Theresa May heading to PMQs on Wednesday. ‘There’s little to suggest that Mrs May has anything substantial to replace immigration and European single-market membership to fuel the British economy.’ Photo Credit: Will Oliver/EPA

The Guardian view on EU migration: economically and culturally vital

Article in The Guardian
7 September, 2017

Startlingly lucid.

“Should the plans for migration outlined become law, Britain would not be part of Europe in a meaningfully similar way that it is today. They would spell the end of the idea that the UK-EU relationship could endure, with a few tweaks, if both sides wanted…

What the proposals seek to do is end free movement of labour and its evolved rights-based approach. Britain has been a land of opportunity for many in recent years, with Europeans arriving to work hard and put down roots. They did so because the labour market demanded it – sometimes filling jobs that Britons did not want to do. Britain attracted EU migrants because they viewed it as an industrious, technologically advanced and socially liberal place open to all. After Brexit they will, if these plans become official policy, not come because Britain will be seen as an insular and introspective island, preoccupied with preventing almost all migrants from having a legal option to settle in this country…

EU citizens arriving after Brexit would have to show passports, not ID cards. They would have to apply for two-year visas for low-skilled jobs. Higher-skilled professions might command up to five-year residency permits. EU migrants would be subject to an income test and would be stopped from bringing some family members. If they worked or resided in breach of the new rules, they would face criminal sanctions.”

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