James Button: Winds of change create a very different Britain

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A huge experiment is under way in Britain, one not all the locals like, though it seems to be doing many of them good. It is the transformation of the country into one of the most open, globalised nations in the world.

Latest figures show that last year a record 574,000 people moved to Britain - nearly 1 per cent of the population. Australia, by contrast, took 130,000 migrants last year - 0.65 per cent of its population. And Britain is a much smaller island.

Britain's figure does not count the 600,000 workers from Eastern Europe who have arrived since 2004, turning the lingua franca of farms, building sites and cafes into Polish. Catholicism may soon be Britain's most popular form of worship again, after nearly 500 years in the sin bin.

But British immigration is countered by emigration. Last year a "staggering" 385,000 people left the country for good, according to Brits Abroad, a report by the Institute of Public Policy Research.

One in 10 Britons now lives abroad, a diaspora twice as large, proportionally, as the Australian one....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-Watch* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

Posted September 10, 2007 at 6:16 am

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