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Saturday, February 16, 2008 

Immigration wave over? Not if the Mail and Express have their way.

A wave of immigration that helped to fuel Britain’s early 21st century boom is over, as the Polish plumber and thousands like him go home.

The Times has established that, for the first time since they began arriving en masse four years ago, more UK-based Poles are returning to their homeland than are entering Britain.

Statistics show that only 38,680 Poles signed up to the Government’s register of migrant workers in the third quarter of 2007, a slump of 18 per cent from the previous year. Polish officials say that Poles leaving the country outnumber thoses coming in.

Hard statistics on the number of Poles leaving Britain do not exist. There are no embarkation controls on EU members so they are are not counted out. But Polish officials, British employment agencies and the Polish media all believe that the tide of immigration has turned. Since Poland joined the EU in 2004, 274,065 Poles have signed up for work permits. They make up 66 per cent of all applications from Eastern European countries.

Oh, so you mean that 1.3 million Poles didn't arrive in the UK last year, that 860 migrants don't flood in every day, and that as some of us noted previously, the numbers peaked a while ago? Perhaps now a newspaper with slightly more authority than the Mail or Express has published something approaching reality on its front page we can something approaching a reasoned debate on immigration. Or, going by this, perhaps not:

I am urgently looking for anonymous horror stories of people who have employed Eastern European staff, only for them to steal from them, disappear, or have lied about their resident status. We can pay you £100 for taking part, and I promise it will be anonymous…

A personal plea from the Daily Mail's Diana Appleyard.

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Bloody foreigners!

Not coming over here!

Not taking our jobs!

Not taking our women!

Send them(selves) back where they come from!

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