One element of the leadership contest of the Conservative party appears to be the status of those people from Europe whose belief that British is Best is so strong that they have come to prove it by living and working here in their millions.
This has been the cause of great concern among those from the Continent who have voted with their feet to participate in our great island story.
The Leave vote was informed by many issues. The main desire was to Take Back Control of our country. One feature of this was to be able to control immigration to our shores. It was a revelation during the campaign, disclosed by Hilary Benn in an interview with Andrew Neil, that membership of the EU effectively meant uncontrolled immigration. The promise to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands made by David Cameron was a fiction known at the time it was made. A future government does seem to have a mandate to include immigration controls in any negotiation with the EU.
This does raise the issue of how to manage immigration up to the point that the UK leaves the EU. It has been hinted that controls should apply immediately, to avoid the a predicted rush under the pre-referendum immigration regime should this substantially change. This surely would indicate the moribund nature of the EU, that people refuse to live in it.
Citizens from other EU countries voted with their feet to live and work here. To halt this migratory democracy, other regimes in history have had to close their borders to keep their people in, murdering those who tried to escape.
If there is any increase in the exodus in our direction prompted by impending controls, this would be the clearest indication possible of the failures of governance in the originating countries as well as the failure of the EU to remedy this despite years of trying and billions of Euros spent. The indifference of the unelected leaders of the EU to this inconvenient statistic would simply demonstrate the EU’s increasing obsolescence in a multilateral globalised economy. Other elected governments in the EU would be obliged to take note.
The thousands of sore losers of the hipster generation who demonstrated against a legitimate democratic decision by the British public will face a counter-demonstration of months, if not years in duration, by thousands of people who disagree with the home-made-poster-makers so much that they have left their country of origin and are willing to risk living and working in a post-EU Britain to show it. Some wag is suggesting that disaffected Remainers could obtain German passports now to preserve their rights after we leave the EU. Well, viel Glück mit daß…
The fact that interim restrictions may now be seen as desirable is evidence enough of the wisdom of the decision of the majority of British voters. They believed in Britain before Brussels, not the other way round. Our new arrivals, restricted or not, will have demonstrated this too.
(Image: Freedom House)