Migration from Poland to the United Kingdom over the 4 years since Poland joined the EU has been the largest wave of migration to the UK in centuries. Immigrants typically find work as plumbers, builders or manual work on farms.

The UK economy has benefitted enormously from this migration wave, especially small businesses who previously found it hard to recruit enough employees. However as prospects improve in Poland, many immigrants are thinking about going home. Others have decided to stay in the UK, and are taking part in community activities such as teaching locals about Polish culture and traditions.

This article from the Independent looks at the reasons behind their decision to stay or leave, and the potential consequences for the UK.

Update (September 2008): As many Poles decide to leave the UK, this article from the Economist looks further at effects of this wave of immigration on the UK.

What are your views on migration? Do the positive effects outweigh the negative ones? Please let us know what you think in the comments.


About the author

Lucy is English and first ventured out of the UK she was 19. Since then she has lived in 4 different countries and tried to see as much of the world as possible. She loves learning languages, learning about different cultures and hearing different points of view.