Articles » July 4th 2006 -Joint Debate - Immigration
Derek Clark Speech to Parliament July 4th 2006
Joint Debate - Immigration
Any society needs an influx of fresh blood but there is the question of the impact of newcomers on society. Before the growth of the public services and infrastructure we now demand, large numbers of immigrants were easily absorbed but now it places an enormous strain on public services.
In well developed countries massive immigration from undeveloped regions intensify the problem. Some unskilled workers find it difficult to get a job, and become a burden on the welfare state. But we should not try to attract skilled people from undeveloped countries where they are more badly needed to improve the economy.
Once we saw Vietnamese boat people fleeing repressive regimes in South East Asia. Now we see West African people, taking to boats and hazard the Atlantic to seek a better life. This is due at least in part to the EU, as powerful fishing fleets armed with licences granted by the votes of this house, plunder their waters, reducing a people already badly off to abject poverty.
Thus migration is mainly economic and the pressure to migrate decreases as the prosperity of undeveloped countries improves. We must therefore help such economies, both as a moral duty and to reduce the problem of mass migration.
Third world countries do not need a hand out. They need expert help to build their infrastructure and sources of employment. Above all, they need to trade. If communities can sell their produce outside their own back yard they make progress. Unfortunately, and for all its fine words, the EU stands in the way. Consumed with protecting European producers the EU's high tariff barriers cruelly shut the third world out of the trade's highways.
Derek Clark MEP
Strasbourg July 4th 2006