by Mark Angelides
A leaked policy document obtained by the Guardian newspaper lays out a series of proposals and plans that deal with the shape of Britain’s immigration policy after leaving the European Union (EU). But Brexiteers are saying it seems more like a way of keeping the population happy whilst doing a backdoor deal with the Brussels Parliament.
The document makes that point that Free Movement of People will end when Britain leaves but that migration would continue in a modified form. Nobody on the Brexit side of the debate has ever argued for a ban on managed migration, but merely that it is properly organized and does not give unlimited access to almost half a billion people.
Critics suggest that this document in no way addresses this. It says that “Put plainly, this means that, to be considered valuable to the country as a whole, immigration should benefit not just the migrants themselves but also make existing residents better off.” And this makes a lot of sense, but this is a statement of intent, not a policy.
One of the most important pieces of information is that the government will seek to limit migration through redefining the “family visa.” It seeks to reduce the extended family members to only direct family members and “durable partners.” And here is where it starts to look more and more like backpedaling on the idea of Brexit:
EU nationals in Britain who want to bring in non-EU family members have to be earning at least £18,600 ($24,000) a year; which sounds good but raises two extremely worrying issues.
Number one: Why is there a law being proposed for EU nationals when Britain is supposed to be leaving the EU? The idea was to have a “fair” immigration system Controlled by Britain! What makes EU nationals more deserving of special immigration laws than people from Australia, the US, or India? This is clearly part of a scam to continue the free movement of people with priorities for EU citizens.
Number two: It states that to bring over family members, the applicant needs to be earning over £18,600 a year. It makes no mention of if this is through welfare, benefits, tax credits, or otherwise. According to the Guardian, after November 2016, the “Benefit Cap” reduced the amount people can claim in welfare:
The total amount a couple or a single parent can receive in benefits will be:
- £442.31 a week, or £1,916.67 per month within London.
- £384.62 a week, or £1,666.67 per month outside London.
So even people who don’t work, have never worked, and will never work, will easily pass the limit to get family members over.
This is a betrayal of the principles of Brexit. It is the UK government doing its best to keep Britain tied to the EU and keep immigration flowing. And it’s not good enough.