The paper proposes introducing a system of temporary biometric residence permits for all EU nationals coming into the UK. Photo Credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Leaked document reveals UK Brexit plan to deter EU immigrants

Article in The Guardian
6 September, 2017

Several premises of the British policy paper are wrong.

  • The idea that the government is better placed to judge who will “benefit“ the UK population than, say, employers or the migrants themselves is contradicted by the many contributions made by myriads of migrants, including undocumented migrants.
  • The idea that the only worthy benefit from immigration is economic flies in the face of so many social and cultural contributions made by so many migrants, such as caring for elderly family members.
  • The idea that the economic benefit to Britain can be determined in advance by reviewing a paper application is also ludicrous: migrant entrepreneurship develops over time and family ties are a key component (think of the “contribution” made by Steve Jobs’ father!).
  • The idea that Britain would be able to durably reduce the number of migrants attracted by its strong economy and hundreds of thousands of employers who are offering jobs to migrants regardless of their status has not been demonstrated in recent past.

Such a defensive and repression-based policy paper is bound to inflame even more a twisted social and political debate which so badly needs to be serene and forward-looking in order to embrace the multiple aspects of mobility and diversity.

Increased governed mobility is a much better answer: let people meet and find opportunities for themselves. This does not mean free for all, it only means that governments need to provide progressively more mobility solutions – through visa facilitation and liberalisation regimes – and take over the mobility market so as to control it, thus ousting most of the smuggling business, and know who enters and leaves, thus ensuring that the tiny proportion of dangerous people are excluded or returned.

“Britain will end the free movement of labour immediately after Brexit and introduce restrictions to deter all but highly-skilled EU workers under detailed proposals set out in a Home Office document leaked to the Guardian.

The 82-page paper, marked as extremely sensitive and dated August 2017, sets out for the first time how Britain intends to approach the politically charged issue of immigration, dramatically refocusing policy to put British workers first…

The determination to end free movement from day one and drive down lower-skilled EU migration, end the role of the European court of justice in family migration and extend elements of Theresa May’s “hostile environment” measures to long-term EU migrants without residence permits is likely to please hard Brexiters.”

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