Point 1 – What is the problem with immigration at the moment in Britain
- High net migration has resulted in rapid population growth. The UK population currently stands at 65.6 million. The Office for National Statistics ‘high’ migration scenario projects that the UK population will now increase by almost 400,000 a year for the next 25 years – the population of Bristol currently stands at 430,000. This is unsustainable and in the long term would lead to the growth of almost 10 million over the next 25 years. The ONS state that around 82% of this increase will be down to future migrants and their children. The remaining population growth will come from the UK’s existing population, including births to immigrants already here
- The UK (and especially England) is already densely populated by international standards and has a chronic shortage of housing. England is twice as crowded as Germany and nearly four times as crowded as France.
- Little economic benefit for the existing population
- Immigration is regarded by the public as the biggest issue facing British society, a major new survey taking stock of the state of the country reveals. One in three people believes the tension between immigrants and people born in the UK is the major cause of division, while well over half regard it as one of the top three causes. Over the past two decades, both immigration and emigration have increased to historically high levels, with those entering the country exceeding those leaving by more than 100,000 in every year since 1998. Yet the survey in a report by the thinktank British Future, entitled “State of the Nation: Where is Bittersweet Britain Heading?”, also suggests the country is, at heart, tolerant of those who come to its shores. Respect for the law, for the freedom of speech of others, and an ability to speak English were seen as the three most essential traits of a Briton, according to the survey of 2,515 people aged between 16 and 75. These were the top criteria across all ages and social classes.
Point 2 – Brexit why
- The UK has voted to leave the European Union. It is scheduled to depart at 11 pm UK time on Friday 29 March 2019. The UK and EU have provisionally agreed on the three “divorce” issues of how much the UK owes the EU, what happens to the Northern Ireland border and what happens to UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK. Talks have now moved on to future relations – after the agreement was reached on a 21-month “transition” period to smooth the way to post-Brexit relations.
- ( transition period) It refers to a period of time after 29 March 2019, to 31 December 2020, to get everything in place and allow businesses and others to prepare for the moment when the new post-Brexit rules between the UK and the EU begin. It also allows more time for the details of the new relationship to be fully hammered out. Free movement will continue during the transition period, as the EU wanted. The UK will be able to strike its own trade deals – although they won’t be able to come into force until 1 January 2021.
- ( what is Brexit ) It is a word that is used as a shorthand way of saying the UK leaving the EU – merging the words Britain and exit to get Brexit, in the same way as a possible Greek exit from the euro was dubbed Grexit in the past. Further reading: The rise of the word Brexit
- (why this is happening ) A referendum – a vote in which everyone (or nearly everyone) of voting age can take part – was held on Thursday 23 June, 2016, to decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union. Leave won by 51.9% to 48.1%. The referendum turnout was 71.8%, with more than 30 million people voting.
- (what has happened to the Britain economy since Brexit started) Predictions of immediate doom were wrong, with the UK economy estimated to have grown 1.8% in 2016, second only to Germany’s 1.9% among the world’s G7 leading industrialized nations. The UK economy continued to grow at almost the same rate in 2017 but, since the start of 2018, things have begun to slow markedly with the growth of just 0.1% in the first three months of the year. Inflation rose after June 2016 but has since eased to stand at 2.4%. Unemployment has continued to fall, to stand near a 40-year year low of 4.2%. Annual house price increases have steadily fallen from 9.4% in June 2016 but were still at an inflation-beating 4.2% in the year to March 2018, according to official ONS figures.
Point 3 –