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Schengen Agreement - I don't understand

(11 Posts)
member Wed 08-Jun-16 16:42:48

I've just been having a look around online about free movement within the EU. Europe having a common border was enshrined in the Schengen Agreement. Britain and Ireland opted out of the agreement and to control their own borders.

Can someone explain to me why EU immigration/free movement has become a "problem"(according to leave campaigners) if we are controlling our own borders as part of the Schengen opt out?

howtorebuild Wed 08-Jun-16 16:47:13

It depends how you look at it. Is passport control enough? Do you want everyone to apply for a Visa?

member Wed 08-Jun-16 17:10:06

My point is that I can't understand why we can't limit immigration now in the way Brexiteers suggest they would after leaving if we are opted out of Schengen ?

member Wed 08-Jun-16 17:11:49

I am looking at this from a fairly ignorant viewpoint about the ins and outs of border control btw!

Spinflight Wed 08-Jun-16 17:14:01

Because that would discriminate against EU nationals, as the EU would put it.

All that schengen really means is having to show your passport. They have to show their passports but we can't deny them entry.

howtorebuild Wed 08-Jun-16 17:14:26

I understand remainders are all for visa free open borders in the EU. Only a passport check. Outside the EU a Visa is required.

I understand the leavers are keen on all having a Visa and passport check. Apparently DBS police checks are a weaknesses in the EU.

NotDavidTennant Wed 08-Jun-16 17:25:42

We can't limit immigration from EU states now, as all EU citizens have a right to seek to work in any EU state, so citizens from other EU states can't be prevented from coming to the UK. Schengen is not really relevant in this context, as it simply determines which borders require individuals to show a passport, not where individuals can live and work.

It's a bit confusing though as Brexit campaigners do talk about us having 'open borders', which isn't true in the Schengen sense, but they obviously mean it slightly differently to that.

Also, it's not clear that Brexit would mean that EU citizens' right to live and work here would be revoked, as it may be a condition of continued participation in the common market. This is currently the case for Norway, for instance.

Hidingtonothing Wed 08-Jun-16 17:30:02

It's not about the right to travel here, it's the right to live and work here without a visa Brexiters object to. Schengen is irrelevant as already mentioned, it's our inability to control the number of EU citizens moving here and the resulting pressure on housing, jobs, schools and the NHS that Leave have a problem with. EU citizens have to show their passport to get into the UK but once here can stay and look for work, housing etc whereas none EU immigrants need a visa, proof of employment, somewhere to live etc before they arrive. If we Brexit EU immigrants would be subject to the same requirements making it harder for people to move here and therefore cutting immigration.

member Wed 08-Jun-16 17:37:44

Thank you, I get it now! grin

BritBrit Wed 08-Jun-16 18:25:00

Schengen means people can travel between nations without passports checks, the UK not being in Schegen just means people have to show their passport when they come to the UK. We have no power to stop mass EU immigration, they have the right to come & work in the UK in unlimited numbers whenever they like

MrsBlackthorn Wed 08-Jun-16 20:41:22

"Brexit EU immigrants would be subject to the same requirements making it harder for people to move here and therefore cutting immigration."

Actually it's not that simple. If we Brexit we will have to agree trade deals with Europe to continue to trade (unless we really want our economy to be screwed). It's very likely a condition of this will be to allow free movement.

For example, if we join the EEA - the most likely trade arrangement - we by definition will have to allow free movement. In fact Schengen membership is automatic, so we could end up with less control of our borders than we have now.

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