Controversially the UK is once again defending their rights to control their own boarders against mounting pressure to conform to the wishes of the EU.
This time the EU are arguing that the UK have no right to limit the rights of Romanian and Bulgarian citizens who wish to go to the UK to; work, to be housed, to have access to education, benefits and health care services.
Under EU law the UK is obliged to restrict its restrictions on immigration; the doors of the UK should not have to be prized open by all who wish to go and live there.
However there are restrictions currently in place; 29 million Romanian and Bulgarian workers have not been granted free access to live and work within the UK. These restrictions are due to expire in 2014, and now the renewal of this immigration policy is under debate; should controls against these workers wanting to go to the UK be continued or scraped??
Well, the UK Government, and a portion of the public aren’t so sure they should open the doors to the UK that wide, quite so soon. PR campaigns are even being considered by the UK Government to dissuade people from wanting to go to the UK to live and work.
There is a fear that millions of migrant workers will flood into the UK, this has prompted deep concerns for the country.
However, this is not a new argument though. It is one that has been raging in many formats since the beginning of the EU and even before that. It seems that the UK have always been rebuked for their ‘closed’ attitude toward welcoming foreign workers. Yet, since history was first documented people have come to live in the UK as migrant workers; in essence it is nothing new for the UK.
So what makes this situation different?
What is the truth behind all these restrictions, and why is it that people want to see them continue???
Why are the UK Government, and a portion of the UK public against opening the ‘flood gates’ (so to speak) to the whole of the EU???
Well immigration is, as always, a complex topic littered with speculation. The speculation concerns the exact numbers of immigrant workers who will decide to come to the UK. People wonder what this influx of immigration will bring about for the UK; how will it affect the economy and society at this moment in time.
There is a fear too; that the UK will flounder as a consequence of mass immigration. A fear that also expressing concerns over large scale immigration from one country to another would result in condemnation, and misinterpretation.
With David Cameron talking about a referendum relating to how the UK public view the UK’s future in the EU; it is perhaps quite pertinent that these new immigration arguments correspond with claims over EU manipulation and control.
Everyone is wondering just how far the UK are willing to push their individual idea about immigration. Will stand alone or merely just concede to what the EU want in the end?
So, we are now getting to the point of the real controversy; racism.
A word so often applied when immigration is discussed, and likely to be labelled upon anyone raising their voices against unregulated immigration.
Yet, race or being prejudiced against people isn’t necessarily the reason the UK are voicing opposition towards immigration. It isn’t immigration they are against per se, but the unrestricted version of this, one without controls. At the end of the day we are all subject to controls when we travel or go to live in another country; none of us are completely free to wander as we wish. So, removing controls or being told to remove the controls could be seen as unknown territory. There is always a chance that with any proposed changes to any policies, there will be unseen consequences or outcomes. In reaction to change these unknown elements are thought through thoroughly and discussed, before anything new is ever implemented.
Is this reaction racism at play, or merely politics – manoeuvring to achieve the best deal?
Racism regarding UK immigration controls cannot be fully proven, unless you are willing to consider the rhetoric of any UK National party; which I AM NOT GOING TO, AS THEY TALK ABSOLUTE NONSENSE.
The UK might be be criticised as a country selfishly looking after its own business or interests, by denying loosening its immigration controls. The UK could be seen as ignoring the needs and rights of other EU countries and their people. Yet, there are fears in the UK that with added pressures to take more migrant workers, the UK economy will crash into obscurity, and financial ruin will follow.
How can such a tiny island stay afloat?
The UK is currently suffering cuts to its health, education and public service budgets (including the police force and teachers). The economy isn’t flush; there are hundreds of thousands homeless upon the streets, 3 million people are unemployed and more being made redundant weekly it seems; people are basically struggling to pay their way and put food on the table. In fact figures show that as long ago as 2008/2009 13.5 million people were actually living below the low income threshold – which is under £300 a week (according to poverty.org.uk).
In truth the UK doesn’t have endless resources, available land for new homes, and unlimited access to services, plenty of money or jobs for everyone. It doesn’t have enough of those things for the citizens it already has. The UK needs improving for sure, and overloading it with more weight it cannot carry won’t help.
So why would anyone want to come to an already struggling country to work and live?
If people want to leave their own countries en masse in favour of any other EU country, then surely the issue is with their country of origin??? Surely that should be addressed by the EU, as there must be something fundamentally amiss in that country? Something which is failing their citizens, and forcing them to feel they have to leave to seek a better life elsewhere in the EU?
Should the UK or any other country feel obliged to take in immigrant workers from other EU countries???
Is it the UK or any other countries responsibility to do so?????
Might seem controversial to ask these questions, and yet, this is what people are saying behind closed doors.
I don’t claim to have any of the answers – have you?
The UK has plenty of issues that need to be addressed, so, I ask again; what can the UK offer to any people from any other country, when it has so many issues of its own?
If people leave their home countries in search of a better life, that is fine and totally expected; but what better life do people expect to find in the UK?? What freedoms, incentives and privileges do other countries think the UK has to offer them that their country of origin doesn’t??
Resettling in any country where people can gain access to public services, jobs, a benefit system, a criminal prosecution service, to education, to better housing and to health care; has to be a good thing and appealing. The UK like many EU countries has all of these on offer for its citizens.
BUT, not every country does, or if they do, these services aren’t always to the same standard as they might be in the UK.
So maybe it is these things that offers hope to people who wish to go to the UK to live??
Yet, now maybe not the best time to move anywhere within the EU, as things aren’t as good in every country as perhaps they once were. Consequently, many countries it maybe considering their own needs first, and not considering allowing more people into their countries. At this moment in time, in this economic climate, surely that is quite normal, sensible and healthy?!
Perhaps it is a case of sustain and redevelop what you already have??? Don’t gamble and don’t risk any more or face upsetting the fine balance and making things worse for those already living in the country???
Caution around immigration is not only on the UK’s mind, so to see the UK as the enemy on this is unfair.
Other countries have far more stringent immigration policies than the UK, yet, they are not deemed to be doing anything wrong. These countries also consider their own interests, business and economy first and foremost; yet, they aren’t being called selfish and being reprimanded for not helping.
Perhaps now is not the right time to consider being lax over immigration??????????
Yet, no country could deny the benefits they have received from this either, and no one should feel they can’t re-locate to em-better their lives.
So, to sum up then; immigration has always been an issue. It is controversial topic and a tough policy to get right. It is on every countries mind, and in every countries interest to allow and also to ‘vet’. Yet, now it is ever more becoming a thorn in countries and Governments sides – to do is to be damned and to not do is to be damned.
So what are the options????
I was just wondering what you think about immigration????
Has any country got immigration policy right????
Can there ever be a balance achieved???
Is it wrong and selfish to limit immigration???
Are the UK xenophobic????
Alternatively; is the UK in control their own country, or is it the EU in control?
Why can’t the UK call its own shots??
Why does the EU insist in ‘putting their fingers’ in the UK’s pie?? Reprimanding the UK for looking after itself, just exactly like other EU countries do.
YOU TELL ME……………….
Check out links below from UK media for further reading on this topic:
I really love your posts, you talk about the subjects and concerns that need approaching and discussing as well as talking about subjects of specific interest.
I especially love this list because of hoe wonderfully you have written it. It is very informative and you bring up some good arguements and facts that are backed up by references. It looks like you have researched this concern properly which is how a subject like this shoukd be discussed only with the right facts to mind so you can make a valid arguement. I knew the basics of this matter but through reading your post you have enlightened me and give me more knowledge on the subject. I think that Britain should concentrate on helping their own businesses, economy and own people who are neglected because of the increasing difficulties of overpopulation, demand for health services, financial help, housing and unemployment and I do not think it is selfish for doing that we have let in plenty of people from the EU now it is time for the rest of the EU to take some slack and take some immagrants under their wings and also the countries they come from should pull their finger out and supply their people with the services, health care, jobs and housing they need and maybe they would have to move to the UK to recieve all these necessary services of 21st century life.
Thank you so much Faye; it means a lot to have such positive feedback and appreciation from my readers. Thank you for that.
Thank you also for you input and opinion of this topic. I appreciate it. I enjoy writing the posts, but without readers feeding back their thoughts/opinions, and engaging in ‘discussion’ it wouldn’t be quite the same.
I hoped the post would come across as a balanced argument; showing the different strands involved.
I am happy you have enjoyed reading this post, and it is kind of you to state you have ‘learnt’ something from it.
Many thanks again,
I definitely have and you have brought up good and valid points for a much needed discussion and debate about the subject.
Thank you Faye. I am happy you appreciate the discussion and debate I was hoping to raise by ‘airing’ this subject. I am happy at the response from it. I felt the subject is often avoided through fear, and yet it is so valid at the moment.
Thanks again for your kind words and support!
People anywhere and everywhere should be in control of their own destinies. Stand or fall entirely by their own efforts. Can’t be done while we have governments and politicians (which even on the smallest scale stand entirely for themselves). The pup they sell us is ‘democracy’ but they never define it; however we are saddled with—and we never complain. Silly us.
So: political independence then should devolve to the smallest viable unit that wants it—if a modern city can stand alone as an independent city-state, bingo.
Only the citizens of that city-state have any right to control of their policies, which of course includes immigration …
A few years ago someone did the sums and published as an answer that “After considering all monetary commitments both to and from the EU … the British housewife is paying eight million pounds a day for the privilege of being in the EU”.
That’s with or without migrants: £8,000,000 going as a freebie gift every single day to Europe. (No idea what it is now.)
But hey, YOU voted for them, right?
It’s a democracy, right?
So you can’t complain, right?
(Let me see now … that’s fifty-six million a week … times four, that’s about two hundred and fifty million a month … times twelve, ooooooh … this hurts … beam me up, Scotty, I’m blowing an oogle phweeeeep PING
Thanks again for your input and opinions; I appreciate it!
I agree on elusive ‘democracy’, and wonder also why there is a lack of questioning regarding it’s actual substance.
Agree with immigration being devolved to states, or cities. I do see that as it is it is becoming more of a scapegoat for countries to blame their issues on. Regardless of what issues it may cause or not, one policy or law, which for now we can’t seemingly escape, doesn’t fit everyone.
Yes, I know the the EU cripple the country, the money being sent across to faceless bureaucrats is beyond any sensible reasoning. It makes me wonder what the UK are waiting for? If there is a referendum to leave I think people may not be so favourable towards the EU. Yet, many still think the UK cannot function without them. Who knows how it did before! Or how the US and Australia function without an over-arching union of some description. I am not fan of the EU as it is – it should be a looser tie, not binding or law entrenched, with meddlesome qualities. It has seemed to me that the UK has bowed too long to appease the EU; hence why I think there is little point to being part of something that has no real relevance, that hinders, extracts money and doesn’t offer any real or clear cut help.
We have regressed. In the late 19th century up to World War I passports were not required for travel within Europe. Certain countries, such as Russia required passports for internal travel i.e. they were designed to keep people within a country not keep people out. Countries that issued passports were considered backward and that’s how it ought to be.
Hi Malcolm, thanks for your input as always.
I feel we have “regressed” on this subject. Immigration has become one of the most difficult issues a country and people face. There is certainly plenty of paranoia via freedom to travel and settle. I think terrorism has exasperated this too – people naturally feel unsafe, and invaded if ‘different’ nationalities are around them. It is territorial behaviour; where people carve out their space and detest outsiders.
Yet, I can also see the Government’s are trying to maintain a balancing act; between wishing to allow new people access, but fearing they haven’t the resources available. I also think there is a distrust forming regarding the type of people who want to move to the UK. People aren’t as open as they once were to embrace new influxes of people; fearing criminals , people trying to ‘cream’ off the system, fearing an infringement in their own rights and feeling they are strangers in their own land. Yet, whatever the reason’s for people’s anger and distrust in this issue, I feel immigration has been allowed to become a scapegoat.
The Government are the ones in-charge of any problems the country faces or will encounter; not groups of people just wanting to relocate.
I think the EU is a little bit too much of a paper tiger… no teeth. That is because – and also why – there is no cohesion in the EU, only constant bickering. Not saying that the EU is failing, but we are at a critical phase where the fate of the European Union will be decided.
Make a strong Europe or keep strong national countries, loosely tied together in an economic and political pact.
I’m all for the mix. Let people go where they want to, wen they want to, to do what they want to. Most of them won’t make it further than 50 km before they find their happiness. Consider the language barriers: A person from Hannover may be able to understand one from Munich, but they will always be in a foreign city. I bet that applies to Leeds and Oxford, or York and London, or, let’s get extremer: Glasgow and Exeter; Madrid and Warsaw, where there is no more common native language, but both know English. Only adventurous people like being foreigners, and there are far more homesteaders than adventurers
Hi, thanks again for you input on this. It makes writing my blog far more pleasurable when I receive good ‘discussion’ from other bloggers. I hoped to gain other people’s perspectives about this topic! So, thanks!
Yes, I feel the EU is the same thing – toothless! I do think it is dragging on as a disembodied, and unquantified political body bag. I think it would be preferable to maybe loosen the reins, and just keep the countries as individuals with connections to one another, but not a noose!
Yes, for the most part you are definitely right about the mixing up of people. It is difficult for anyone thinking of moving from place to another, and staying for a long time without good networks or language skills. I think most people find the notion of being far away from ‘home’ as a Dorothy (Wizard Of Oz) moment. Either it is something you like or won’t like. I suppose the more extreme the language or culture barriers the more difficult it will be.
Hi, many thanks for you input on this topic; I value your feedback and opinions on this.
To be honest I am uncertain of the actual figures for immigration into the UK. I do know that these ‘statistics’ have been criticised in the past for being unreliable – but then that is often the nature of stats!
I do agree that is quite normal for people to come and go from countries; usually for work, family and schooling.
I see your point with uncontrolled immigration, and think perhaps you might be referring to the ‘illegal’ side of immigration???? If so there are illegal migrant workers in the UK, like in most countries. The number of which are unknown, merely guessed.
Yet, this poses a problem for the illegal migrants as well as the country hosting them illegally. Illegal employment, paying no taxes or NI contributions, they have no employee rights and no access to benefits. They may also have no identity papers or valid passport. They will pay no official council tax or car insurance; may not even been legally registered or able to drive in their host country. They also won’t be registered for schooling or health care. If illegal then they don’t officially exist.
I would prefer any migrant worker to be legal, for certain, as it will benefit them and the country far more.
Yes, you are probably right on the nonsensical piece of legislation, which will I’m sure appease and not really address anything! Again that is the nature of politics, and such difficult topics as immigration law!
Thanks once more for the points you have raised! Hope you drop by my blog soon.
suppose I’m appointed to make UK immigration policies then I’d come with tougher ones because it need of situation. You better defined and I do agree with you.
Thanks Nafees for your comment, and opinion on this!!
The flip side of the coin is that British people also immigrate. When you net the figures down between the inward and outward flow you get an inward flow to the UK of about 250,000 people per year. I suspect not really a big problem.
In truth to some degree deregulated market supporters(Banks, Governments Etc) quietly approve of uncontrolled immigration.
If they work the cost the government little -no schooling , no university etc.These very same people do not want pensions, welfare etc as being part of the equation for the population at large. At this point if I were a betting person I suspect you will end up with a nonsensical piece of legislation that I will to some degree appease the anti immigration lobby but will leave enough loop holes to insure a cheap supply of labor.
I have replied to your comment (I think for some reason it has been posted above, listed as the first comment).
Anyway, have a read, and of course let me know any responses you have to it.
Thanks Bex 🙂