Immigration Will Continue Under Brexit

I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday about the Brexit vote and the consequent rise in racism. There are good, left-wing reasons for distrust of the EU: its corporatism, the promotion of neoliberalism at the expense of the smaller, weaker countries like Greece, and its militarism. The week before last NATO troops, including German forces, engaged in manoeuvres close to the Russian border. This has frightened many observers with the prospect that our leaders may be building up to some kind of war with Russia.

That’s a terrible prospect that brings back the shadow of Armageddon, which we of the older children grew up under in the 1980s during the Reaganite/Thatcherite New Cold War. I hoped passionately that with the Fall of Communism and thaw in relations between Russia and the West, that that spectre would never blight the lives of the peoples of America, Europe and Russia ever again. One of the greatest political development in my lifetime has, I believe, been that the peoples of western and eastern Europe have been free to move to each other’s countries, to live, work and set up businesses, in peace and friendship.

Now it seems, this is all being thrown away.

But very many people, undoubtedly the majority, didn’t vote for Britain to Leave because of objections to the corporate ideology of the EU, and the impoverishment of its peoples for the sake of the Banksters. No, they voted to leave based on xenophobia and a fear of immigration. And from what I heard from my friend, this fear will not be assuaged by Brexit. Rather, immigration will carry on as usual.

They told me that if Britain chooses to maintain links with Europe under EFTA, the European Free Trade Agreement, as Norway did, then we will still be required by the EU to continue to agree to and allow the free movement of people. It’s one of the fundamental principles of the European Union, and doesn’t appear to be negotiable if we want to maintain trading links.

We could, however, decide to cultivate trading links instead with the Commonwealth nations. Many older Brits feel that by entering the Common Market, as it then was in the 1970s, we made the mistake of losing, or lessening trade with our colonies. However, if we did so, we would also be required to allow increased immigration from the Commonwealth nations. This is likely to upset the racists further, as most of the Commonwealth countries have Black or Asian majority populations.

If what I heard is correct, therefore, Britain will be required to remain open to a certain, minimum level of immigration. Mike’s already put up several pieces pointing this out on Vox Political, but this adds a few more pieces of information about it.

Which means that there are likely to be very many extremely embittered racists, deeply disappointed with the fact that the halt on immigrations and the deportations they hoped would come with Brexit have not and will not materialise. The result is likely to be more racist violence, and a rise of the Fascist extreme Right – the NF, BNP and so on. We need to guard against this, and make sure that, whatever the consequences of the Leave vote is, they don’t include further racism and violence.

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One Response to “Immigration Will Continue Under Brexit”

  1. #Immigration Will Continue Under #Brexit | Beastrabban’s Weblog | sdbast Says:

    […] https://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2016/07/02/immigration-will-continue-under-brexit/ […]

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