Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Migrants Are Crucial to London's Success

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Migrants Are Crucial to London's Success

Article excerpt

TODAY'S Home Office Migration Advisory Committee report on Britain's need for highly skilled immigrant labour should serve as a corrective to recent rhetoric over Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants. The report says that we need to attract more foreigners to work as software designers, electrical engineers and trauma surgeons, among other professions, some from outside Europe.

The end of travel restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians is expected to result in an influx next January, though even approximate numbers are impossible to predict. That is leading to calls for a tightening of benefit entitlements. Yesterday the Prime Minister, campaigning in Eastleigh, hinted at such measures. One move might be a requirement for EU migrants to register for residency.

Clearly we need to ensure that our welfare system is not abused: for example, it makes no sense for migrants to be able to claim child benefit for children living abroad. But while a measure such as compulsory registration would in any case be hard to enforce, we should also be wary of discouraging the immigrants our country needs. …

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