Talk me out of Brexit. I am ashamed of myself!

(205 Posts)
MerryMarigold Sun 05-Jun-16 15:25:56

So, all along I have been very against Brexit. To be truthful, I don't know enough about it all, but I felt like it's an isolationist policy, a selfish policy and the political leaders at the forefront (self serving in the extreme) were enough to put me off in a big way. I also have very many friends from Europe.

However, I have recently had pause for thought and wanted to share this with you. Two stories of people 'on the ground' that have made me have a rethink.

a) A good friend of mine who moved here from the Caribbean when he was 15, with his siblings and Mum. His Mum worked here, has an NI number, a pension and an NHS number but relocated back to the Caribbean for retirement. She is now old and needs more help so has come back here, but she can't get residency, despite all her family being here. The Home Office have basically said there one remit is to reduce immigration, so this is why it's so much more problematic than it would be a few years ago.

b) A friend of my Mum's recently died of cancer. She was young. Her Mum lives in Ghana. It was extremely difficult for her to get a visa to come for the funeral. All sorts of hoops needed to be jumped through. I don't know the ins and outs, except that at a very difficult time, her daughter's death and funeral, she had a very hard time making it over here.

So, my thoughts are now that with the influx of European migrants, are we actually becoming more isolationist? Are we so focussed on Europe that we are reducing those coming from other countries who may be in greater need? Is the pressure to reduce immigration so great, that those from Africa/ Asia/ Caribbean are finding it ridiculously difficult? Is a result of being in the EU that we can't offer refuge to Syrians? Would exiting Europe help others in the world have more access to the UK?

I am well aware that if we ever do exit the EU that it is not suddenly going to be easier for the rest of the world to enter the UK, certainly with this government, but the principle is there. That we can be more open if we are less open to Europe. Possibly. Maybe. I don't know.

I don't have time to read every last article on this subject so I was wondering if you can help me feel more positive about staying. I really would prefer to vote to stay, but not if the effect is to close us to everyone except Europe.

Mistigri Sun 05-Jun-16 15:31:56

Merry you should vote the way that you wish, but the issues you've raised are not Brexit issues. It would be perfectly possible to have a humane immigration policy while inside the EU, and there is no guarantee that a brexit will make policies more humane.

If you look at what people on the brexit side are proposing, it is primarily about making it easier for highly skilled people in shortage occupations to relocate. This wouldn't help in either of the situations described.

My own opinion is that the referendum campaign has led to increased antipathy towards foreigners, which may translate into a harsher immigration policy in future (except for workers in shortage occupations).

0phelia Sun 05-Jun-16 15:38:33

Eastern Europeans, Polish, Czech, Latvians, Ukrainian, Bulgarian people are welcome here with open arms, given a free house and all the jobs and given advice in how to work the British benefits system.

They're often recruited directly from their own country (remember Tescos / Catering agency / care agency fiascos) before British (or other nationals) are even aware of the vacancy.

Even Australians are treated more cynically, subject to higher scrutiny.

You're not wrong, OP.

Sure, The EU has paid to upgrade Poland's entire road network and infrastructure, while their right-wing government refuses to accept and migrants at all, or contribute in any way financially. People are getting sick of the take-take nature of the EU and the imbalances it creates.

MadgeMak Sun 05-Jun-16 15:53:54

Eastern Europeans, Polish, Czech, Latvians, Ukrainian, Bulgarian people are welcome here with open arms, given a free house and all the jobs and given advice in how to work the British benefits system.

^ this is bullshit.

0phelia Sun 05-Jun-16 15:58:36

He's behind you.

MerryMarigold Sun 05-Jun-16 16:13:20

Thanks. I have just become more worried about our world immigration policy and how our EU membership affects it. I know it probably won't help in the short term to leave Europe, but I am wondering in the long term if it would help.

MerryMarigold Sun 05-Jun-16 16:15:03

Ophelia, who's behind me? Satan!

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 05-Jun-16 16:17:04

I can't make you feel positive about staying. I don't think it is a positive thing.

Cryinginside Sun 05-Jun-16 16:19:36

0phelia you are talking bullshit.

EU nationals DO NOT get a "free house" whatever that is...last time I checked even British citizens didn't get a "free" house.

Those that come and work in highly skilled jobs such as nursing, medicine and in other areas where our citizens can't or won't work are keeping the public services flowing.

But don't let facts get in the way of your xenophobic nonsense.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 05-Jun-16 16:22:30

Not sure your facts are correct either Crying'

katemiddletonsnudeheels Sun 05-Jun-16 16:23:53

I think, OP, you sound quite unclear about why you want to stay. Staying isn't in itself a heart warming and unselfish policy any more than leaving is. If I were you, I would decide what the reasons are for staying and see if they fit with your thought process.

I have surprised myself in some ways, as someone who has lived and worked in France and is semi seriously considering buying property there, that I am an 'outie' - so just open your mind and go with what you feel is best - as everybody should.

SpringingIntoAction Sun 05-Jun-16 16:23:57

I don't have time to read every last article on this subject so I was wondering if you can help me feel more positive about staying. I really would prefer to vote to stay, but not if the effect is to close us to everyone except Europe.

Remaining will not close off non-EU immigration but it will make it more difficult for the UK to utilise the skills of people from non-EU countries who wish to come here to share their kills. This is because cutting back on non-EU immigration is the only tool available to the Government as it has to accept unlimited EU migration. That's why it has recently increased the earnings minimum to £35.5K. So an Indian doctor will have more difficulty coming to work in the UK whereas a Bulgarian Big issue seller has an absolute right to live in the UK.

I think it's the Remain side that are isolationist as they prefer to protect trade within the EEC rather than trading freely with the world. That means that the UK cannot make its own trade deals while its in the EU and must let the EU do so on its behalf, but the problem then is that the EU made trade deal is a one size fits all deal for all 28 EU member countries and not always in the UK's best interests. It also takes the EU decades to make any trade deal as every EU member country objects to one term or another or vies for special treatment. The EU is a juggernaut that cannot respond quickly to changing circumstances, as we could if we were to Brexit.

The EU is also very detrimental to trade with developing countries as it sets tariffs high preventing them from selling their produce to the EU, as the EU wants to keep up prices to protect the EU farmers. If we want to see a reduction in the migrant crisis we should be trading more with these countries to develop their economies and give their populations work and a better life style. Instead the EU acts against them. Trade is the secret to stopping economic migration - not aid.

Brokenbiscuit Sun 05-Jun-16 16:32:35

The political will is to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands. Non-EU migration is currently well above this target even now, so I don't think that leaving the EU would make it any easier for the kind of people you mention to enter the country.

I don't believe for a moment that the Brexiteers who are banging on about immigration from the EU are eager to increase numbers from Asia, Africa or the Caribbean. No matter what they say...

HildurOdegard Sun 05-Jun-16 16:38:32

Madge, it's not bullshit. Have personal experience not dissimilar to Romanian family on "how to get a council house".

Mistigri Sun 05-Jun-16 16:56:21

I have just become more worried about our world immigration policy and how our EU membership affects it. I know it probably won't help in the short term to leave Europe, but I am wondering in the long term if it would help.

Obviously long term immigration policy will depend on a lot of issues which are hard to foresee, but we can have some broad expectations of what might happen based on the recent record of both parties.

It is very unlikely that immigration policies (or the delivery of visas, as in your second example) will become more favourable for the type of people you describe - black Africans, and immigrants who are not of working age and are unlikely to be self-supporting.

If immigration policy becomes more favourable to non-EU citizens post brexit, this is likely to benefit, primarily, white immigrants from Anglophone countries, and highly-skilled working age immigrants from former commonwealth countries.

The "most likely" candidates for next prime minister are Johnson and May - Johnson is a man who is on record as referring to black people as "piccaninnies" and May is the architect of current immigration policies which prevent a black Nigerian from visiting the UK on a short term visa to donate bone marrow.

MerryMarigold Sun 05-Jun-16 18:00:24

Canada is looking attractive right now! I love their attitude.

And you're right, Kate, I don't know enough about the whole 'stay' or 'go, but I just despise all the current 'outies'. I don't understand other more 'principled' politicians (if there is such a thing, but I do believe it's a sliding scale) aren't behind leaving. The out brigade really haven't done themselves many favours. I admit I am currently going with the politicians I trust more, but I also see myself as a bit of a rebel against the status quo and do want to think this through for myself in my spare time!

I agree that other countries/ people in genuine need are probably stuffed, whether we're in or not, but it does seem wrong that so many people can get in here who are unskilled but just happen to be 'European', whereas Africans/ Asians/ South Americans/ Middle Easterns etc. can't get in. Not really fair.

80sMum Sun 05-Jun-16 18:08:17

The immigration issue won't go away if we leave the EU.

We still have to trade with Europe, it's our biggest area of business by a mile.

How are we going to renegotiate the trade deals we now have? Probably we will be like Norway and sign up to various trade agreements - and the price of those will be that we also have to sign up to free movement and accept immigration from EU just as we do now.

The difference will be that we will have no vote and no say in EU policies and directives.

mummytime Sun 05-Jun-16 18:26:44

The arguments given by the Leave campaign, which is scaremongering about Turkey today - show that they are inherently anti-immigrant - and they won't relax that because we leave.
The EU is not telling us we have to exclude people from countries outside the EU, those policies and rules are internal British ones.
The politicians who pushed the immigration tightening (to a ridiculous level in higher education) are the same ones arguing for Brexit. In fact one of the most ridiculous examples of hypocrisy was Leave trying to balme the shortage of Curry chefs on the EU.

SapphireStrange Sun 05-Jun-16 18:37:42

80s, I could have written that post myself!

I would rather the UK stay in and have a place at the table, even if things occasionally don't go our way, than be left on the outside with no say in anything.

MerryMarigold Sun 05-Jun-16 18:46:44

The EU is not telling us we have to exclude people from countries outside the EU, those policies and rules are internal British ones.

I get that. But surely the very high levels of migration from Europe have meant the rules have become a lot tighter than, say, 15 years ago. Do if we exit, and the levels reduce somewhat, we can relax a bit more on non EU.

Elvisrocks Sun 05-Jun-16 18:47:09

The other issue is that is we do Brexit, Scotland will hold another referendum and will almost certainly vote for independence meaning the rest of the U.K. will be permanently stuck with a right-wing government. Who is unlikely to have any sympathy for the examples mentioned in OP's post.

slightlyglitterbrained Sun 05-Jun-16 18:55:17

Won't a high vote for Leave be easily used to justify harsher immigration rules regardless of the lower numbers from EU? And regardless of people's actual reasons for voting Leave.

Lilmisskittykat Sun 05-Jun-16 19:07:27

Immigration isn't the only issue that brexit addresses...

Watch brexit the movie on YouTube if you are more interested in how the European Parliament works and how it effects the U.K. Economy

QofF Sun 05-Jun-16 19:42:20

If you dont have time to look into it in more depth then I would reiterate the advice I have seen elsewhere. Divide a sheet of paper in 2, write down all the people and organizations in favour of Remain on one side and all those who are pro Brexit on the other. This info is easily accessible from the respective campaign sites. And then decide which side you feel most comfortable with. Even if I hadn't decided for Remain the fact that the leading lights of the other side include Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, George Galloway and that idiot Farage with support from Trump and Putin would make up my mind. Despite that meaning I am aligning myself for the first time ever with Cameron and Osborne! And ask yourself whether you can see Boris, especially in light of his recent blatantly racist remarks and Farage with his rantings about sex attackers today using a reduction in EU immigration to mean we can welcome in others from further afield.

TroysMammy Sun 05-Jun-16 19:47:02

Ophelia - I have Bulgarian neighbours. They are lovely. They privately rent and both work. Their children are in further education. Not a drain on the system at all.

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