15 May 2014
LONDON’S Green Euro-MP Jean Lambert has said EU migration is ‘good for London’.
Speaking at a debate with the only female candidate for EU Commission President Ska Keller, a German Green MEP, Ms Lambert said the economic and cultural case for free movement within the EU was ‘overwhelming’.
She said: “There are more than a million non-UK EU citizens living in London, contributing to the city’s vibrancy and diversity – as well as its economy.
“Studies have shown EU migrants tend to claim fewer benefits – and pay more taxes – than UK citizens. There are a lot of myths flying around about migration, and the EU, at the moment – many of them cynically disseminated by right-wing and nationalist politicians in order to create division
“There is public concern about public services and we know there are too few low-cost homes being built in London. There is too little cash in our NHS, or social care provided by local councils. These are the results of Government budgetary choices, not migrants, who contribute to society and are often providing that essential health and social care .”
The MEP made her comments at “An Open Europe for All “ – an evening debate about migration and European citizenship held in Islington’s Mildmay Community Centre last night (Tuesday, May 13) (1).
As well as Ms Lambert and Ms Keller, other particip[ants in the debate were Nicholas de Genova, Reader in Urban Geography, King’s College London, Don Flynn: Director of Migrant’s Rights Network – and the debate was chaired by Violeta Vajda, community activist and Romani Studies doctoral researcher at University of Sussex.
Ms Lambert, who is also the Green Party’s Immigration Spokesperson, added: “Next week the people of Europe go to the polls in a vote that wil do much to decide the future direction of the continent.
“They face a stark choice: the politics of hate, nationalism and closed borders, or the progressive politics of hope and an open-minded Europe for all. I hope they choose the latter.”