Generation Brexit

Upholding the actual borders with the EU is in the interest of the UK

Pol Salvat
Pol Salvat | 11 months ago | in Get Off My Border

Immigration has been one of the major topics covered in the past general election. Undoubtedly UKIP has had a significant influence in 'Theresa May's vow to "cut immigration to tens of thousands", but why would she do that? Free movement of people has major advantages, and Brexit does not necessarily mean closing borders; that would be a misinterpretation of the referendum's cause and result.

The UK opted-out of participating in the Schengen Agreement, but still Europeans can freely travel to the UK and viceversa. This is a great benefit for both Europeans and Britons, who, thanks to agreements, can travel, reside, study and also work all throughout the EU. It is important immigration policies are kept identical with the Union as much of the UK's workforce comes from the EU. Many jobs shortages are covered by immigrants (NHS doctors and nurses are a brilliant example). But not only do they do essential works, they also consume, contribute to economic growth, create employment, revenues, and also pay taxes to the government. Additionally, they broad the country's culture, for instance in London, a clear example of a cosmopolitan city.

The problem is that there is a fear that immigrants would "take" Briton's jobs. They may or may not, but at any rate welcoming immigrants would foster competitiveness among workers and very likely bring gains in productivity. Therefore, from an economic point of view immigration is great. However, it is also important that the British government implement the right policies and regulations on immigration. One of the things I suppose people fear the most is immigrants being able to decide of the UK's future, in other words to vote. It is totally understandable, but it is not a reason to cut on immigration. It is as simple as to implement regulations restricting immigrants rights, in this case not leting them being able to vote. That would be a much fairer treatment than utterly refusing people the right to be in a certain country.

All in all, it is clear that a lot is at stake for immigrants during the Brexit negotiations. My view is that the UK should keep the same agreements with the EU and not fear globalisation. Brexit is to my mind a rejection of Brussels' authority, not a rejection of Europeans. 

edited on Aug 8, 2017 by Pol Salvat

Valeria Vigilante 11 months ago

This is an interesting point. However, if the negotiations will move towards partially (or completely) closed borders, what can the UK and the EU do in order to preserve some of the advantages you've listed above?

Pol Salvat 11 months ago

I suppose that if the UK moves towards closed borders, it will mean that they won't be willing to welcome immigrants from Europe, nor from other places. But the EU can definitely put pressure (threatening the rights of Expats for instance) on the UK to secure Europeans the right to travel to the UK. Agreements can also be concluded, giving the same rights to Britons and to Europeans all over the Union. Additionally if the UK wants to wallow on the benefits I listed above, it should make it easer to get work permits.
But in any case it's up to the British government to decide whether they want closed or open borders.

Marta Lorimer 11 months ago

Lots of good points Pol - but I feel like I should ask: aren't you concerned that if the UK keeps the same agreements with the EU, this will be seen by many as a 'betrayal' of the referendum result - since many think it was a referendum on immigration? How do you think the government could sell that?

Pol Salvat 10 months ago

It is nice you came up with that question. Of course Brexiteers would feel duped, but the question of the referendum was about Britain's membership within the EU, not really about immigration. Obviously, the referendum's purpose has been perverted.
To my mind the key issue was sovereignty, getting money back and also as you said controlling borders among other aspects, but not necessarily cutting on immigration.Unfortunately the government will not sell that story I wrote, they have been elected on an anti-immigration campaign. I am just hoping Theresa May does not get too influenced by Nigel Farage's policies.