Shelagh Fogarty is Leading Britain's Conversation.
25 February 2017, 21:01
This week, an expert said it will take "years and years" before British workers are ready to fill the low-skilled jobs left by EU migrants.
He said the UK was not about to "suddenly shut the door" on low-skilled EU migrants.
That is because UK nationals were not likely to take up the low-paid jobs in care, farming or hotels and restaurants for some time.
And which loony left winger said that? It was chief of the hard-line anti-EU Ultras, the Brexit Secretary David Davis.
He even went further than that. He said, "We're a successful economy, largely or partly at least because we have clever people, talented people come to Britain."
And we are a successful economy because we have not so clever, untalented people coming as well, and those are the ones that are serving us food and washing our plates afterwards, bending over in a field all day to pick fruit and vegetables and wiping up after us in care homes.
They are the ones cleaning our offices and our streets, helping us to make the right decision on where not to park and making us pizza.
Migrants make up a third of the people engaged in cleaning, food preparation and hospitality.
If they downed tools for just one day, it would cost the country £328m, according to the New Economics Foundation.
'Cos they come over 'ere...and help make our economy successful.
The Prime Minister has consistently said the UK wants to continue to attract talent, but she always goes on about the highly skilled workers in industries such as finance and technology, not the industries that employ the most migrants - the NHS, care-work, agriculture, retail, hotels and restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
Brexiteers will be concerned about that because they think that leaving the EU will mean fewer foreigners but it won't because we fat lazy Brits won't do all those jobs that are currently being done by immigrants.
We won’t even, as David Davis said, do them in "some time". We won't do those jobs at all, ever.
The only way we Brits would deign to get our hands dirty like that is if the pay for those jobs was greatly improved.
Unfortunately, that would cause much of those industries to shut down. Companies would go out of business, prices would shoot skywards, unemployment would soar and the government tax take would plummet causing more cuts.
So, we will either see the collapse of the restaurant trade and the health service and the farming sector or we will continue to have migrants coming in at the same rate to do our dirty work for us, whether we are in or out of the EU.
However, the Tories gave campaign pledges to bring down the numbers of low-skilled migrant workers. The Government has put a number on it. They claim to want to bring net migration below 100,000.
It is about 300,000 now, from inside and outside the EU and yet unemployment is at a long-time low of 4.8%.
That is the best figure for 10 years and before that, you'd have to go back to the early 1970s to get anywhere near it.
The total on unemployment benefits is about 745,000, the lowest since 1975.
People not in work or seeking work is about the same now as it was in 1971, so the inescapable conclusion is that all the migration into this country has not caused mass unemployment - those that have come in are working and helping the country to function and without them we'd be in big trouble.
Brexiteers should not take it from me, they should take it from their headbanger-in-chief, the man so great they named him twice.