I’m finding some of the unbalanced horror stories in our tabloid press tragic relating to this EU debate. It is actually embarrassing if looked at through the eyes of people listening in from mainland Europe (and the problem is Europeans read our news, whilst most in the UK don’t read theirs!).
The first two headlines above deserve no comment, but take the third, which spreads fear about unruly EU migrants coming to the UK. A closer analysis of the data shows that EU migrants living in the UK are about half as likely to commit a crime than a native British person. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t deal with the very high crime rate Britain has (one of the highest in the EU), but no evidence suggests EU migration is a root cause. Furthermore, all credible reports analysing the economic impact of EU migration on the British economy value it as hugely positive, something rarely reported on.
Now let’s look at it from the other side. One of the European cities I enjoy popping by when on holiday in Austria, is Ljubljana in neighbouring Slovenia. A vibrant and pretty city and massively improved since joining the EU. On my last visit, whilst having a coffee, we observed an extremely badly behaved group of British tourists. Drunk, loud, abusive and disrespectful. You all know the sort of scene I’m describing. I am extremely proud to have adopted Britain as my home, but in these moments, I become deeply ashamed. The real point however being the local Slovenian who reads misleading headlines like the one above about his nationals living in our Country.
This important EU debate deserves so much more openess and balance and I sincerely hope the media in question begin to take their responsibility more seriously.
I have been pleased to see some of our Regional Press taking this debate on with more responsibility. Here a good example. Well done