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An uncomfortable consensus

Has immigration been good for Britain?

By Jay Elwes  

Has immigration been good for Britain? This was the central question debated at a fiercely-contested round table discussion held by Prospect, which set Stuart Wheeler, Treasurer of Ukip, against defenders of the Blair government’s policy.

The lead address was given by Jonathan Portes, director of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, who in his opening remarks said that: “The answer is pretty obviously ‘yes’”.  He added: “Without immigration we would have considerably more skill mismatches between domestic labour supply and domestic labour demand.”

Migrants arriving in Britain from the EU tended to be skilled, and their labour has tended…

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