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August 22, 2017

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Economy boost linked to moral imperative in migrant policy

Pundits have been steadily ramping up their analysis of the situation as the June 23 date for a referendum on the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union approaches.

Compelling economic reason stands behind the "Remain" camp. While the exact results of a withdrawal are uncertain, many outlets have observed that complete trade access to the EU market, which the UK currently enjoys, would have to be renegotiated.

For the UK, a decision to stay in the EU would offer a re-emphasis on the value of immigration. It would be an affirmation of the contributions that the many migrants have made to British society. Most powerfully, studies by UK scholars shows that immigrants as a group pay back more in taxes than they receive in benefits. In the November 2013 study "The fiscal effects of immigration to the UK" by authors Christian Dustmann and Tommaso Frattini, the authors quoted a £22.1 billion net contribution to public coffers between 2001-2011 from immigrants hailing from the European Economic Area (EEA). For those from outside the EEA, a 2 percent net contribution of around £2.9 billion was found. And all of this compares to a 89-percent ratio of contributions as a portion of payouts for natives, equalling a negative of £624.1 billion.

This is amongst the most powerful arguments for being more open to immigration — newcomers have the potential to be a force in revitalizing the economy.

Relying on sentiment or anecdotes in dealing with a situation is — when relied on alone — an ineffective and inaccurate way to gauge the seriousness of a situation or to concoct proper remedies. The conflict between new arrivals and locals is one that manifests itself across cultures and geography, and modern countries including our own continue to struggle with identity conflicts that derive their fuel from a lack of understanding of the other. Unfamiliarity further breeds distrust.

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