Immigration:- putting the cart before the horse?

Last week, the Guardian published a leaked draft of a Home Office document entitled  ‘Borders, Immigration and Citizenship System After the UK Leaves the EU’

It contained the welcome news that the Government is determined to bring immigration down and intends to use the opportunities presented by Brexit to honour – albeit rather belatedly – its pledge to bring net migration down below 100,000.

Given the high profile of the immigration issue during last year’s referendum campaign, it is the least the government can do. In summary, free movement will come to an end on Brexit day. A scheme for seasonal workers will allow our fruit to be picked, but work permits will be time-limited, with those for low-skilled workers lasting only two years, with no right to settle. For all new EU workers, the right to bring family members will be significantly curtailed. UK companies will be encouraged to take on UK workers where possible.  Though it does not give precise details, the document says the UK is minded to introduce an income threshold for some EU citizens before they will be allowed to reside here.

It all sounds good in theory. There are good,sound reasons for slashing immigration. The pressure exerted by migrants is making it harder for native Brits to get onto the housing ladder or, in some places, to see a GP or find a place for their children in a local school. The use of short-term work permits will give the government  – and indeed, business – greater flexibility, especially as advances in robotics will drastically shrink the numbers of low-skilled workers required. Some experts suggest that we will have problems finding work for all the current UK working age population within 30 years. We certainly don’t want to saddle ourselves with lots of migrants whose jobs have been taken by machines but who have a right to stay here.

Of course, a Tory party which has found itself on the back foot since the General Election will be keen to do all it can to rebuild its support and there are plenty of voted to be garnered by being tough on immigration.

Yet the welcome given to this document must be tempered with a feeling that the Government is rather putting the cart before the horse. We know what it wants to do about immigration but very little about its proposed relationship with the EU. We would probably be able to implement most these restrictions as a member of EFTA and accessing the Single Market via the EEA agreement and applying restrictions in the same way as Liechtenstein, in spite of claims by one EU official that  “Limits on numbers of people or categories of migrant worker are incompatible with single market access.” They seem to have forgotten this small Alpine country which invalidates their argument.  Likewise, we would certainly be able to restrict migration if we stormed out of the current negotiations and left the EU in March 2019 with no agreement and some commentators are suggesting that this is seriously being considered.

The EFTA route has thus far not been in favour while walking out would be foolish and lead to the “cliff edge” which we are repeatedly being told the Government wishes to avoid. So what, then, is the Brexit framework into which these immigration proposals will fit?

Furthermore, if the Government is serious about reducing net migration below 100,000, what about immigration from outside the EU? The most recent statistics did record a drop in arrivals from EU-27, but arrivals from the rest of the world stood at 266,000 during the same period. The government could act here and now to stem the flow if it so desired. Then what about illegal immigrants? Will the Government finally get serious and deport them?

So while this document is a step in the right direction, a lot of questions remain unanswered.

 

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John Petley

John Petley

John Petley is Operations Manager for Campaign for an Independent Britain

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8 comments

  1. Adam HileyReply

    anyone notice the odious Blair creature on Andrew Marr having the audacity to suggest We should close Our borders but stay in the EU talk about the nerve of this appalling Human Being and His party must never be allowed in Government again populistpartyuk.blogspot.co.uk

  2. StevenReply

    Totally correct once again, Adam! Ha, ha! This is becoming a habit now! Yes, Bliar as he is so aptly called by many being his usual odious, self-seeking and very hypocritical self. This virulently anti-British traitor has a real cheek mentioning the subject of immigration when his government deliberately AND WITH CLEAR MALICE threw open the doors to mass immigration in order to, “rub the Right’s noses in diversity and render their arguments out of date” and also as a blatant attempt to increase Labour’s future national vote share. He could have chosen to severely curtail non-EU migration and he could also have imposed the 7 year restriction on EU migrants the EU allowed us and other member states to do after the EU expanded in 2004 to take-in countries like Poland. Germany did this so why did his government not act similarly? He is only shedding crocodile tears now about the subject because his own immigration policies helped to power Brexit to victory and destroy his beloved British EU membership.

  3. Phil JonesReply

    John, I see you are still advocating the UK becoming part of EFTA. I couldn’t disagree more, and thankfully David Davis has announced that EEA and EFTA are not in his picture. Being in EFTA would simply change the UK to being a quasi-province of the EU rather than a full province. And once into it no future Government would want to go through the ordeal of getting out of the EFTA. The EFTA is a non-starter for the May Government at present and I sincerely hope it stays so.

    As far as the future immigration plans I agreed with them 100% (150% if that were possible). They seemed to me to be an extremely reasonable way of proceeding forward. The UK needs to implement a points system for immigrants similar to the points systems that are working so very well in Australia and Canada. Simply allowing in massive numbers of EU migrants for farm and other work not working. Many are disappearing into the wood work so-to-speak. It’s just open-door immigration. Let’s get a proper immigration system in place, and then let an appropriate number of people in who can contribute to the UK’s wealth. And by ‘contributing’ I don’t mean working at miniscule wages so that Big Business can maximize its profits. Big Business hates Brexit and it’s so transparently clear why. Brexit means proper border control and no longer a large influx of migrants that will accept miniscule wages, i.e. help maximize profits. It was the people of the UK who voted on 23 June last year, not corporations sitting down to mark the ballot. Corporations would love the whole world to be run by just one federal system of government so that no currency exchanges would be needed and no translation for their adverts. We went through Project Fear prior to 23 June and I am sick and tired of having to listen to the BBC and Labour trying to make us go through it again. Sorry if I’ve strayed a bit off-topic here!! When it comes to Brexit, as someone trained in constitutional law who has followed every shenanigan pulled by the EEC/EU and sycophant UK governments over the last 30+ years in trying to form a new European federal system of government I’ve gained some pretty strong views. 🙂

    • StevenReply

      Yes, to a FULL Brexit with self-rule restored to the UK and a firm NO to joining EFTA as a convenient ‘holding operation’ as the Remainiacs want so they can get us to rejoin the EU at a later date. We need full control of our borders. Any points-based system needs to have a low target figure attached or it could lead to MORE immigration and not less! I concur with your comments about big business and the utterly selfish, self-serving indeed amoral attitudes they take regarding Brexit and free movement. It’s high time a British government told them that business should be the SERVANT of the nation NOT its master.

  4. Gordon WebsterReply

    Why do we need to give any concession to the EU on immigration, just to trade with them? America doesn’t, Canada doesn’t, Australia doesn’t, and we needn’t. For several years I have been infuriated by the British Poodle Press bowing to the mass immigration lobby, and denigrating the British unemployed as lazy, shiftless, and benefits junkies. The destruction of several British Industries put them on Benefits Street, and Blair’s mass importation of slave labour, with the aid of the EU’s “free movement of cheap labour rule,” (Macron let that cat out of the bag) has kept them there. I spent 5 years as a CAB Adviser. During that time I met British People of all ages desperate to work. I also met Eastern Europeans working 50-60 hours a week while telling, with the aid of their employer, that they only worked 20-30, so they could get Tax Credits. That is economic insanity by employers, who end up paying more Tax, to fund the the immigrant families top-up benefits, and paying for the British families benefits. We do not need any immigrants until our own are employed, and their is more than enough employment to keep immigrants in work.

    • StevenReply

      I agree fully with regard to your comments about how the British press have constantly denigrated the British unemployed as lazy ‘workshy’ scum. The Daily Mail is the worst offender here. They are to be throughly condemned. I not quite sure what their underlying motive is but it does smell of a certain amount of repellent class hatred on their part. They need to be reminded that before we lost our industries many of these people would have been in skilled occupations making Britain wealthy.

  5. TobyReply

    The Tories need to do something to stop the continuous barrage of negative comments regarding Brexit coming from the BBC. I would like to see a root and branch reform or the BBC conducted by a hard man/woman and all the lying sycophants of Leftoidism kicked into the long grass and the BBC being restored to the fair , neutral public broadcaster it used to be.

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