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Why immigration is a red herring in the EU referendum

(42 Posts)
Bobby2013 Thu 02-Jun-16 12:26:36

I keep seeing the same argument coming up in posts - all about 'control the boarders' etc, etc.... As a researcher I looks at facts, and I also use statistics and social trends reports as part of my work.

So if you want some facts, and not propaganda, (the EU vote does not impact on me, I don't live in the UK anymore and have an Irish passport) - then read on.

Here's a few points that you ought to consider: First of all, immigration from the EU is not as widespread as that of from former Commonwealth countries, and Asian nations.

Here's the BBC's analysis of it all:

Even if there is a Brexit, there will still be immigration because there is a very real shortage of skilled workers in the UK.

Just as skilled workers can apply for jobs here, so too can UK workers apply abroad, so this argument about jobs for British people is void, because if given the choice of living in constant sunshine with better wages and conditions, or staying in the UK - which one are you going to go for?

The UK has around 400,000 ex-pats in the EU - around half of them are skilled workers and you can bet that their companies will do whatever they can to keep them - so don't go thinking that somehow all these people will magically return to fill the gaps. Likewise, UK employers will do what they can to keep their EU employees.

Already the UK has severe shortages of engineers, financial workers, science & tech, construction workers and teachers to name just a few. Exiting the EU will not change that, we're not suddenly going to produce a batch of these workers especially as university education is so freaking expensive. You want more British people doing these jobs, then campaign to scrap tuition fees. Even then you're looking at a five-year wait until there's a pipeline of British talent. Do you think businesses are just going to mothball projects until they can employ a UK born worker?

Another point is that of 'back door' immigration - namely Ireland as a route. The UK has a deal with Ireland that would not change post-Brexit - the point is made in this article but I'll paste it here:

"The Irish would be exempt as part of the common travel area that seems to pretend that Ireland is still some kind of pre-1921 British appendage rather than another modern European country. But Ireland would not impose a similar visa regime on the rest of the EU and so would be a wide-open backdoor to illegal EU migration to Britain."

I know I'll get a load of UKIP comments, but let me just stress that this is not about me saying Vote Remain, this is about urging you to think about your vote choices logically, not emotionally because you have been spun a diet of ideology that says all the UK's problems are to do with Polish builders nicking jobs.

That is just a smokescreen - if you want to be concerned about non-British influence then you need to look higher up the ladder. I would suggest reading up on the Panama Papers. The UK is the number one choice for clearing dirty money in the form of property investment. It is also one big pension pot for overseas investors, that's the reason London is so expensive. Not because of immigrants living there - but the overseas landlords.

Many of the large UK corporations are in fact foreign owned, and if the Hinkley C project goes through a large part of the country's energy will be in the hands of the French and Chinese.

Panama Papers

Brexit will not change any of this - so if you vote to leave, do so, but not because of some myth that it will impact on immigration.

Limer Thu 02-Jun-16 21:02:21

This week, millions of people have watched "How to get a Council House", where a Romanian family arrived here and were housed and settled in a 4-bedroom house within a week. Father & mother with no skills and barely any English, and five young children. They're now on benefits, still jobless, with the children in school, making free use of the NHS and all our public services.

That's the sort of immigration that people want to stop - the uncontrolled sort. Of course the UK needs some immigrants - but it needs to select who moves here according to the talent of the applicant, to provide the skills that the country needs.

How else can this be stopped, other than via a Brexit? Or are we expected to just put up with it, and wait patiently until living standards here have dropped to match those of Romania?

trevorct7 Thu 02-Jun-16 21:14:53

Limer you are not telling it as it is - but then again - you live in some of 'dream world' giving false information must be what you were born to do!

Anyway folks, if you believe Limer or Lemming? That is your democratic right, but just in case:
Just a suggestion!
If you are still genuinely undecided:
1)Get a piece of A4 paper and in ’portrait view’ draw a line down the middle
2)On one side write the names of all politicians voting ‘in’ from all parties (suggest that ‘all parties’ is important) and on the other side write the names of politicians voting ‘out’
3)If that does not help, but I hope it does because it should 
4)Write the names of all the organisations declaring their support for the ‘in’ and ‘out’ campaigns
5)If that does not help, please……… not be led by the nose
6)Do your own research to find evidence to support the views of both sides
7)If that does not help, put your head between your legs and ‘kiss your *rse goodbye, as we disappear down a black hole of uncertainty. If enough people do not vote, there will be no hope for any of us.

Mistigri Fri 03-Jun-16 06:47:01

How else can this be stopped, other than via a Brexit?

The EU right of free movement concerns people moving for work or to seek work, and I believe that this criteria has been upheld in the european courts on several occasions. So either

- the UK is already able to do something about this, but chooses not to; or
- the television programme in question was economical with the truth and the family in question are working or have worked

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 03-Jun-16 06:52:57

seek work just about covers any angle on coming to the uk, and anyone doesn't it Mistigri,

Mistigri Fri 03-Jun-16 06:58:30

thickandthin Nope. Recent european court rulings seem to be quite clear about this.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 03-Jun-16 07:01:44

But the person in that article said she isn't looking for work.

Mistigri Fri 03-Jun-16 07:50:47

Whether someone is "looking for work" or not is not a question of what they claim to be doing, but what they are doing. This is the whole basis of the conditionality of benefits like JSA.

Chalalala Fri 03-Jun-16 09:27:11

are we expected to just put up with it, and wait patiently until living standards here have dropped to match those of Romania?

This is not quite how it works in practice, though - otherwise everyone from Blackburn would be moving to Surrey, and that's not happening.

You could say the EU situation is different because it's the British benefits system that attracts immigrants, except that EU immigrants are actually less likely to be on benefits, and more likely to work than British citizens. (your tv example is highly unrepresentative, as I think you know)

unexpsoc Fri 03-Jun-16 10:03:48

Of course, you are well within your rights to blame immigration for many of the social ills we currently face. For example:

A shortage of housing
NHS services stretched
Schools full to capacity
Social services overworked and making mistakes
Shortage of jobs

It is a quite simple supply / demand question. You have to do one of two things - either increase supply or reduce demand. "Get control of our borders" rhetoric is about a belief that you can reduce demand (but there are strong arguments it wouldn't have any impact). The alternative is to increase supply.

1) No government for the last 20/30 years has hit it's housebuiliding targets (and the current one is already way behind). It's almost like it is in somebody's interest to keep house prices high.
2) When the last coalition government had an opportunity to secure the NHS and pump extra money in, they instead pushed ahead with a costly top-down re-organisation. One which makes the NHS much more privatisation-ready.
3) LAs are no longer allowed to open new schools where they are needed - these are only at the mercy of academy chains. This is purely to break the link between those dangerous left wing county councils and school leadership.
4) LA funding and social services funding has been strangled on the back of an austerity drive which has ADDED to the national debt, not taken away from it.
5) We currently have the lowest unemployment for a long, long time and the lowest in Europe (I think) at 5.1%. There is no shortage of jobs.

Who would pay for all of this? Immigrants are a NET contributor to our society. We actually make money from inwards immigration and yet there is none to spend?

At the same time as all of this cutting off of supply has been happening the coalition / current government are moving the corporation tax lower - even though there is ZERO evidence this will entice more companies to move here. So where has this money come from?

But, you know, blame immigration if you want.

BornFreeButinEUchains Fri 03-Jun-16 10:10:16

Eu migration is in addition to non eu migration.

We never had any issues with immigration before work rights lifted, who cared about it?
People who cant see the issue with immigration, do you think our water has been poisoned and one day we all woke up with this massive EU bee in our bonnet, zombies chanting over and over again....Immigration, control borders etc.

Immigration is only the red herring in light of the fact we cannot choose to halt EU immigration.

That is the red herring.

We need democracy back, we need to be able to choose whats best for the UK, being in the EU, having seeded our democracy elsewhere we cant do this.

So yes, its a red herring.

Lets get out - get control of our government again, then in turn we can do many things including, halting EU immigration.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 03-Jun-16 10:10:54

Well there's the thing unexpsoc. I don't want our governments ordering the building of more houses schools and hospitals. I don't want new towns springing up over our countryside. Because more and more people keep coming and coming. We have finite land, and a large population already.

If England didn't have Scotland it would shoot up the ranks of most populated countries.

I'm sorry if it makes me selfish but I want to preserve our countryside and farming land for our future generations.

BornFreeButinEUchains Fri 03-Jun-16 10:18:30

exactly thickandthin, house building has gone stratospheric round here, land being fought over all the time, they are trying to build on every inch.

Perhaps we should send them all up to scotland and let them build up there?

unexpsoc Fri 03-Jun-16 10:18:34

That is not selfish or unfair at all ThroughThickandThin. It is a perfectly logical and valid view point. But there are @ £12BILLION worth of houses sitting empty in London alone.

It's not always about building more - but using what we have got better. Still, we wouldn't want to upset all those absentee landlords who are simply parking their money here because it is a safe investment would we?

I live in Liverpool and there is a brand new (less than 10 year old) school sitting empty being paid for on a PFI contract because of bad local authority management. There are loads of cases of this across the country.

But again, that is nothing to do with immigration. And in terms of us being a small island - yes we are, but we are attached to a fluffing massive continent at the moment. We don't HAVE to provide all of our own food, clothing, raw materials, commodities, fuels etc. That is not an argument to go back to having to.

unexpsoc Fri 03-Jun-16 10:21:18

"We never had any issues with immigration " - really? Tell that to the windrush generation who were hounded, scorned and bullied. Tell that to the families who used to run the "paki" shops - or the family who ran the local "chinkies" takeaway.

Have you not been paying attention for the last 50 years?

BornFreeButinEUchains Fri 03-Jun-16 10:52:01

Your talking about a different set of issues arnt you Unex,

Your not talking about the volume that is the probem with this latest immigration.

Your talking about race, being different, different cultures.

Todays issues are purely about VOLUME.

A volume of people we have never seen the likes of before, and we cant do anything about it. Because we have no democracy, we cant choose.

Mistigri Fri 03-Jun-16 11:07:35

Todays issues are purely about VOLUME

Not really. If you go to the migrationwatch website and play with their interactive graphs, what you'll see is that compared to 8-10 years ago it's not so much that more people are arriving, but that fewer are leaving. This probably has more to do with the very low unemployment rate than anything else, as there was a big jump in emigration from the UK to Europe in the post-2007 period.

One of the issues with the referendum - and this will continue to play out over the next two years if there is an out vote - is that it will probably cause emigration to decline, because British people will be more reluctant to give up jobs and take a risk on a new life in Spain or France, and because EU citizens will be reluctant to give up the right to remain.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 03-Jun-16 11:14:09

unexpsoc but being able to provide pur own clothing, food etc for our country is important.

I believe the EU will ultimately go tits up. I believe there are too many different countries with fundamentally different aims, ideals, politics, religions, wealth, - they even have a common language, or two It's a melting pot, imo, and long term will be catastrophic in the long term.

I think we're better extricating ourselves before that happens, and whether we remain (for the moment) or leave, it's absolutely fundamental for our country to have the ability to feed itself ultimately. Especially as we are an island.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 03-Jun-16 11:15:15

......don't even have a common language...

BornFreeButinEUchains Fri 03-Jun-16 11:20:13

No Mistri, the biggest issue with immigration has been about a huge volume of people arriving, very quickly and our in ability to cope.

Its the biggest issue with immigration!

Pre Blair no one gave a crap about it, it was never a political hot potato like it is today.

Thats what you will find if you listen to people, if you go to communities where you don't hear a word of English spoken, if you get out there on the streets.

unexpsoc Fri 03-Jun-16 11:58:46

Throughthickandthin - I can't find the research but we passed the point where we would be able to "support" ourselves from the land mass in Britain back in the 1930s - before the second world war and well before the EU. So the only way to get back there would be an end to immigration and a MASSIVE culling of humans. Would you argue in favour of that?

Mistigri Fri 03-Jun-16 12:27:31

BornFree well, plainly if you're talking about net migration, emigration is a clearly a factor, and it's not hard to go and look at how the figures are made up.

if you go to communities where you don't hear a word of English spoken

Where are these communities and what languages do they speak? This is a genuine question by the way: are there now areas of the UK where you'll hear German or French or Polish spoken exclusively?

Chalalala Fri 03-Jun-16 12:36:28

South Kensington?..


The other factor to take into account is that the UK population is ageing, which is a huge funding problem for pensions and healthcare. The country needs more young people in order to foot the bill.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 03-Jun-16 12:45:08

unexpsoc I appreciate your efforts to argue very calmly with me...but yes, whilst I obviously can't agree to a culling, what the planet really needs is a virus or similar to kill off half the humans on it. We are too overcrowded (in general) and getting more so.

unexpsoc Fri 03-Jun-16 12:45:30

No its not chalalala. Obviously, when we found we were sitting on massive wealth in the 1980s under the North Sea we set up a sovereign wealth fund to protect future generations didn't we? This will pay for the pensions wont it?

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