Immigration, Brexit, and the E.U. – Part 2

The European Migrant Crisis was a problem that was bubbling below the surface for many years before it’s explosion in 2015. The rise of Radicalism and terrorism in the Middle East and Africa, increasing inequality, and extreme poverty are some of the factors that have pushed many refugees out of their native countries and towards the relative prosperity of Western Europe and the European Union.

Most notably, the war in Syria has pushed many of it’s citizens out of the country. However, amongst these genuine refugees, a large amount of economic migrants can be found. According to the vice-president of the European Commission, 60% of the ‘refugees’ arriving in Europe are actually Economic Migrants using asylum-seeker status as a cover. This finding is rather serious and threatens to derail, or already has, the system that is in place to help refugees and asylum seekers who need safety from war and death. How are we supposed to differentiate who is who from the multitude of individuals arriving in Europe at this moment in time?

Now, how have Economic Migrants been able to abuse this situation? I believe that there are various factors at play here. Most notably, Angela Merkel’s open door policy towards anybody wanting to come into her country, refugee or non-refugee, within the huge migrant influx, has led to more than 1.1 million individuals in search of asylum entering the country (according to official government data, as of January 2016). As mentioned beforehand, if around 60% of those seeking asylum-seeker status are actually economic migrants, how many have Germany taken in? *It is also important to note that a lot of these individuals have been able to reach Germany due to the European Union’s open-border Schengen area policy, without identification or security checks.

On the whole, it is fair to say that this situation could have been handled on a European Level , and on a National Level, a heck of a lot better than what it has been. The European Union leadership should have stepped in at the beginning of this crisis and turned back the boats that have been arriving on Greek, Italian, and Spanish shores for over 2 years now, instead of encouraging massive illegal immigration and giving an opportunity to economic migrants to abuse the entire situation. A policy such as Australia’s ‘stop the boat’ policy would have undoubtedly saved many lives ( According to the UN, more than 2,500 refugees have died this year trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea).

There is also the worry that ISIS has infiltrated the refugee influx. Christian refugees from Syria claim they saw a former Islamic State member living in Frankfurt, Germany (and this is not an isolated case.) Also, according to Rob Wainwright, the British Head of Europol, 3,000 to 5,000 ISIS-trained Jihadis could be at large in Europe after returning from the Middle East. Perhaps most worryingly, French authorities have said that one of the attackers involved in November’s Paris terrorist attacks came into France via the Greek Island of Leros, travelling amongst the refugees arriving in Europe. The reality of this situation is that we simply do not know how many terrorists are within the refugee population, and by leaving our borders open, EU leadership is putting the safety of Europeans at risk.

Most rational people in Western Europe want to help the genuine refugees who are fleeing war and terror in the Middle East, myself included. However, this needs to be done in a way that does not allow Economic Migrants to abuse the situation, and keeps the citizens of Europe safe. I believe the U.K. government’s reaction to the crisis, albeit not perfect, has been a more pragmatic response to the situation. Instead of encouraging illegal immigration and dangerous journeys to get to Europe, David Cameron’s government has taken people from refugee camps in Syria and has flown them directly to the UK, and plans to follow this procedure for roughly 20,000 people.

To conclude, this situation could have been dealt with in a better way if the nations in Southern Europe were not part of a ‘borderless’ union with other neighbouring nations, meaning that instead of merely being a transit point for refugees, these nations could have dealt with the crisis as it was developing, and sent a strong message to people smugglers. Co-operation with other nations is evidently necessary in these scenarios , but through the European Union that is trying to force nations to take in refugees through quotas? perhaps not.

*Hungary, Croatia, Austria, Slovenia, Macedonia, and Bulgaria all have closed parts of their borders to some extent due to the refugee crisis.

(Sources: Europol, the Telegraph, Russia Today, Quartz, BBC News, the UK government website, German government data, the Guardian, the United Nations)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immigration, Brexit, and the E.U. – Part 2

Immigration, Brexit, and the E.U. – Part 1

On the 23rd of June 2016, the U.K. will hold a referendum on it’s membership of the European Union. There are many aspects to the ‘Brexit’ debate, and in this article, I will be focusing solely on the debate surrounding immigration, and why Britain would be better with an immigration policy constructed exclusively by British lawmakers without influence from the E.U. bureaucracy.

The latest net migration statistics show that in the year ending December 2015, net migration into the United Kingdom stood at 330’000. According to the Office of National Statistics, who use the International Passenger Survey to come up with these figures, of these 330’000 migrants who entered the U.K., 184’000 were from the European Union. Also, from the current data we hold, there are roughly around 1.2 million British migrant living in other EU countries, compared with around 3.0 million EU migrants living in the UK.

The reason these figures regarding EU migration to and from the United Kingdom is so high is due to the following fact: a fundamental aspect of being a member of the European Union is the subscription to one of its founding principles , that is, the free movement of people within the European Union. This means that somebody living in Germany can go to live and work in Sweden. Or somebody living in the UK can go to live in Italy, for example. While this may bring many benefits, as I have experienced multiple times in my own personal life, the drawbacks are becoming more and more evident. Primarily since the introduction of former Soviet Bloc countries into the Union (such as Romania, Poland, and Bulgaria) and more recently, the EU migrant crisis currently unfolding across the continent (this will be covered in part 2).

As of November 2015, the number of Romanian and Bulgarian workers topped 200,000. It represents a rise of 16 per cent on the year before. Also, the number of workers from the former eight communist countries reached 982,000 between the end of July 2015 and the end of September 2015. Up 200,000 in just two years. This number will only rise in the coming years.

Now, it is important to recognise that a lot of these migrants are coming to the U.K. in order to work, better themselves, and simply make more money than what they would in their native countries. For example, in Euros, the national minimum wage per month before the deduction of income tax and other social security contributions (not adjusted for inflation) in the U.K. is 1, 509.70, whereas in Romania it is 234.77. The creates a massive pull factor for potential migrants, and in turn, has negative effects for low-income earners in the UK job market. According to the Migration Advisory Committee, mass migration has cause the wages of these individuals to shrink. The Bank of England has also found that mass migration has caused reductions in the level of pay on offer to care workers, waiting staff, and cleaners.

I would argue that the intentions of the vast number of these migrants are noble, however as demonstrated this can have negative drawbacks for British workers on the lower pay-scale. This is without mentioning the other negative drawbacks mass migration has on various sectors, such as the fact that the U.K. needs to build nearly 240,000 new homes a year to meet with current demand (one every two minutes). As well as various social difficulties such as integration, and increases in pressure on the NHS.

I believe that if we leave the European Union, the United Kingdom could create a points-based immigration system that welcomes people to Britain who have skills that will benefit the British economy. A figure in the tens of thousands could hopefully be achievable. I would like to see more impetus given towards fixing the Black youth unemployment rate which in the year 2015 stood at 27.5%, and 24.3% amongst Asian youth. Training our young people properly for the job market of the future is vital for the development of our nation. With a decrease in mass immigration and decreasing the demand for various types of jobs,  I believe that these figures could decrease.

To conclude, at this stage I acknowledge that EU immigration makes up only a part of immigration into Britain. However pulling out of the European Union and setting up our own laws regarding this issue will take us some way to solving the issues surrounding mass immigration. This is one reason why I believe we should vote leave on June 23rd.

*Sources: Migration Watch UK, House of Commons Library, Telegraph UK, Bank of England, Office of National Statistics, The Migration Observatory, Eurostat, Europarl.

 

 

 

 

 

Immigration, Brexit, and the E.U. – Part 1

EU Referendum – Democracy on the ropes.

Should Britain leave the EU?

Simply, yes.

There are so many areas to cover on this issue, so I must make it clear prior to beginning that I will focus solely on the democratic argument for leaving the EU.

Lets start with pivotal concept of democracy; democracy as we know it revolves around the election of public representatives by a consensus vote – who are temporarily authorised to legislate on behalf of the people. An intrinsic function of democracy is the ability to scrutinise, and if necessary, remove these elected representatives from office – if the public so will it in their majority. Democracy also requires the staple-mark of Judicial separation, and within that, a judiciary that enacts legislation crafted by the elected representatives.
The EU disregards democracy in it’s most infantile form – those who legislate, legislate federation wide, explicitly unchallenged and unrelenting in their course. Not one person in the U.K voted for Mr. Juncker, yet he still issues directives which affect our statutory laws. In-fact, it is the same Mr. Juncker who was discarded by the people of Luxembourg in the face of scandal, that controls the lions share of power in the EU; can this be at all democratic?
This is the same man who is quoted as stating “I am in favour of dark, secret debates” and “When the going gets tough, you must lie.” We are so opposed to autonomous control in this country, yet we actively allow the likes of Mr. Juncker to hold a position of power – whilst unanswerable to our protestations.

Second to that; the European Courts have absolute power and dominion over our sovereign courts – our MPs are rendered useless in the face of new EU legislation, they cannot actively veto it exclusively without the consent of member states
and as you can imagine, within the last 19 years we haven’t won a single veto; obviously democratic…
The EU has stopped multiple pieces of legislation that the sovereign parliament of this land has constructed; they have banished legislation enacted by our sovereign courts – does this not start to sound like the form of absolutist control a once powerful socialist federation exerted over its states, how did that turn out? I find it absolutely beyond comprehension, that anyone who is a citizen of this country and who believes in democracy, could possibly advocate this type of post-modern political imperialism by a foreign power. What’s more, how could that same person endorse a democratic referendum and actively vote to stay, when that very vote is a vote to oppose democracy; a vote to
oppose the very thing they rely on to air their opinion? Absolutely dichotomous.

From a legislative perspective, it is unstoppable, and it is irreversible – since it can only be repealed by the EU itself. Ask how much EU legislation the Commission has actually taken back under its various programmes for streamlining bureaucracy. The answer is none.
That is why EU law is likened to a ratchet, clicking only forwards.
We are seeing a slow and shrouded process of legal colonisation, as the EU infiltrates every area of public policy.
Then – and this is the key point – the EU acquires supremacy in any field that it touches; because it is one of the fundamentals of Britain’s membership, that any question involving the EU must go to Luxembourg, to be adjudicated by the European Court of Justice.

We fought a civil war in this country to ensure absolutist powers were crushed, and people could hold officials to account – brave men stood in parliament and challenged a Sovereign ruler, endured tremendous discourse in the name of democracy. Not a century ago did men land on the beaches of Normandy, fight in the forests of Hürtgen, battle in the towns of Burgundy and Carentan to ensure that democracy was upheld, and authoritarian political control was cast asunder.
Make no doubt about it, one of the greatest leaders this country has ever witnessed, Mr. Winston Churchill, was absolutely against the idea of unification of states under one unelected ruler – he is quoted as saying: “We are with Europe but not of it, we are linked but not combined. If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always chose the open sea.”

Historical British legislation which embodies our way of life is absolutely in contempt of EU values – the 1689 bill of rights requires but the briefest of studies until one identifies the conflict; the bill clearly states –
“laws should not be dispensed with or suspended without the consent of Parliament;
no taxes should be levied without the authority of Parliament.”
Clearly, our legislation is no longer made in abundance by our legislature – but instead by cronies in Brussels who pander to the socialist nations of the union. EU taxes are levied and imposed regardless of whether parliament veto them, a preposterous happening. People oppose a monarchy but don’t oppose an effective dictatorship that is veiled by fiat democracy – when in-fact, the difference between each is minute.
It is estimated that almost half of our legislation is derived from the EU – is that acceptable?
Look at how well the EU turned out for Greece, a bankrupt and debt-ridden country, Athens burns as the EU issues more directives, and absolves power from the Greek government.
Democracy matters; and it is a stark reminder of the discourse of the EU that the Greeks are being told what to do with their budgets and public spending, regardless of the state of their citizens and the impact that type of control will have upon them.
It all involves more integration: a social, political, and budgetary coming together of sorts. At a time when Brussels should devolve power, it is drawing more toward the centre, and there is no way that Britain can be unaffected.

The EU is not, as its fanatics proclaim, a coming-together of European peoples. Rather, it represents the outsourcing of national political life to the unaccountable realm of the European Commission.
It dilutes and manipulates our democratic clout through granting ever-greater authority to institutions like the European Court of Justice, whose edicts and rulings can be imposed on nations regardless of what national governments, not to mention national peoples, think of them.
That is anti-democratic in its binary form. And it should inherently terrifying to anyone who considers himself a believer of democracy, and who recognises that every radical, from the Levellers to the Chartists to the Suffragettes – has been about the revolution of authority and the right to choose who governs them; the right to political say-so.

Without delving in to much more detail, those who claim this nation hasn’t the capabilities to stand on its own two feet are the same people who told us the euro was a great idea.
Britain has been a global superpower for centuries, built on trade and commerce; the fifth biggest economy in the world, and that is only inside of the EU. Now lets imagine a Britain that ruled itself, elected its own legislature that was explicitly exclusive, traded with great ally nations like India, and those of the commonwealth who seem all but abandoned. That is a democracy I believe in, that is a Britain I believe in.

Vote leave.

Thomas Gibson

(Sources for quotes and outlines: DemocracyMatters, Boris Johnson, Spiked, BBC, Peter Hitchens, Nigel Farage, Daniel Hannan)

EU Referendum – Democracy on the ropes.