The value of immigrants

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Indy Politics

Tony Blair used yesterday's speech to present a number of facts about immigration to Britain. He said:

* Visitors from outside Europe spent £6.8bn in Britain during 2002.

* Overseas students spend more than £3bn a year on fees, goods and services.

* Treasury figures suggest that economic growth would fall by 0.5 per cent over the next two years if migration to Britain ceased.

* Eight per cent of the British workforce was born abroad compared with 15 per cent in the US and 25 per cent in Australia.

* Britain has a lower proportion of foreign-born nationals than France, Germany or the US.

* There are 11,000 overseas teachers working in British schools. In higher education 33,530 out of 143,150 staff are from overseas.

* About 100,000 migrants from Eastern Europe are already legally living and working in Britain.

* About 100,000 British jobs are linked to the export of goods to the new member states of the European Union.