Immigration — [Sir Alan Meale in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:13 pm on 9th July 2015.

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Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Chair, Home Affairs Committee, Chair, Home Affairs Committee 3:13 pm, 9th July 2015

Perhaps I am being unkind to the hon. Gentleman. I do not know his position on the EU. I have never believed that enlargement was wrong. That is partly because, of course, I was Minister for Europe at the time. I do not believe that we should constantly say “mea culpa”, and I signed some of the documents that allowed people from Poland, Hungary and other countries in. I think the arrival of the eastern Europeans helped our economy. It boosted it enormously. It was different from migration from south Asia, because people from eastern Europe tend not to stay. They tend to want to go back—it is only two hours to Warsaw—but people from the subcontinent wanted to stay longer and put down roots. That does not apply to the eastern Europeans.