As published in the Hucknall Dispatch May 1st
Immigration and settlement on the shores of the British Isles is hardly a new phenomenon. Vikings, Romans and Normans have all landed here and put their stamp on the genetic pool and the culture. Last century saw massive emigration from the former British Empire into Britain. All have been absorbed and integrated to a greater or lesser extent by our tolerant and generous people.
But now we have seen two Tsunamis at the same time and of a dimension which dwarfs the former landings.
The European Union’s fundamental right to free movement gives the entitlement to settle here to 500 million citizens. Most prefer to remain in their own countries but, to the poorer members, Britain’s high relative wages have not gone unnoticed. Many have come across putting real strains on our already stretched public services.
As I write this, thousands of refugees are currently risking their lives on the dangerous Mediterranean Seas seeking sanctuary or just to escape grinding poverty. These numbers increase every week out of Africa which appears to be tearing itself apart in religious wars. Modern technology doesn’t help. An internet surfer in say Mali can compare his lot to what the average European citizen takes for granted. Who can blame him or her for wanting to try their luck on the high seas.
I think the people are entitled to have a real referendum on the immigration question and the Conservatives are the only party offering just that.