Immigration Truths & the EU from Tory Michael Heseltine!
Far be it for me to laud a Tory but Michael Heseltine has made excellent points in this programme about the immigration issue – from 9 mins 32 into the programme up to 22mins
Heseltine makes clear how EU democracy works and how our govt scapegoats and blames EU for our government’s own policies – from 29 min 30 to 31mins
Caroline Lucas also makes good points re democracy and EU, as well as environment issues from 24 mins 30 up to 27 mins.
Why I think we should be voting to stay in the EU
The point is that the main reason Brexit has been gaining ground is that people see immigration as a threat but it is the Government’s policies – or lack thereof – that cause the problems laid at immigrants’ doors. Immigration could be reduced now by the Government if they wanted to, as about half the immigrants are non EU and the Government could stop that straight away -why aren’t they? Because they want a low wage economy based on cheap immigrant labour, that is the bigger picture. It is our own Government which is creating the problems, encouraging the exploitation by employers of immigrant labour at the expense of British workers.
The other issue is that the Migrant Fund policy set up by Labour under Gordon Brown to fund and help manage the pressures put on local infrastructure by immigrants concentrated into certain urban areas (with none in large parts of the country)was cut in 2010 by the current government. The numbers of immigrants not born in this country is only just on 8 million in the total population of about 64 million. The ONS put total immigrant population at 13% .
We need immigration to support our ageing population and to provide skilled workers where we have shortages but we also need to stop employers from employing them on low wages to undercut our workers; or from poaching qualified workers from developing countries where they are needed rather than investing in training up our own young people ( cf the NHS and also, education where schools are increasingly recruiting from abroad).
Immigration will be not be reduced by Brexit as we will still need to be in the EAA like Norway. Norway are held up as an example of a “go it alone” country with a high standard of living but this is because they invested profits from North Sea Oil, have high taxes and and pay taxes properly; they are not in the EU but to trade they have joined the EAA which means they have to abide by same EU rules on movement etc but have no say in making the rules! So if we leave, we will still have to sign up to free movement and because of our language etc, poorer migrants will always choose to come to Britain. Until where they come from is made a hospitable place to live/ traffickers are properly dealt with, the poor of the world will want to come here
It is also entirely possible that France won’t bother to stop economic migrants leaving Calais if we leave the EU, plus illegal migration will continue because the Tories have seriously cut jobs at our border controls.
Most migrants want work, not benefits. We can afford to run our public services and accommodate migrants, but lack the political will. The current Tory Government is deliberately running services down / tendering out to private contractors so they can turn round and say they are unaffordable and put them in the hands of private business. All we need is a fair tax system and no offshore havens.
The world we live in is too global now for us to isolate ourselves and if we don’t stay in Europe we may become aligned to the USA and be even more in hock to global corporations, cf TTIP, which the Tories want and which has been watered down and opposed in the EU.
In addition to this our workers’ legal rights to paid holiday, maternity and paternity pay and other workers’ rights are only guaranteed thanks to the EU Social Chapter.
The EU question is so much wider than purely immigration and our Governments have misrepresented what goes on, blaming the EU for decisions they have made themselves.
Other objections to the EU are that they override our judges on human rights but the Human Rights Court has nothing to do with the EU and can be interpreted by UK judges in different ways. The European Arrest Warrant allows us to deal with the issue of foreign criminals.
The Environment, Climate Change and Security are better tackled as part of the EU as they are problems that do not respect borders.
Long term investment by many businesses is only made because we are their foothold into the EU market.
For all these reasons, we owe it to our children to vote IN.
Sevenoaks CLP Chair Person