Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 2 July 2015


An insolvency lawyer once said to me that if you can see 7 cranes at any one time on the London skyline, a recession is just around the corner.  On Monday standing on the terrace of the House of Commons I counted 14. The amount of building going on in London, especially building residential flats overlooking the Thames is extraordinary.

I do not for one moment think that a recession is just around the corner. The old maxim related to a time when the domestic economy was self-contained and too much construction would reflect an economy over-heating before crashing. The remarkable construction drive in London is undoubtedly fuelled by foreign money looking for a safe capital investment.

We know that many business people have taken their money out of the basket case that is the Middle East in recent years, many Russians also, all of them fleeing political instability and conflict. French entrepreneurs have moved wealth across the channel to escape the punitive taxes of a socialist government.

Several Greek magnates will also have moved money from their country long since as the slow motion car crash looks likely to finally hit the buffers in the next few days or weeks. I imagine the Greek people will reject the EU settlement terms in their referendum next week whereupon, they will crash out of the Euro. Ironically this gives them the best chance of recovery, as they can then go back to the Drachma, devalue their currency, and we will all pile over there for cheap holidays.

But back to London. As I walk into the Commons each morning at 7.20 a.m. a vast number of construction workers are clocking in for their day's toil in the two massive building sites I have to walk past. Almost all of them are speaking in an eastern European language, many of them on the phones to their families as they wait to clock in.

This is in large measure an explanation of why the EU migration figures are currently so dramatic. Our economy has created more jobs than all other EU countries put together in the past 2 years. Our capital is experiencing a building boom. We simply could not manage this without workers from overseas. They will all be paying tax here and boosting our economy. Once the work is over the vast majority will simply go home.

This kind of immigration is a positive thing. It was ever thus.

posted by Gary @ 08:50