Three British newspapers offer different readings of a major study on immigration to be to be published in the Economic Journal, as the heated public debate over government to proposals to tighten rules on EU citizens' right to work in the UK had prompted a Home Office minister to resign.

“European migrants made a net contribution of £20bn [€25bn] to UK public finances between 2000 and 2011,” writes The Guardian. For the centre-left daily, the University College researchers who authored the study have shown “Britain is uniquely successful, even more than Germany, in attracting the most highly skilled and highly educated migrants in Europe.”

More critical, conservative The Daily Telegraph argues the study finds immigration from within Europe gave the economy a boost of £4.4bn [€5.6bn] if the full period of 1995 to 2011 is considered. The daily also says the authors “emphasised their findings on the contribution of European migrants and gave less prominence to the findings on the costs of non-EEA immigration,” which it says “cost the public purse nearly £120bn [€153bn] over 17 years”.

The Independent interviews Norman Baker, a Liberal Democrat who says he resigned from his post as one of three minister of state in the Home Office due to his Tory colleagues’ “failing to pursue ‘rational evidence-based policy’” on immigration. For the paper, the study suggests government proposals to change EU labour rules “would cost the economy dear by deterring highly educated young Europeans from moving temporarily to Britain”.