Pending Brexit, immigration has still not been addressed
One, among many, reasons why people don't trust the establishment is the pack of lies they have been told about uncontrolled immigration, which has not benefited the economy and which has not slowed down. The people have a right to see their concerns addressed
The refugee crisis came to the fore again in this weekend’s press, from a number of different perspectives. Some coverage focused on the increasing popularity of the Spanish route into Europe.
Many migrants view the route into Spain via Morocco as a safe route, and there has been much coverage of recent arrivals into Spain in and around the city of Cadiz. Three times as many migrants have arrived in Spain this year, as compared to the same period last year.
The leader of Germany’s Christian Social Union party, Horst Seehofer, also revealed what many have known for a long time: once asylum seekers enter Germany, if they fail to be granted asylum it is almost impossible to deport them. Unofficial figures have put the amount of failed asylum seekers in Germany at 250,000.
In addition, the Italian Foreign Minister, Angelino Alfano, claimed in an interview for Bild, published on Sunday, he felt Italy had been abandoned by Europe to deal with the refugee crisis alone.
He complained: “The relocation programme does not work at all. There is a lack of a common European immigration policy, which is based on arrivals from Africa.” More than 83,000 migrants have landed on Italy’s shores so far this year -- a 19 percent increase on the same period in 2016.
What all this reveals is the refugee crisis is ongoing. The European Union’s response has been inadequate in the extreme, and the concerns of large swathes of the European public are being ignored – including the concerns of the Great British Public.
In the UK context, Lord Ashcroft’s polls after the EU Referendum revealed 33 percent of Leave voters said their single biggest reason for voting for Brexit was because it was “the best chance to regain control over immigration and (our) own borders”. 49 percent voted on the broader idea “that decisions about the UK should be taken in the UK”.
It doesn’t seem far-fetched to assume those who want decisions about the UK to be made in the UK would include control over immigration amongst those decisions.
Immigration to the UK has been running consistently since 2004 at an average of 250,000 a year. This is the equivalent of a city the size of Southampton being added every year. 1.74 million new migrants have arrived in the UK since 2010. This puts incredible pressure on the UK – from healthcare, to welfare, to housing, the economy and of course on jobs.
Recently, it has been customary in the British mainstream media to try and suggest migrants to the UK are a net benefit to the economy. Supposedly there is good evidence to support this theory. Douglas Murray -- a British author, journalist, and political commentator, founder of the Centre for Social Cohesion, as well as associate editor of The Spectator -- exposed this myth in his most recent book The Strange Death of Europe. He pointed to a widely cited paper from University College London showing from 1995 to 2011 immigrants had taken out about £114 billion more from the UK economy than they had put in. A figure not to be ignored.
Additionally, mass migration not only has a directly negative impact on the UK economy, but it is also strongly unpopular with the Great British Public. Polls show immigration has been a high level concern for voters since at least the mid-2000s. In 2013, a British Social Attitudes survey revealed 55.7 percent of respondents favoured reducing immigration a lot, while a further 21.5 percent favoured reducing it a little.
Therefore, 77.2 percent of the British publicare are in favour of a reduction in migration.
Politicians have paid lip service to these legitimate concerns, but no action has been taken. Former Prime Minister, David Cameron famously said he would reduce net migration to the tens of thousands, but net migration numbers saw no drop.
In fact after 2012 the numbers increased. This is because under the EU’s freedom of movement rules, the Government only has control over about half of the numbers of migrants entering the UK.
When we Get Britain Out of the EU, our Government must ensure the voices of all those concerned about immigration, and the effects on Britons’ lives, are heard.
Jayne Adye is the Director of cross-party grassroots campaign Get Britain Out
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