Steve McCabe MP attends Polish Parliamentary Inauguration

Steve McCabe was one of the principal speakers at the Parliamentary inauguration of a new group for professional Polish people in the UK.

The group is an independent and self funding association representing more than two hundred Polish businesses and professionals from across the UK. Its aim is to counter some of the myths about the contribution of Polish people to life in the UK and emphasises that East European migrants cannot be treated as a homogeneous group. 

 

This is particularly important when considering the tensions associated with Polish migration back in 2004 and current anxieties about the numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians likely to enter this country once the present controls on migration from new EU entrants are lifted. 

 

Steve McCabe MP said: “It is important to remember that there had been a Polish community in Birmingham dating back to the 19th Century when many of them sought sanctuary here after the failure of the 1830 November uprising against the then Russian Empire. They settled in a variety of trades and professions and made an important contribution to life in Birmingham. 

 

“More than 150,000 Poles served in the Second World War, and were the largest non-British contingent of the RAF during the Battle of Britain. Many of these people settled here and have made a life in the UK and made important contributions to our universities, health, education, commerce and engineering sectors. 

 

“Polish is actually now the most common, non-native language spoken in England and Wales and there are about 30,000 members of the Polish diaspora living in Birmingham. This community stands out for their hard work, endeavor and desire for self-sufficiency. 

 

“The Polish Centre on Bordersley Street, Birmingham was built on land purchased as a result of the fund raising efforts of the Polish community and that not a penny of taxpayers money was used for the construction of the centre. 

 

“We heard from Professor Christian Dustmann, who told the gathering that his studies showed that the most recent wave of younger Polish migrants has made a net contribution to tax in the UK rather than proving to be a drain on welfare or other services as some people feared.

 

"The Polish community here in the UK and in Birmingham should be celebrated for the valuable contribution that they make to our economy, society and culture. Britain is a richer country for their efforts.”

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