A month ought to have been long enough to assemble thoughts on what Brexit is going to mean for immigration policy, but the truth is the great puzzle over what life will look like outside the EU is going to be perplexing us for a long time to come. The imminent end of free movement, at least in the form that it has taken during the 43 years the UK has been a full member of the European Community/Union, will bring to the forefront of the thinking of many people the huge benefits that have come from this way of managing migration over this time.
Eighty years after the Battle of Cable Street in which the East End Jewish community and anti-fascists stopped Moseley’s Blackshirts marching through a migrant community, there are reports of a rise in anti-migrant feeling, abuse and attacks following the narrow pro-Brexit vote on 23 June.
Thanks to the valiant efforts of a journalist and his smart use of the Freedom of Information Act, we now know that there were almost 11 immigration raids a day in London between 2010 and 2015. We also know that areas with sizeable migrant populations in east and south east London were the chief targets for these raids.
Charter of Fundamental Rights The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights covers political, social and economic rights: dignity, freedoms, equality, solidarity, citizens’ rights and justice. Although the Charter is consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights, many see it as a more modern codification because includes such rights as data protection, which was not an issue when the European Convention on Human Rights was passed in 1950. On leaving the EU, this would no longer apply to the UK. European Convention on Human Rights
The vote to leave the European Union has thrown politics into a massive period of uncertainty. It is clear that deep public concern about immigration has been one of the most important factors encouraging 52% of voters to take the drastic action of the probable severing of the connection with the largest economic market in the world. The perceived need to ‘regain control of our borders’ has been a potent message which summed up the feeling that many people have about a country that has changed so much in recent decades. Immigration, as many have said, has functioned as a proxy for the misgivings about living in a world where markets have taken the place of democracy in determining the quality of public life.
Today is UN World Refugee Day and in Britain it marks the start of our annual Refugee Week. As the UNHCR reminds us, it kicks off this year with a record high level of displacement of vulnerable and persecuted people. One in every 122 human across the face of the planet is now believed to be a refugee shockingly half of them being children.
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi’s judgment of the tone of the referendum debate this morning is worth quoting at length. She said: “This kind of nudge-nudge, wink-wink xenophobic racist campaign may be politically savvy or politically useful in the short term, but it causes long-term damage to communities. “The vision that me and other Brexiters who have been involved right from the outset, who had a positive outward-looking vision of what a Brexit vote might mean, unfortunately those voices have now been stifled and what we see is the divisive campaign which has resulted in people like me and others who are deeply Euro sceptic and want to see a reformed relationship feel that they now have to leave.”
The EU referendum campaign hit yet another low with claims by one politician that seven more prisons will be needed by 2030 to house all the new criminals that will arrive if the UK votes to stay in Europe. While another long-term Brexiter found himself facing criticism for suggesting the risks of sex attacks on women would rise if voters decide to stay.
Right throughout the current debate on around the in/out referendum there is one question that is being asked incessantly by the millions who are trying to decide how to cast their vote, and it is perhaps the one that the supporters of a positive case from immigration have found hardest to answer: just how did we manage to become a country of large-scale inward migration anyway? The answer most frequently touted is that is has come about as the result of incompetence and poor judgement on the part of national politicians. According to this version of events at some point in the 1990s or thereabouts, someone in some ministry or another decided that that immigration was the simplest and most direct way to continue to grow the economy and went for it hell for leather.
You’d think a group of workers that came to this country bringing along extra rights we can all enjoy would be welcomed with open arms wouldn’t you? Thanks to the free movement of labour rules in the EU we can all share in the right to a minimum paid annual leave entitlement; more rights for agency workers and temps; maternity leave rights and parental leave; equal pay and anti-discrimination rights Front-and-centre of debate The fact of EU workers coming to the UK in increasingly larger numbers is front-and-centre of political debate right now and the outcome could have fundamental implications for the free movement we all enjoy.
The Open Generation platform seeks to celebrate this diversity, and to prove that the best future for a cohesive and inclusive society is to become a cosmopolitan one; a society open to and appreciative of the changing face of British identity.
In the end it turned out to be something of a comfortable victory for the Labour candidate, Sadiq Khan, in the race to be Mayor of London. Over one million people voting for a candidate, who is the son of a Pakistani immigrant to the UK who worked as a bus driver. During the course of the election campaign Mr Khan was subjected to a barrage of criticism from his Conservative opponent with regard to his work as a human rights lawyer who has defended individuals accused of religious extremism in the past. His own convictions as a Muslim where equated with his professional work with the intention of creating the impression that his role as Mayor would present the capital city with security threats.
The government’s February deal with the EU introduced a ‘four-year ban’ on new migrants from the EU claiming in-work benefits. This is meant to counter the perceived problem of EU nationals relying on the benefits system and seeing it as an attraction to moving to Britain. But is this what’s really happening?