In the EU referendum of 2016, the pro-EU metropolitan liberal elite ran a campaign scaremongering about what might happen to the economy if we voted to leave the European Union. Since the referendum, all of Remains doom and gloom predictions about us returning to the stone age if we voted to leave have been proven wrong. However, by focusing on the economy, the liberal elite was missing the point. The reason why so many people voted to leave the European Union was not what might or might not happen to the economy, it was because of one single issue the liberal elite like to pretend is not an issue, immigration. The European Union has four principles, the free movement of goods, services, capital and peoples across member states, it was the fourth principle, the free movement of peoples to why so many people voted to leave. Simply put, Britons felt like the UK had lost control of immigration while in the EU.
Immigration was the main reason remain lost the EU referendum, they were campaigning on the wrong issues. Although, if remain came out in favour of open borders, I think vote leave would have won by an even bigger margin, so it was wise of the remain side to try and switch focus to the economy. Now, the UK is leaving the European Union, we have an opportunity to take back control of our borders. I advocate the UK will need fundamental immigration reform post-Brexit if the UK is to address peoples concerns regarding open borders.
Before we start any immigration reform, there has to be a recognition from the government that there is good immigration and bad immigration. If people are coming to work, create jobs and pay taxes that is hugely beneficial to the UK, most academic studies conclude immigration is indeed a net benefit to the economy. While immigration can be hugely beneficial, there are also downsides, if immigrants come in large enough numbers, there are problems with migrant ghettos and driving down workers wages.
Of course, we want people to contribute, but we don’t want Rotherham child abuse type scandals or Cologne-style sex attacks, that’s why immigration reform must strike a balance between economic growth and national security. I believe the UK should adopt a guest worker programme and a points-based immigration system with an emergency brake post-Brexit. Under this system, businesses could hire migrants on a guest worker scheme, meaning migrants will return home when the job is finished. If the migrant wanted to apply for citizenship, they would have to go through a points-based system proving they have skills and are self-sufficient. However, if immigration was running too high, the government could apply an emergency brake, halting immigration.
There would be strict rules, for example, migrants on the guest worker programme will not be able to access welfare benefits, must be able to speak English, not have any criminal record, have a job ready to go to on arrival, buy private medical insurance and businesses must prioritise British applicants before hiring migrants on the guest worker scheme. In addition, migrants who apply for citizenship through the points-based system will be judged on work experience, education, English speaking abilities, age and be required to state their intention for citizenship. If the migrants gain enough points for UK citizenship, they will not be able to access in work welfare and state healthcare for five years. Furthermore, illegal immigrants and foreign criminals will be deported.
I believe my immigration proposal of a guest worker scheme and points-based immigration system will achieve maintaining the economic benefits of immigration while addressing the concerns of people who voted Leave in the referendum. My proposal will stop welfare abuses, foreign criminals and the emergency brake will allow the UK to reduce the numbers of people arriving, easing pressures on public services. The immigration reforms I propose post-Brexit are not extreme, Australia has a points-based system and moderate centrist David Cameron proposed limiting migrant welfare when Prime Minister. To conclude, immigration reform must keep the economic dynamism immigration can offer while upholding national identity and national security.
This post was originally published by the author on his personal blog: http://lukedanceblog.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/what-immigration-reform-should-look.html