Fraser Nelson

The brain drain goes into overdrive

The brain drain goes into overdrive
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Anyone who was depressed by the powerful splash in the Daily Telegraph today about Britain’s brain drain had best sit down. I have worse news. It may be a new OECD report, but the data’s from the 2000/01 census (first served up on CoffeeHouse). So the picture today will be much, much worse. 

At the turn of the century just 161,000 Brits a year were emigrating. After a few more years of this wonderful government, the Brits voting with their feet had steadily risen to 206,000 a year. So how many Brits has Labour hounded out of this country? We won’t know until the next worldwide headcount, due at the turn of the decade. By then, Britain may have overtaken Mexico to become the country that repels more of its own people than any other developed nation. How’s that for a New Labour achievement?

P.S. And no, it's not a global trend. As I wrote last November, the OECD found 1.26m British graduates abroad – a higher figure than any other country. It counted only 865,000 German expat graduates, 438,000 French and just 390,000 American. So the question that should keep Brown awake at night is this: why does he think so many valuable people are leaving the country he’s running?

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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