Migrants are defined as all those who were born outside the UK and were known as ‘aliens’ or ‘foreigners’. Kostakopoulou calls this assumption into question, arguing that ‘aliens’ are by definition outside the bounds of the community by virtue of a circular reasoning which takes for granted the existence of bounded national communities, and that this which takes for granted the existence of bounded national communities, and that this process of collective self-definition is deeply political and historically dated. The composition of the current UK migrant population has of course been conditioned by immigration policy over the past 50 years. Immigration has become a major debate across the UK, with many different reasons given for and against its expansion. Mrs Theresa May made an interesting statement on immigration in the House of Commons .
“Controlled migration has benefited the UK economically, socially and culturally, but when immigration gets out of control, it places great pressure on our society, economy and public services.”
Sovereignty has been regarded as the ultimate value in immigration matters, and the state’s rights to exclude almost unconditional, except on humanitarian grounds or to facilitate family reunion. Renouncing exclusive control over the borders has thus been as tantamount to losing sovereignty, which the UK is becoming susceptible in. In the European Union, the process of the gradual abolition of border controls at internal frontiers highlighted the Member States’ anxiety to be granted sovereign power of control over the external frontiers of, the Union, in exchange for their consent for the shrinking of internal borders as discussed by Kesby . This view was shared by Weiner who wrote:
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...skills gap.’ http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/sir-digby-jones-these-industrious-workers-are-filling-the-skills-gap-412840.html [ January 5th 2011]
Philippe Legrain is a critically acclaimed writer and consultant on globalisation, migration and European issues.
Legrain, P., Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them, (2006), Little Brown book Group
Glover et al, Migration: an economic and social analysis, Home Office UK
Sir Andrew Green, former UK ambassador to Saudi Arabia and is currently the Chairman of Migration Watch UK
National Statistics, Statistical Bulletin: Labour Force Survey, Office of National Statistics http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_labour/LFSHQS/2010/2010_LFS_HQS_CQ.pdf [January 10th 2011]
The Sunday Times, ‘Immigration Curbs Are Vital For Britain’s Future’, Sir Andrew Green [September 5th 2010]