Letters, Monday, February 3, 2014

Have your say

Immigration will help in the future

DENIS Gillon (Echo Letters, January 22) is mistaken if he thinks any of the main political parties support the idea of ‘unlimited immigration’. The Labour Party is absolutely in favour of strict but fair immigration rules.

 Migration is a two-way flow. Almost one in 10 British citizens currently live overseas. The majority live in Australia, Spain, the US and other English-speaking nations.

 That is 5.5million Brits living abroad compared to 4.2million foreign nationals living in England and Wales.

 If we were to ‘pull up the drawbridge’ as Mr Gillon implies, it could seriously impact on the potential career and retirement plans of around 10 per cent of his fellow countrymen and women, as other countries could retaliate. That’s a lot of angry people.

 One of the things the BBC was trying to explain in its documentary The Truth About Immigration was that the British population is an ageing population.

 As of 2013 there were 3.14 workers to every pensioner but by 2035 there will be only 2.61 workers to one retired person. In other words, there will be fewer people paying the taxes that will be needed to look after an ever growing number of pensioners.

 So either pensioners will be poorer in future or we will need to increase the number of people in work and paying taxes.

 This is where controlled, sensible levels of immigration come in, and with them stronger enforcement of the minimum wage and working conditions.  

 This is Labour’s approach.   UKIP’s approach will plunge many elderly people into poverty in the future as pension levels will be threatened, and make life for low-paid workers even harder without employment protection or a minimum wage.

Jude Kirton-Darling,

Labour Party European Team

Candidate 2014,


Leaving EU would be disaster for city

I FIND it incredible that those campaigning for the UK to leave Europe can be so cavalier in believing our trade and exports can be easily protected by a negotiated treaty should we withdraw.

 Norway has remained outside the EEC but its trade agreement still requires it to observe social and work-related laws so disliked by the UK Out group.

 They have to accept rules on competition, they cannot influence trade with the 28 countries around them. So what makes UKIP and half the Tory party believe we would be a special case?

 The UK needs trade in Europe more than Europe needs us. Imagine the negotiation. The opportunity to disadvantage UK manufacturers would not be missed by the big firms in Europe.

 They would be delighted to compete and take our market share behind a tariff wall. The current tariff on motor cars from outside the EEC is eight per cent.

 The North East has an export-lead economy upon which many jobs depend. If I was involved in the motor sector, I would certainly heed the warnings of those business leaders who see the dangers to jobs, and not the little Englanders who could take the country and this city down a disaster route.

Leslie Scott,

East Herrington.