Cameron says British workers should replace EU migrants

  • 4 October 2011
  • From the section England
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More British people should be filling jobs that are currently held by migrant workers, according to David Cameron.

The Prime Minister believes it is "no longer an option" for a section of the population to rely on benefits, when many vacancies are being filled by workers from overseas.

Mr Cameron was responding to concerns highlighted by campaigners in a Lincolnshire town, who say they are worried about the impact migrant workers are having on the local economy.

Residents in Boston are preparing to march in protest through the town's streets next month, because they believe local services are struggling to cope with the number of people arriving from across the European Union.

Migrant workers

In an interview with BBC Look North at the Conservative Party conference, David Cameron said: "There are lots of jobs that are done in Lincolnshire that people come over from Europe to do that frankly British people could and should do.

"We are reforming welfare, so it's no longer an option to sit on the dole when there is work available.

"So if we want to reduce the level of migration from Europe, let's do it by getting British people into these jobs."

Most politicians in Lincolnshire believe that migrant workers have had a positive effect on the county's economy.

Migration challenge

But many council leaders argue they need more money from central government to deal with the strain on their resources caused by an increasing population.

The Conservative Leader of Boston Borough Council, Cllr Peter Bedford, said: "I have never said that the increase in Boston borough's population by the appearance of migrant workers, mainly from Eastern Europe, has not presented the council with challenges.

"Freedom of movement means these people have a legal right to be here. They come to work.

"It has been the council's challenge to deal with the issues their presence has generated."

Much of the debate in Boston has been sparked by a recent newspaper article, in which the Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens stated: "A somnolent and kindly town has been upset, alarmed and riven by mass immigration in its hardest and most uncompromising form."