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"Controlling our borders" if UK leaves the EU

(20 Posts)
lljkk Wed 02-Jul-14 21:45:07

Can we have a grown up talk about this?
Please use other threads to talk about all the reasons for staying or leaving, but on this thread... given that immigration is the big issue driving the likely coming referendum, and if UK leaves the EU and even those of us who don't want to leave would have to work with that...

What do you think might or should be the new rules for UK nationals wanting to work/live in Europe or what rules might be created for EU nationals wanting to come work in the UK? What do you think will happen & what set up would you prefer to see?

lljkk Thu 03-Jul-14 21:06:08

Oh dear, I seem to start some boring threads!

ReallyTired Thu 03-Jul-14 21:22:22

I think that the UK should form agreements with each European country about movement of citizens. I would like the number of emigrants to be the same as the number of immigrants for the UK. I would like a system of visas like we have for non EU immigrants.

Countries with a similar GDP are likely to have matched numbers of migrants. Problems come when lots of people from countries like Poland, Romania flood to the UK and put pressure on housing and services. The UK population as risen rapidly in the last few years and its naive to not admit that this has caused problems in some parts of the UK.

niceguy2 Thu 03-Jul-14 22:25:17

I'd love a very sensible debate on immigration but often it just ends up with people calling others racist which is a bit silly really because it puts people off contributing.

I think there is a case to be argued that since English is the defacto international language, we naturally appeal to a lot of countries. Every country teaches English in schools and because of US/Hollywood, even if you are uneducated chances are you will know a few words of English.

So naturally more people think "Oooh we'll go to the UK instead of France/Germany".

Plus as a society we're very tolerant of other cultures.

Most reports you read show that immigration is needed for the long term future of our country (ie. someone younger to pay taxes for our massive amounts of future pensioners).

The problem for me right now is this. Immigrants are becoming the easy target for our woes. So instead of blaming our poor education standards compared to the rest of the world, our stupid benefits system which traps people and encourages others to pretend their ill. Not to mention the fact we're bringing up a whole generation of kids who want to get rich but not work hard for it.

Instead we blame the immigrants who are coming over and 'stealing our jobs'.

It's simply finding an easy fall guy for a very complex problem.

lljkk Thu 03-Jul-14 22:42:22

Speaking as a non EU non-Commonwealth migrant, I know a bit about entering UK on visas & living in the UK on annually renewed permits and immigration procedures. Having to trek to police station every time I moved house. I had a relative who was deported from UK for overstaying her visa (so could never return again).
It's expensive, and off-putting, and open to corruption and vulnerable to abuse.
Maybe it will be only acceptable way, but it won't be perfect.

If there really was a balanced emigrants-immigants system with each EU country then Spain would be the main exchange country, I reckon with all the ancient Brits who have retired there or want to in future. maybe that's a good thing if more Spanish is taught in UK schools.

ReallyTired Thu 03-Jul-14 23:09:09

Employment has become a global market for even the most menial of jobs.
People with learning difficulties have been hit the hardest. The loss of remploy means that many people with disablities are stuck on a life of benefits. Lets be honest why on earth would an employer have someone wtih Downs Syndrome to do washing up when they can get a Pole who makes less mistakes.

"ost reports you read show that immigration is needed for the long term future of our country (ie. someone younger to pay taxes for our massive amounts of future pensioners)."

We have stupidly high youth employment. If we could get unemployement down in under 25s then we would have less problem paying for pensioners. We also have far too many under 25s doing completely pointless courses and apprenticeships for unskilled jobs.

lljkk Fri 04-Jul-14 23:07:03

but that's not true about menial jobs. confused

UK-only-nationality person would have trouble becoming an agricultural worker in USA, would get deported as soon as caught; Jo America would get kicked out of UK for worker her illegally as a cleaner. I have to jump thru so many paperwork hoops to prove I'm entitled to work in the UK.

ReallyTired Fri 04-Jul-14 23:17:16


Its European immigrants who choose to take on menial jobs. For example I know someone with a Physics degree who is currently working as a taxi driver.

Ofcourse the issue is that many British people do not want to do menial jobs for the minimum wage. In the past employers had to pay people to persaude them to do unpopular jobs. Having immigrants with experience who do the unpopular jobs well for the minimum wage has depressed wages.

lljkk Fri 04-Jul-14 23:23:08

I guess that's all possible, I'm still interested in just the practicalities of what the rules might be for Brits wanting to work/live in Europe & for other Europeans wanting to work/live here. I wonder if Western europe will be treated as very different from eastern/southern /europe, for instance.

dreamingbohemian Fri 04-Jul-14 23:35:16

From what I understand of UKIP's platform, they would simply apply all the rules that currently apply to non-EU immigrants (like me too!) and apply them to EU migrants.

Of course, in practice this would be enormously complicated. Even if migration drops dramatically, you will need to hire loads of people to handle all the new visas and language tests, etc. In places like London you will have serious labour shortages in some professions. What do you do with all the EU people currently in the UK, do they get grandfathered?

Also, what happens in Ireland? You would need to put a proper border in place between Ireland and Northern Ireland, with real border checks, otherwise all the new immigration rules are a joke. And that will have serious consequences for Ireland.

What they should do instead is simply use the rules that are already there. EU migrants do not actually have unlimited rights to be in the UK, and the UK could reduce access to benefits if they wanted to. But it's easier to score political points off scapegoating immigrants.

lljkk Fri 04-Jul-14 23:49:29

I was trying to get a stat for non-UK citizens living in UK. This might be reliable.
I am minded to think most of the 4 million not-naturalised are European born (they don't have same incentives to get naturalised as non-EU). So basically, something like 2-2.6 million people who would need visas & paperwork to live in UK.

PortofinoRevisited Fri 04-Jul-14 23:56:46

I am interested to know what would happen to the likes of me, living abroad in the EU. And all the pensioners in Spain and France? The problem in the UK is that companies don't pay fair wages. Immigrants who are willing to houseshare and work all hours mean businesses get away with it. It is wage practices, work fare and tax credits that need sorting.

ReallyTired Fri 04-Jul-14 23:58:48

dreamingbohemian why do you think that there would be terrible labour shortages. Employers would not be able to get highly trained and experienced staff cheaply. They might have to take on less experienced staff and train them up like what was done in the past.

"Also, what happens in Ireland? You would need to put a proper border in place between Ireland and Northern Ireland, with real border checks, otherwise all the new immigration rules are a joke. And that will have serious consequences for Ireland."

Britain's borders have always been very open. The fact that the UK is an island means that any illegal immigrants can easily arrive by boat. It is not feasible to put a large fence around the whole of the UK coastline.

How did the UK manage before it had an open door immigration policy with the rest of europe?

usuallydormant Sat 05-Jul-14 00:03:57

Do immigrants really come to the UK to get benefits or is it to work and make a better life for themselves? Irish brickies built much of modern Britain; Caribbean immigrants contributed enormously to the NHS. London is a world class city and attracts many. Britain will be forced to accept immigrants to fill positions, whether professional or menial, because UK citizens don't have the skills (eg language or willingness to work for low wages). Paperwork will just add to the cost.

People talk of Britain working like Switzerland- all the benefits and none of the hassle of the EU. But for years Switzerland has relaxed the rules for visas for EU citizens. It has to obey the rules without a seat at the EU table. About 30% of Geneva's population is foreign born.

And what of all those UK pensioners living in Dordogneshire and the costa, contributing fa to those economies? Will they be sent home? Collecting pensions and accessing reciprocal health agreements will be a lot more difficult.

I can't see it being an advantage - lots more paperwork to hire EU citizens and a lot more difficult for Brits to get jobs / live in the EU. If The Uk leaves the EU, the same rules should apply as for other nationals. And introduce a skills based points system for Immigration - but you still have to accept a fair share of asylum seekers: according to this, the uk is not top of the list

lljkk Sat 05-Jul-14 00:04:22

I presume there would still be a fast track skills-shortage high needs occupation list like there is now, so highly skilled people (doctors & engineers) could still get visas easily to live/work in UK.

Entrepeneurs would be put off, though.

Hey wait, the whole borders with Eire thing, what about Travellers? confused

I'm worried how Brits living in Europe would be affected, too. That massive retired population in southern Spain, especially.

lljkk Sat 05-Jul-14 00:09:52

Xpost with usuallydominant, I think maybe the UKIP plan is to renege on international treaties to do with Asylum seekers. But their numbers have cut so much that I'm not sure in absolute terms that they matter so much. Down to under 20k/yr. Would need 50 yrs for their numbers to total 1 million (lots will have died by then so not really 1 million, etc).

Michael Portillo & Michael Howard's parents were refugees, I seem to recall.

(So whatever the old system was it was a bad one because it let in the likes of their parents, hahaha)

usuallydormant Sat 05-Jul-14 00:22:19

Even a fast track visa is paperwork you currently don't need, so extra cost. Major hassle in NI if the borders aren't porous. Although Ireland is small, you'd be surprised at how many work in the UK. And there is no way Ireland is leaving the UK so extra visas. And those NI residents currently entitled to an Irish passport, how do you deal with them? will they need a visa to live in the country they were born in?

The refugee issue is going to increase, not decrease in the coming years, with no end to the ever expanding Middle East crises. Despite what ukip might want a respectable nation state can't weasel out of internationally agreed human rights obligations.

usuallydormant Sat 05-Jul-14 00:23:28

Oh the shame, Ireland leaving the EU obviously as we left the UK decades ago.

TucsonGirl Sun 06-Jul-14 00:18:02

1 in, 1 out. Employers would have to take on school leavers and train them up rather than expecting to take on experienced workers on pittance wages. UK people going abroad is of no business of the UK government, we certainly shouldn't be keeping people here who don't want to be here.

niceguy2 Mon 07-Jul-14 12:43:57

A very naive and simplistic view TucsonGirl.

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