Blogs by Don Flynn
The first anniversary of the death of the three year-old Syrian Kurdish refugee, Aylan Kurdi, is coming up fast.
Even people who were shocked by the appalling image of the Turkish police officer cradling the drowned infant might be forgiven for thinking that things have got better for the refugees who were fleeing conflict in the Middle East and North African region. The news reports describing the hundreds of boats arriving on the Greek islands during that period and the images of thousands of despite people queuing at the European borders which had been so hastily thrown up to bar their admittance are no longer making the headlines.
If a week is a long time in politics then the six-and-a-bit weeks since the vote for Brexit on 23 June are beginning to feel like an eternity.
The whole country is waiting to see even a sketchy outline of what the government feels can be done to deliver on the issue that seems to have persuaded most people that a punt on the ‘Leave’ option was worth taking. That something is of course immigration.
The operation directed against migrant employees of the fast food chain, Byron Hamburgers by Home Office Border enforcement officials on the evening of 4th July has sparked a lively discussion about the extent to which employers should be held to any sort of standard why it comes to a duty of care towards its workers.
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.
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.
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