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By Philippe Legrain 3 COMMENTS

1. We don’t have enough evidence on the economic impact of immigration on the UK.

2. We didn’t commission any new data or research.

3. We didn’t put our hands up and admit: "Sorry guv, we don’t know". We are Lords: we know.

4. We ignored the main arguments for why immigration may be beneficial.

5. We focused on the arguments for why immigration may have little or no impact, or be harmful.

6. We declared, with all the certainty of our ignorance, that our prior belief – sorry, our careful research – conclusively demonstrates that we don’t need or want more immigrants in Britain.

7. Case closed.

Posted 04 Apr 2008 in Blog
  1. Stan Ogden says:

    Well at least the Committee was open about and straightforward about it, unlike the Gummint which continues to trumpet the risible £ 6 billion increase in GDP as proof positive of beneficial impact of immigration. Although in recent days Mr. Broon appears to backpedalling somewhat on the salience of that particular figure, preferring to allude instead to an unsubstantiated relationship between the rise in GDP per capita since 1997 and the contemporaneous increase in immigration.
    As far as not commissioning new research, that doesn’t appear to have been part of their terms of reference. Perhaps going in the Committee members felt, like the general public has been condition to believe, that in order for the government to be broadcasting the economic benefits so loud and so wide they must have had some irrefutable grounds for doing so. As it turns out, the official story is all smoke and mirrors, just as immigration restrictionists like Migrationwatch UK have been saying for years. That the economic rationale underpinning the Government’s case is so sketchy is not, after all, the fault of the Committee. At least they have provided a valuable public service in exposing the official justification for continuing mass immigration for the sham that it is.
    With respect to the “main arguments” for immigration, which the Committee is supposed to have ignored, evidence was received from a whole raft of Immigration Industry luminaries. Perhaps it is they you should be castigating for failing to present a proper case, whatever that is. On the other hand, it might well be the case that the “main arguments” that you would have wished the Committee to have focused on are not really economically quantifiable in any meaningful way, and fall more under the general rubric of ‘Articles of Faith’.

  2. Dear Stan,
    You are right: the government’s case for immigration is deeply flawed, and the £6bn figure particularly so. I have been saying that for ages: http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/philippe_legrain/2007/10/britains_immigration_muddle.html
    Cheers
    Philippe

  3. Tom Barnes says:

    The problem with economists commenting on immigration is that they tend to forget that Britain is a country not a corporation. It is clear that regardless of the dubious economic benefit Britain gets from immigration, her society is crumbling – a testament to the failure of integration. Phillippe, you should leave your city office and go into the real world to see just how disheartened people are with the situation.

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