Blog

Don Flynn Jul 25, 2016
We set out the three areas where we have to formulate actions and policies to protect the rights of EU migrants and young people.
                  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.
Alan Ali Jul 16, 2016
Reports of racial abuse and attacks in the wake of the referendum result have spiked. The hostile atmosphere generated by the ‘debate’ about immigration during the campaign is damaging social cohesion. No wonder people feel scared and insecure.
      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.  
Alan Ali Jul 11, 2016
Immigration raids appear to be on the rise. And certainly in London new evidence of increased numbers of raids targeting largely migrant communities has emerged. But is all this activity staying strictly inside the law, as it should be?
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.
Alan Anstead Jul 4, 2016
A small majority of UK voters said that the UK should leave the EU in the referendum on 23 June. UKREN’s Alan Anstead looks at some of the main human rights implications of the UK government invoking article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and starting the countdown to leaving the EU.
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
Alan Ali Jul 3, 2016
These are troubling times in the UK for EU migrants and anyone else with a migrant heritage. And if Theresa May becomes PM, EU nationals could find themselves being used as bargaining chips in some grand diplomatic game while the UK tries to cut its European Union ties.
Don Flynn Jun 24, 2016
We respond to the outcome of the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union.
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.
Don Flynn Jun 20, 2016
Amidst the harsh facts there is energy and zeal to change the way refugees are treated in the world today. Refugee Week is a great chance to add momentum to this movement.
  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.
Don Flynn Jun 20, 2016
The week opens with the shock of the brutal murder of Jo Cox still pervasive. Think about this during the final days of the referendum campaign.
    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.”
Alan Ali Jun 20, 2016
Is the UK in the grip of a crime wave as a result of EU migration? Will we need more prisons to lock up a wave of Euro-Crims? The evidence suggests it’s not.
    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.  
Don Flynn Jun 13, 2016
In the world we live in today immigration is not a tap you can turn on or off at will. We look at a new book that helps us understand how it fits in with emergence of global labour markets, and won’t be easily banished by any easily-applied anti-immigrant measure.
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. 
Alan Ali Jun 6, 2016
Workers’ rights seem to be one of the invisible benefits of EU free movement. They arrived as a result of the ability of people to cross borders for work. Are they an under-rated or even forgotten aspect of free movement?
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.
Clara Dublanc Jun 6, 2016
With the EU referendum looming, there is a Brexit argument that sneers at London’s multiculturalism. As London has just elected its first Muslim mayor, rejecting a campaign of innuendo which even supporters of rival candidates found distasteful, some Brexiters have nevertheless labelled London a unique and separate entity which is detached from the realities of the rest of the UK.
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.
Don Flynn May 30, 2016
A new website reporting on community action on migration in London has set out some important ideas of what could be achieved for a city in which one-third of its population was born outside the UK. It argues that the key to progress is rooting the rights of migrants into local campaigns for decent jobs, affordable housing, and convivial neighbourhood space.
        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.
Alan Ali May 26, 2016
Claims that EU migrants see Britain’s welfare benefits as a ‘pull’ factor have been consistently demolished by study after study. But this hasn’t laid these clearly bogus claims to rest. What’s going on? - asks Alan Ali.
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?
Alan Ali May 23, 2016
The UK’s quarterly immigration statistics are due to be published later this week. Last time around there was an almighty furore because the numbers of National Insurance numbers issued to EU citizens far exceeded the numbers who have come to live permanently in the country. Will the reaction be any better this time?