Thursday, October 20, 2011
Britain has the third-largest population of foreign-born citizens in Europe
More than 4 million people in Britain were born abroad, 6.6% of the population of 63 million. Germany has the largest number of foreign-born citizens in Europe, with 7.2 million, followed by Spain, with 5.2 million. Opinion polls consistently have shown that the British public favors a reduction in immigration. A recent poll from the nonpartisan Migration Observatory at Oxford University found that 69% of respondents want immigration reduced, an amount consistent with surveys conducted over the past 50 years. Even politicians now concede that immigration is a major problem. British political leaders from the left and the right are blaming liberal immigration policies for driving down living standards amid a financial crisis that has prompted the Conservative-led government to cut welfare programs to prevent fiscal collapse. Prime Minister David Cameron, who said in 2011 that multiculturalism has failed in Britain, is calling on immigrants to learn English fluently, make a contribution to the economy and society and avoid being a burden on the welfare system and the British taxpayer. Even Labor Party leader Ed Miliband recently conceded that his party got things wrong on immigration during its 13 years in power.