To ask how Brexit would affect immigration?

(254 Posts)
Bearbehind Sun 05-Jun-16 19:40:49

It scares me that, as a nation, we have to vote in the EU referendum as there doesn't seem to be any impartial informative advice on which to base a decision.

I think I've made my mind up based on a number of factors but, as far as I can see, the question of immigration will be make or break for many people.

I'm not sure leaving the EU will result in us being able to control immigration much better than we do now but I'm the first to admit I know very little about it.

Will it really change much?

WappersReturns Sun 05-Jun-16 19:43:06

No I don't think so. I reckon a lot of people who decide to vote leave on the strength of their objections to immigration will be disappointed. Rightly so.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 05-Jun-16 19:43:32

It could do. We could effectively close our borders if we wanted - we wouldn't have to let EU folk in anymore.

Of course the flip side of this is that we would no longer have the right to live/work/retire in Europe.

If preventing immigration is the primary factor in your decision, then you should vote out.

Coconutty Sun 05-Jun-16 19:44:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bearbehind Sun 05-Jun-16 19:47:36

If preventing immigration is the primary factor in your decision, then you should vote out.

That's exactly the kind of propaganda I'm talking about- 'effectively closing our borders if we wanted to' doesn't mean we would or should.

Immigration isn't high on my list of priorities as it goes but it seems to be what many people I talk to are basng their decisions on and I'm trying to understand how it will realistically change.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 05-Jun-16 19:53:58

understand how it will realistically change

That depends on the government at the time, and what they choose/manage to negotiate.

They could completely close the borders, allow points based immigration similar to Australia, they could maintain the current arrangement (freedom of movement in both directions).

There are very few certainties with a Brexit, the only reasonably sure things are the things we would lose out on.

lljkk Sun 05-Jun-16 19:56:28

(My opinion):
If we Brexit & get a Canada type relationship with EU, then EU-born migration might drop from ~180k to somewhere between 120k & 80k. Plus >= 180k still from outside EU. I don't know what voters expect when they say they want to limit immigration, though. Also our net emigration would go down (somewhat fewer Brits would leave). As a result, our net immigration newspaper-headline figures will stay ~ 300k.

Japan seems to manage with very ageing population, low birthrate & almost no immigration. Some say their humanitarian attitudes suck and their economy is a mess, though.

Winterbiscuit Sun 05-Jun-16 20:17:33

There are very few certainties with a Brexit

I see that as a good thing because of the many opportunities it brings. I have confidence in the British people to be innovative and strong enough to develop a better way forward.

One certainty though is that we'd regain our home-grown democracy so that our laws are made here with the UK's interests in mind.

Regarding immigration, I'm not sure we have anything to gain by staying in the EU. I'd rather see a system where we can welcome refugees as we, not the EU, decide, as well as economic migrants on an equal footing wherever in the world they are from.

Bearbehind Sun 05-Jun-16 20:24:32

This is why the referendum scares me- lots of people are voting for change as it 'might' be better than what we currently have but it seems, when you press for the actual options/ details, it suddenly becomes very vague.

I could be swayed either way by actual, quantifiable, indisputable facts but, certainly on the subject of immigration, which is the decider for a lot of people, no one seems to have any answers.

ReallyTired Sun 05-Jun-16 20:35:18

Having control of immigration does not mean we will no longer have immigrants. We will be able to pick who comes to the uk. Ie. We will take the young gifted scientist from Uganda, but not have to accept an unskilled EU citizen with no qualifications. We can pick immigrants who have skills in shortage areas.

Uncontrolled immigration hurts low skilled people. It makes the goal of full employment impossible and condemns semi skilled people to rock bottom wages.

Bearbehind Sun 05-Jun-16 20:36:42

I understand the theory of that really but how would it actually work?

overwhelmed34 Sun 05-Jun-16 20:44:16

My worry is that when people (on fb.say) talk about the immigration issue, they actually mean refugees rather than economic migrants. And I presume that we will still have an obligation to take a certain number of refugees whatever the outcome...

And what about British immigrants in Europe, like my uncle who has loved in Germany for over 30 years with his family. What would happen to him?

LondonKiwiMummy Sun 05-Jun-16 20:44:52

There is no proposal for immigration, so you are being asked to take a shot in the dark on that one and see if it all works out.

I know Brexiteers don't want to hear it but our economy (including the NHS) depends on skilled and unskilled labour from the EU. Deciding to unilaterally shut this down will result in severe shortages.

I have a good friend who runs a factory production line. He can't hire locals as much as he wants to, because they won't take the jobs (which are paid at more than minimum wage, but quite hard physical work and involve some cleaning). He's terrified by the idea of a BREXIT.

Leave campaign has been full of bluster generally, but precious little on detail other than - it's not likely everyone will keep their jobs. DH's company already told him if there's a Brexit, they'll be moving to EU sites.

It will be a shambles. Even the hardline anti immigration think tanks rejected the Australian points system for the UK.

WappersReturns Sun 05-Jun-16 20:48:50

I'm a "Brexiteer" and I'm very pro immigration. I'm acutely aware of the need for immigration to support the economy and public services. No one ever seems to mention the lefty Brexiteer's though. I'm not pigeon holey enough sad

Luckystar1 Sun 05-Jun-16 20:56:02

My DH made a very (surprisingly!) astute point last night. The U.K. has never been 'on its own'.

It was a huge world power with colonies, then the commonwealth, then the EU. There has always been an automatic trade group.

Now, if we leave the EU this is no longer the case...

In saying that, I think I'm voting out. I made that decision many years ago during my degree, and feel I ought to stick to it. But I think ultimately people will vote 'in'.

JellyBellyKelly Sun 05-Jun-16 20:58:01

I have seen one argument about this that sticks in my mind.

UK votes 'leave'
Scotland calls another referendum, votes for independence then rejoins the EU
We then have a land border with Europe

I don't know if this is a good or bad thing - I am the first to admit I am woefully misinformed on this issue but am having real trouble finding unbiased information to help me educate myself

But it's something - In my mind at least - to think about.

scatterolight Sun 05-Jun-16 20:58:39

I don't know why people are so confused by this. The point of Brexit is that we would regain control of our own affairs so we could decide what we wanted democratically. What would happen is that our parties - Tories, Labour, Liberals, Ukip etc etc - would propose in their policy manifestos how they intended to deal with immigration. The Tory side of the Leave campaign has already said they favour a points based immigration system. Labour may follow suit with this or they may propose something far more liberal akin to free movement. The point being that in a general election we as the public then vote for what we would like. Once elected they would then implement that policy. This is democracy.

While we Remain in the EU we, as in us the general public, get no say whatsoever on our immigration system. No government of any political inclination can control EU immigration.

So if immigration is something you care about and want to influence you should vote Leave. Otherwise vote Remain to hand those powers to the EU.

ReallyTired Sun 05-Jun-16 21:01:58

I have to admit I am on the fence about the EU referendum.

There are huge benefits to being in the EU. Ie. Free trade and better corporation. However uncontrolled freedom of movement of people causes huge problems. Depopulation of countries like Poland harms their economies. If all the young poles emigrate then who will support all th polish pensioners? The pressure that immigration causes on intrastructure and housing costs in some eu countries is a real issue.

Windsofwinter Sun 05-Jun-16 21:02:51

Even if we left, I wouldn't trust our government to "act on immigration" anyway. I doubt they would ever have the balls to impose an Australian style points system, nor would l necessarily support that. The people I seem to see shouting the loudest about there being no work due to immigration often seem to be the people I would never in a million years consider employing, were I in a position to do so confused

Bearbehind Sun 05-Jun-16 21:09:00

I don't really get the point about Scotland voting out in another referendum affecting this vote jelly hmm

Figmentofmyimagination Sun 05-Jun-16 21:10:27

We can't close our borders because the borders from southern to Northern Ireland are going to remain open whatever happens and everyone can then cross from Northern Ireland into the uk with no border control, so if immigration is your motivation for voting out, I wouldn't bother.

Windsofwinter Sun 05-Jun-16 21:10:56

We would have a land border with Europe anyway surely - NI/ROI?

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 05-Jun-16 21:16:43

I recently had an operation on the NHS. The surgeon was Ukrainian and he was ably assisted by Filipina and Russian nurses. None of these countries are in the EU. So immigration won't stop, people will still come here to fill jobs that the Brits don't want to/can't do on work permits.

Those EU workers who are already here will stay.

Jelly - we already have a land border with Europe, in Northern Ireland.

My cousin is a vehement Brexiter who moans non-stop about immigration. His father was a political refugee, his maternal grandparents were both refugees (so he's of good immigrant stock himself). His wife is Czech. And the best thing of all is that he has recently emigrated to Australia. It's a good thing the Aussies don't feel the same way about immigration...

SquinkiesRule Sun 05-Jun-16 21:20:20

People moved to Europe before we became part of the EU, in the same way people moved to UK. They just had to qualify. My Aunt moved to Spain in the 70's she married a Spaniard.
My teacher in school was from France, she moved here as she was married to a British man. Other met job shortage visa requirements. Retirees have been moving all over for many years based on their income.
My Sister lives in Spain working for a German company. She has residency. If she had to move back she would. But I'm pretty optimistic that people living with families and jobs wouldn't be asked to go anywhere as they contribute to the society they live in.
I think anyone wanting to move to UK should have to meet the same requirements as people from anywhere else in the world. Either family visas, work visas, r many of the other visas available.
I was asking my mother today about voting, she voted in 1972 as did her friends, she said all the ones she has chatted with wish they had voted no all those years ago. I wonder if the majority still alive who voted yes back then still feel that way.

JellyBellyKelly Sun 05-Jun-16 21:50:49

bear- no need for the stroppy face. I guess the point I'm making is 'neither do I' but to my untrained brain, it seems significant....if immigration is a top issue...

Yes, NI has a land border with Europe. The U.K. doesn't though.

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