I have just commented on a piece at Left Futures on Brexit. The original correspondent wrote a piece arguing to remain inside the EU customs union, which would involve the acceptance of the Free movement of Labour.Many of his correspondents failed to recognise that Labour’s Policy is to require a second mandate once the terms of exit are known. I reprised my arguments on immigration policy expressed here, asking what more we can do?
If we had the legislative freedom to restrict immigration from the EU, what would you do? Which of the current entrants would you stop?
If after, empowering trade unions, setting a minimum wage, creating new industries and jobs, introducing tax equity, building more houses, controlling rents, building and running more great schools, abolishing student tuition fees, re-establishing the EMA, reinvesting in skills training, abolishing zero hours contracts, mandating local vacancy advertising, creating a migration stabilisation fund, we find that people still want to “Control Immigration”, what do we do next? This is a genuine question; I can’t see how to triangulate/accommodate any further.
Actually, I would not oppose implementing stricter border controls, mainly documentation standards (in proving that EU entrants have come to work or join family members who have done so) on entry, and would support increased contributory principle for some in-work benefits, although I consider the latter to be mainly gesture politics. On the other hand I believe we should repeal the requirement that foreign workers must earn more than £35,000 to get a work permit, the previous test of market rates was more appropriate and should restore the UK citizen’s right to marry who they want and bring them here to live together. None of this takes on board what one might one to say on the entry of overseas students, freedom of academic exchange and refugees, all of which our government is failing to address with any vision or decency.