The UK can control migration from the EU without ending FoM or having to leave the Single Market
Now that the UK seems to have lurched back from the cliff-edge that Theresa May had planned for us I think we have an opportunity to look sensibly at the Brexit options available to the UK and in particular to examine Labour’s approach.
Jeremy seems to be far more pragmatic by pursuing a “Jobs First Brexit” with the retention and creation of jobs taking priority.
This is excellent news – however he is also saying that we need to control migration. This would seem perfectly sensible until he infers that the only way to get control is by ending Freedom of Movement which in turn means leaving the Single Market.
Actually the UK does not have to end FoM and leave the Single Market in order to control the migration from the rest of the EU.
It will be interesting to actually understand what is meant by “control” as the UK already has a fairly comprehensive package of controls available within the EU.
We have the powers to control migration. What we need is a leader prepared to implement them.
The controls don’t come without cost. At present the UK does not track migration from the EU, we let EU Citizens come and go without registering and we don’t require EU citizens to produce EHIC cards when using the NHS. See what happens if you want to work in Belgium or receive medical treatment in France.
Jeremy has suggested that migration has caused harm at the lower end of the market by “unscrupulous employers” bringing in low paid workers in favour of British citizens. The evidence for this is pretty patchy however there are mechanisms to stop this if the UK can prove it is suffering harm, at present we can’t show this is happening.
Similarly if there is a surge to a particular region the migration can be halted/suspended to give time for public services etc. to catch up. Again this would require the UK to be able to show that harm is being caused.
Now is the time for a grown up discussion about migration. We need to decide upon the powers we need to use and then look at the powers we already have. If there is a gap then we have something real to negotiate for rather than silly wish lists and populist rhetoric.
Jeremy – now is your time.
References and links can be found in WE ARE BEING LIED TO