One of our strengths as a nation is that we are a land of immigrants. Over the centuries, people have come to this country, fleeing conflict or seeking new opportunities, from other parts of the British Isles, from mainland Europe, or from further afield, to enrich and develop our common life.
Many of us will have Scottish or Welsh blood in our veins. Others trace our ancestry to the West Indies or Pakistan, though we ourselves are English. In Leeds, we have one of the larger Jewish populations in the country, and our city has benefited immensely from their contribution.
Yet, frequently in recent years, there have been expressions of fear over the role of immigrants to our country, and they have surfaced
again with the recent declaration of the cross-party Group on Balanced Migration. This calls for political parties to declare, in the run-up to the General Election, how they will restrict immigration. One of the signatories has described Britain as “our claustrophobic island”.