The United Kingdom is receiving around 160,000 immigrants every year from outside the European Union and this number is calculated to remain constant until 2025 at least. The attitude from the United Kingdom government may surprise those who expect a xenophobic attitude. Far from it, the Immigration Minister, Barbara Roche, stated that: “The United Kingdom is a nation of immigrants. Immigration is a very good thing and has benefited the country. We should be able to discuss immigration in a proper way.” The United Kingdom indeed assumes the status of the country as a multi-racial and multi-ethnic society. Workers and entrepreneurs who are able to fit into British society are regarded as being not only important for the variety they bring to British culture but also essential, given the declining birth rate in Britain. Basically, with the population growing older and older as the health service improves, and with more and more economic challenges facing working couples, the population is declining and, crudely speaking, it is necessary to attract new workers to pay taxes to sustain the older population. IT is an area in which Britain is in special need of immigrants. It is stated in official circles that 540,000 people will be needed in IT before 2009. Seasonal farm work is another industry which could attract immigrant workers, who for this need no experience at all. Pay and conditions are generally guaranteed and good and the British people are much more welcoming and much less reserved than some people imagine, our corespondent John Ashtead reports from London.

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