Posted by: secretperson | February 21, 2008

Britain’s Brain Drain

There are reports today that Britain is suffering the biggest emigration of highly skilled workers in the world. Only Mexico has more workers leaving across all categories.

Why is this? Apparently high house prices, high taxes and poor weather are often mentioned. Yes all believable, when you see all those TV shows on how you can start a new life abroad, and get a lot more for your money, it does look tempting. We all know taxes are too high, and it is obviously the better off and more successful who will be hit hardest by taxation. This is why the left’s beloved high taxes on the rich don’t always mean more money for public spending. There’s no taxes if people leave.

Also living abroad for a period is a good experience, I have done it myself. But I am proud to be English and would rather be in England, long term, and try to make things better. We seem to be attracting immigrants from around the world, so many in fact they more than replace those leaving, in terms of numbers if not skills. What we need to ask is why the difference? Why does Britain attract some and scare of others?

The Telegraph offers this opinion piece blaming immigration. And it is unavoidable that many ex-pat Britons name immigration to Britain as a reason for leaving. Why not move to another country, if you feel no connection to your homeland anymore? Combined with a loss of many of the things people liked, civility and respect for the law.

The immigrants to this country often come from poorer countries and are willing to accept worse lifestyles than native-born Britons in return for wages that, in their countries of origin, can buy a lot more. Earn in Britain, spend abroad is a good way of getting value for money. However it is not good for Britain. Lower taxes, lower welfare, more police, less government interference in everyday life. Simple things that might encourage people to stay. Gordon Brown says we need more skilled workers, we have them but they are leaving. Try and make Britain a nicer place to be Gordon, not just an economy, and maybe you’ll see a change then.

I would be interested to know how this emigration breaks down by nations in the UK. I suspect the Scottish parliament and their renewed sense of nationhood will have been a positive, encouraging Scots to stay and work for their country. I am sure a positive English nationalism, with all the attendant institutions could do the same thing.


  1. I agree.

    Perhaps our greatest challenge is getting the word out that there is such a thing as “positive English nationalism”.

    We have to make St George’s day count this year. To that end I’m working on some business card artwork for activists to hand out and I know the English Democrats are planning something similar.

    If we all do our bit we’ll get there.

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