A lot has been said, for and against, free movement within the EU. Most people think it means that any EU national can travel to another EU country and live there, work there or look for work. That’s true for the first three months. But after that it becomes murkier. One has to ‘access one’s freedom of movement rights’ which means being in employment, being self-employed, being a student with finance for the duration of the course, or having funds to sustain oneself and family. Freedom of movement is one of the founding principles of the EU, designed to support the economies of EU countries by providing a mobile work force. However, did you know that the UK government is forcibly deporting hundreds of EU nationals, many of them illegally?
There has been much talk in recent times about the potential for a ‘points-based scheme’ (PBS) being used to control immigration in the event that the UK votes to leave the EU in the June referendum. The supporters of this approach frequently cite the example of Australia as providing a model which would allow a ‘tougher’ attitude to be taken to admitting the migrants who the UK authorities believe are necessary for the UK economy.
DF – Josh, can you tell us something about yourself and why you became motived to do something about the £35k earnings threshold? JH- I’d known the threshold was coming since mid-2015, only because it affected my friend Shannon who was growing increasingly distressed and anxious. I was waiting for people more qualified or experienced than me to start doing something. I was googling it at the start of the year and realised with growing dread that barely anyone was even talking about it, let alone opposing it. I wondered how it was possible to quietly usher thousands of people out of the country without even a whisper of resistance. An hour later I’d started the petition.
Getting the UK to pull its weight in Europe’s refugee crisis With major conflicts continuing to rage across the Middle East, added to by streams of people converging on the region from the war-torn areas of the Horn of Africa and Afghanistan, it is absolutely clear that this is an issue that will continue to dominate the news headline over the coming year.
Victims of exploitative employers or ‘illegal workers’ who should be thrown out the country? Government anti-slavery plans are in danger of failing unless this dangerous ambiguity is addressed. Two bits of news last week will be seen as unwelcome by all those who think the Modern Slavery Act will have finally crack the problem of exploited labour. The first comes from information that the Edmonton MP, Kate Osamor, managed to dig out from the Home Office after around a round of relentless questioning back in October. In queries put to the government’s new Modern Slavery Minister, Karen Bradley, Osamor sought information on the numbers of people identified as victims of forced labour and who had been granted a safe haven.