Human value

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No doubt we will see shrill headlines in some publications lamenting the fact that EU migration to the UK is up to 183,000 for the year to end March 2015.

However, what tends to be forgotten is that there are an estimated 2.2 million UK citizens living and working in the rest of the EU. Of those from the rest of the EU living here, a mere 1.2 per cent are not economically active, a miniscule number.

In addition, according to University College London, between 2001 and 2011, EU migrants made an estimated positive net contribution of £20 billion to the UK economy as they tend to be younger and more economically active than our own workforce, paying more in taxes and receiving less in benefits.

Those coming to our shores from the EU therefore make an overwhelmingly positive contribution economically, socially and culturally.

As the Institute of Directors quite rightly states, David Cameron is “punishing businesses” by trying to cut immigration as he tries to blame these communities for the country’s problems.

The UK Government’s net migration target is a nonsense for a whole range of reasons – not least that it is absolutely un-achievable.

It should instead show leadership by explaining the benefits that migration brings, and instead of spreading fear and distrust, it should put in place policies that ensure we maximise those benefits – for the people already living here, for the people coming to live and work here and for our wider economy.

Alex Orr

Leamington Terrace

Edinburgh

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