LETTER: Help refugees

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We don’t usually discuss national issues in the local paper, but here’s a possible local angle to the refugee crisis.

I can’t believe that Mr Cameron has set a target of taking in only 20,000 refugees over four years: that’s a mere 5,000 a year.

I know we’re a crowded island, but this tidal wave will go on and on, partly as a result of western indifference.

It’s almost a surge of revenge, made more possible now by smartphones.

As TIME magazine describes it: ‘Rarely in modern history have so many been so desperate to flee. Now their brave, and tragic, journeys are reshaping Europe and the world.’

But I am cheered by Denmark’s experience.

It increased its share of non-EU migrants from 1.5 per cent in 1994 to nearly 5 per cent in 2008.

Yet there’s been no negative impact on wages, mainly because native Danes simply adjusted by moving up the economic chain.

Migrants are a disproportionately dynamic part of the labour force globally.

Innovative and entrepreneurial, they create a higher than average number of patents, and start businesses more frequently than natives.

In the 19th century, a third of the population of Sweden, Ireland and Italy emigrated to America and other countries.

The US is the best example of how dynamic a country of immigrants can be.

So, I thought if the UK took in just one per cent of our 65 million population, that would be 650,000.

One per cent of Arundel’s 3,500 people would be 35.

Around half of all refugees are children, so let’s speculate that would be about six families.

Surely that’s do-able, over four years?

John Munro

Westbury Lodge

Arundel

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