Immigration should not be a toxic Issue
Recent immigration figures show the futility of efforts for a sensible and ethical immigration policy while we are still members of the EU. What principle of justice prioritises Europeans over Indians and Canadians? None. It's just bigotry
Just as the recent immigration figures have become a toxic issue for the Conservative Party, the difficulty of controlling immigration while being tied to the EU becomes even clearer.
When Europhiles hear ‘control’ and ‘immigration’ together in the same sentence, they immediately conclude it has something to do with bigotry. They think it means an unwillingness to live and mix with people of different cultures, creeds or ethnic groups. But it doesn't.
This shouldn’t have to be a toxic issue. The easy tactic of smearing your opponents reveals something the public would never vote for: the subversion of national principle for a pan-European identity.
Even those who are unconcerned by the 3.6 million net intake during Labour’s time in office should look unkindly on the EU principle of free movement.
Why is this? It is very obvious given what we have today. Open borders with Europe effectively give precedence to European migrants over workers from other parts of the world.
Should our immigration system prefer unskilled European migrants, and not just from central and eastern Europe, over Australians or Canadians who would like to live and work in Britain?
It is both surprising and remarkable that liberals are so infatuated with the principle of free movement within the EU. The current level of debate around immigration is really scraping the barrel.
There is surely no denying that a system which doesn’t discriminate against non-Europeans, a system of immigration which treats everyone alike, would be fair and desirable: a system imposing the same standards for entry whether you are from Europe or the rest of the world, prioritising skills rather than an EU passport, is logical.
Whether this would take the form of an Australian-style points-based system, is not the main concern. The important fact is that we must do away with the idea of migrants from Europe being given precedence over migrants from the rest of the world.
Some of the best software engineers are in India and the Far East, and those are the skills, among others, which our economy will need for the future.
At the moment, free movement from Europe drains the poorer nations in the EU of their best and brightest, who flock to the more prosperous countries like Britain and Germany. This deprives their own countries from using their talents and undermines their efforts to increase prosperity.
It also means unskilled migrants, and sometimes even skilled EU migrants, flood our market with cheap labour, and it is the British working class who get hit hardest from the resultant wage suppression.
As for Britain’s best and brightest? A Europe impoverished by Brussels offers nothing to them, Britons with talent are leaving for better jobs and better pay in Australia, where there are 1.2 million Brits, the United States (701,000) and Canada (675,000).
Dr John Jerrim from the UCL’s Institute of Education estimates the average earnings of British expats in these Anglosphere nations is almost £7,000 per annum more than British workers. We need to not only stop the ‘brain-drain’ which is catastrophic to our own economy, but also tackle wage suppression as a result of EU free movement.
Enough has been said about metropolitan elites, but leaving lazy soundbites aside, there is no doubt that the kind of champagne socialists who swarm Labour’s ranks are out of touch with the working people they claim to represent on this issue.
Today, Migration Watch has accused Labour not only of sheer incompetence, but of a ‘conspiracy’ to create a multicultural Britain, along with a demographic which gives them an electoral advantage.
It is clear the EU model of free movement is a failed one, damaging the poorest countries, stirring resentment in the wealthiest, and doing nothing to converge the poorer and richer nations on the Continent.
The debate is polarised, with extremists on both sides. What people overlook is the need for pragmatic solutions. The default preference for EU migrants is not rational; it is ideological, and, dare I even say it, bigoted.
It is only if we Get Britain Out of the EU that we can enact a sensible policy on immigration which prioritises skills and control.
Alan Murad is a Research Executive at Get Britain Out
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