CANADA TARGETS BRITISH EMIGRANTS by Mike Walsh

Will Spain Lose Out?

The British presence in Spain is not without flaws but if good is weighed against bad then the British community‘s contribution is of Klondike proportions. Its impact on Mediterranean Spain is not unlike its earlier influence upon ‘The New World’; Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The prosperity that came with the pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit of previous generations of fed-up Brits was immense.

Spain isn’t a case of the British cuckoo settling into the Spanish nest. The land mass is four times that of England; the population 35% less. There is plenty of space to be taken advantage of without encroachment.

Because of British and northern European ‘colonisation‘ and tourism, inter-connected towns and expanding cities, each with essential infrastructure, now blossom from Gibraltar to Valencia, throughout the Costa Brava to Barcelona.

OTHERS PLAY CATCH-UP

It gives an idea of the wealth and opportunity created if one compares the southern coasts of Spain with the relatively undeveloped coastal regions of other Mediterranean countries. Many have been slow to see the advantages of people wealth.

Today, Italy, Romania, Cyprus and Bulgaria chase Spain’s treasure. The hard working emigrants and free-spending retirees of northern Europe are an asset. They bring with them an educated transfusion of skills, drive and opportunity.

The two communities complement each other; almost like husband and wife. Brits adore the Spanish lifestyle, culture and its climate.. The young value the opportunities. In return the welcoming Spanish are not unappreciative of the employment and wealth the mutual love affair has brought to their country.

WILL SPAIN LOSE OUT?

Now, in hot pursuit of people-power Canada is muscling in on Britain’s woeful lack of opportunity. Competing with Spain the more vibrant north Americans have introduced a fast-track immigration visa system to lure the cream of Britain’s workforce. A Canadian Province’s Minister of Employment is leading the great ‘hand-grab’.

A national tabloid recently described the Canadian emigrant-chasing initiative as, ‘The most audacious recruitment raids since Australia poached a million Britons – known as the Ten-Pound Poms after the single ticket price they paid – in the 1950s and 60s.’ We all know how they super-charged the Australian economy. The UK never did recover from the haemorrhage of hard-working talent.

UK ALARM BELLS CLANGING

Alarm bells are ringing throughout the UK. Local authorities, the NHS and other services essential to the country’s infrastructure are expressing concern at key workers being seduced by the Canadian soft-sell.

A British Medical Association spokesperson says, “Potentially Canada’s gain is the UK’s loss because we will lose highly trained and skilled doctors.‘

The haemorrhage could be unstoppable and infinitely a death blow to a nation already losing an estimated 200,000 tax payers a year.

Worse, because of its virtual open door policy Britain is further burdened by an artificially young immigrant population which will translate from dilemma to crisis proportions.

There are many others dependent on various forms of state aid which is made more acute because for immigrants their recent arrival means they have not contributed to the infrastructure. The scales of taxation and dependency are tipping alarmingly.

GO SOUTH, YOUNG MAN

The people-pirates of Canada are quick to make comparisons. They point out that their cost of living is far lower, their health and educational systems are far superior to Britain‘s. For the price of a box-flat in London a young professional can buy a spacious detached villa in its own grounds in Alberta – or in Spain.

Canada ticks a lot of boxes for those desperate to escape the UK weather, its extortionate taxes; the highest cost of living in the western world, and endemic lawlessness.

Spain too needs inward investment to lessen the impact of near recession. Many believe it should be competing with Canada and other countries to encourage high spending, house-buying, hard-working Brits as they seek a new life where their energies and expertise are in demand.

Canada is expecting an influx of 50,000 European immigrants to take advantage of its prosperity. It would not be in Spain’s interest to see young professionals cross the Atlantic in preference to the Bay of Biscay. Spain still joins up more dots than does Canada, but it does need to be pro-active and set its stall out as does Canada. Otherwise England (and Spain’s) loss will be Canada’s gain.

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