population projections assume the UK will remain an attractive place to live and work, relative to other countries. This may not always be the case, something which is perhaps more apparent in the current economic climate than it has been in recent years.”