When I go over to see a close relative in the South of England, I am taken to some very affluent towns and villages that have experienced few of the problems of immigration.
When you look at the price of property in the estate agents’ windows, the prices would scare you. This is a world away from the inner city areas that are packed with people from all over the world.
My point is that there are those in the UK who are relatively unaffected by immigration compared to those local people who have seen their areas turned upside down.
Many of the people who live in these towns and villages are politicians, judges, bankers and people who are very well off, many of them living aloof from the real problems that immigration brings.
The same can be said of Northern Ireland. We have people who do not live with the reality of the problems that immigration brings, criticise those who would object to the social vandalism of their areas.
These same people do not have to compete with the rest of Europe and people from other parts for jobs, school places, housing, medical appointments etc.
With all the spurious fear tactics being used by the remain in the EU campaign, there is one issue that people should be concerned about, especially those who will be directly affected: immigration.
Around 330,000 immigrants came to the UK in 2015 (above those who left). Some figures suggest that 220,000 of these immigrants were from the EU. This figure has not tied up with the number of national insurance numbers given out: more than 600,000. Clearly 330,000 is a conservative estimate.
People say that these people are coming for a better life. Not so many years ago, some of these immigrants were better off than people were in this country. It is through years of fighting for workers’ rights and for working class children to be educated that things have got better.
The flood of immigrants has also caused wage compression. This is not sustainable, but there is nothing that we can do about it while we are members of the EU. The remain campaign may not want to talk about immigration, but with the EU set to expand to Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia and Kosovo, that will give around another 127,000,000 people the right to come to the UK.
With already over 500,000,000 EU citizens already able to come to the UK, the fact is if we stay in there is nothing we can do about it. The EU has said that the free movement of people law is non negotiable.
When we vote on June 23, we need to think about what kind of UK we are going to leave for our children. Is it one where we make our own laws that are not overruled by European court judges?
One in which rules made by unelected EU commission bureaucrats, such as controlling our own borders, are unchangeable? This may be the last chance in a generation we have to leave this undemocratic European Union.
John Mulholland, Doagh