Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Defend Freedom of Movement Against Draconian UK Brexit Plan for ‘National Preference’.

with 15 comments

Image result for latest tory plans on immigration post brexit

British Government Plans to Introduce ‘National Preference’ in Jobs Market.

Leaked document reveals UK Brexit plan to deter EU immigrants reports the Guardian.

Exclusive: Home Office paper sets out detailed proposals including measures to drive down number of low-skilled migrants from Europe

It proposes measures to drive down the number of lower-skilled EU migrants – offering them residency for a maximum of only two years, in a document likely to cheer hardliners in the Tory party. Those in “high-skilled occupations” will be granted permits to work for a longer period of three to five years.

The document also describes a phased introduction to a new immigration system that ends the right to settle in Britain for most European migrants – and places tough new restrictions on their rights to bring in family members. Potentially, this could lead to thousands of families being split up.

Showing a passport will be mandatory for all EU nationals wanting to enter Britain – and the paper proposes introducing a system of temporary biometric residence permits for all EU nationals coming into the UK after Brexit for more than a few months.

The determination to end free movement from day one and drive down lower-skilled EU migration, end the role of the European court of justice in family migration and extend elements of Theresa May’s “hostile environment” measures to long-term EU migrants without residence permits is likely to please hard Brexiters.

The paper updates with this comment,

Analysing the document, Alan Travis, our home affairs editor, said:

It proposes that after Brexit day all newly arrived EU migrants, unless they are highly skilled, will lose their rights to live permanently in Britain. At a stroke they will be turned into temporary workers with a maximum two-year permit.

The Independent,

Brexit: Tory government EU migration plans labelled ‘economically illiterate’ and ‘plainly cruel’ amid angry backlash

Ministers accused of planning ‘cruel’ restrictions which would damage the economy, split up families – and allow rogue bosses to exploit workers

Draconian post-Brexit curbs on immigration revealed in leaked Government proposals would wreck public services and fuel an “underground economy”, Theresa May has been told.

The plans – which would strip all newly-arrived EU migrants of their rights to live permanently in Britain, including the highly-skilled – triggered a furious backlash within hours.

Ministers were accused of planning “cruel” restrictions which would not only damage the British economy and the NHS, but allow rogue bosses to exploit migrants and undercut good employers.

Those who follow French politics will recognise that in the scheme is a policy of National Preference, close to the demand of the far-right Front National, for jobs to go to first of all to UK Nationals.

p46 - Potential measuresp40 - we are clear


Criticism of the ideas is pouring in:  4 things wrong with the goverment’s Brexit immigration plans  COLIN YEO

It is to be hope that the majority of the left will respond to these plans along the lines advanced by the Labour Campaign for Free Movement.

Ana Oppenheim, a spokesperson for the Labour Campaign for Free Movement and an international students’ representative for the National Union of Students, said: “Our party should stand for a system of free movement. This is in the interests of all workers, by giving everyone the right to work legally, join a union and stand up to their boss without fear of deportation or destitution. Migrants’ rights are workers’ rights.”

The Labour Campaign for Free Movement was launched on 4 August by trade unionists and Labour Party members and supporters. Prominent signatories to its founding statement include MPs Clive Lewis, David Lammy, Geraint Davies and Tulip Siddiq, and the General Secretaries of the TSSA, BFAWU, UCU and UVW trade unions. Over 2,300 Labour members and supporters are already backing the campaign, which intends to bring proposals for free movement policy to next month’s Labour Party Conference.

With these measures on the cards those on the left who voted Leave, and who claimed that the vote paved the way for a ‘socialist’ Brexit are in disarray.

How they ever imagined that a  few street protests would change the Cabinet’s course is hard to explain, even for those accustomed to the mythomania of some on the left.

A specific dilemma is faced by those within the labour movement and Labour Party who are hostile to freedom of movement.

The small ‘Trotskyist’ Socialist Party is representative of this current.

The organised workers’ movement must take an independent class position on the EU free movement of labour rules that will be raised in the EU negotiations.

The SP has written this,  “The single market and free movement

The socialist and trade union movement from its earliest days has never supported the ‘free movement of goods, services and capital’ – or labour – as a point of principle but instead has always striven for the greatest possible degree of workers’ control, the highest form of which, of course, would be a democratic socialist society with a planned economy. It is why, for example, the unions have historically fought for the closed shop, whereby only union members can be employed in a particular workplace, a very concrete form of ‘border control’ not supported by the capitalists.

It will be interesting to see what kind of ‘closed shop’ they and others of this opinion would offer as an alternative – if any –  to the latest Tory plans.

15 Responses

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  1. Do I take it that this blog calls for total freedom of movement of whom and from where? Could we have some clarification?

    Dave Roberts

    September 6, 2017 at 9:01 pm

  2. Coatesy can speak for himself, but my answer to Dave’s question would be “yes: oppose all immigration controls.” However, it’s not necessary to go all the way with me on that, to support existing EU free movement within the single market, and to oppose this government’s plans to reduce *all* immigration by means of vicious, racist attacks on the rights of all migrants and potential migrants.

    By the way, I note that today’s ‘Morning Star’ editorial says: “Leaked Tory plans for post-Brexit Britain, extending injustices already meted out to non-EU citizens such as income thresholds, turning employers into “right to work” spooks and kicking out oversees students, follow the same unsavoury pattern.” Very true: just a pity t6hat the ‘Morning Star’, in its admittedly very tiny way, helped bring about this situation by backing Brexiit in the first place.

    Jim Denham

    September 7, 2017 at 9:54 am

  3. Well thank you Jim Denham, you have at least clarified your position on this matter. Could you now explain how you would house, feed, employ and care for the health and the education of the children of the entire population of Africa which, on current evidence, would be in the UK as soon as they could get here? I am sure that you and The Morning Star have a detailed plan already in place.

    Dave Roberts

    September 7, 2017 at 10:51 am

  4. I personally support the Labour Campaign for Free Movement in the European Union, not for the immediate opening of the borders to the whole world.

    That is an objective of wider global international democratic political structures, which we do not have.

    Andrew Coates

    September 7, 2017 at 11:49 am

  5. The Socialist Party writes –

    “The majority of the British capitalist class, for example, want to retain the EU’s free movement of labour which, as part of an EU-wide ‘race to the bottom’ in workers’ wages and conditions, has contributed to their record profits.”

    And then later, as Andrew pointed out above –

    “The organised workers’ movement must take an independent class position on the EU free movement of labour rules that will be raised in the EU negotiations…”

    If this view that immigration causes cuts in wages and conditions is the SP’s “independent class position”, then, it’s pretty much the same as that of Nigel Farage and his merry band of Brexiteers –

    “A “massive oversupply” of unskilled labour from across the EU is handing big corporations “big profits” and pushing the wages of British people down, Nigel Farage has said.

    He said: “There is no question that it’s pushed wage inflation down; it’s helped big companies and big corporations and big landowners to make bigger profits – no argument about that.”(Daily Telegraph. 5 Jan 2014).

    The whole Brexit situation is pretty grim. The UK seems to be going through a bout of political irrationality with both the Tories and Labour backing Brexit. The latter are trying to make out that it’s only the Tories incompetence which is the cause of any problems in the negotiations. This is true to an extent but even if Labour were in Govt, they would find their “cake and eat it” Brexit policy would face similar difficulties.


    John Rogan

    September 7, 2017 at 6:29 pm

  6. It is not just unskilled labour. My husband lost his plumbing job soon after all this “free movement” malarkey started. As a family we are now in financial dire straits and are struggling to exist on the breadline. No naming names but it appears that many of those who support “free movement” don’t have any jobs to lose. Just saying!


    September 7, 2017 at 7:35 pm

  7. Well said Jackie. Spads and yuppies aren’t under threat.

    Dave Roberts

    September 7, 2017 at 9:09 pm

  8. So it’s not the fault of the capitalists, eh, Jackie and Dave: it’s those furrin’ workers coming over here, etc. etc. So you want to divide and poison the only movement (the international proletariat) that can overthrow capitalism!

    Btw: today’s Morning Star openly backs the Tories against Labour over Brexit; Jackie and Dave would, no doubt, approve: https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-60f1-Halting-the-Brexit-Bill-is-no-victory#.WbJmQrsksic

    Jim Denham

    September 8, 2017 at 10:50 am

  9. Do you really believe that the furrin’ workers who come over here to displace the likes of Jackie’s husband from their jobs really see themselves as part of some misty-eyed movement of “international proletariat” hell-bent on “overthrowing capitalism”?

    Cloth-Cap Socialist

    September 8, 2017 at 12:02 pm

  10. Jim believes anything the fairies at the bottom of the garden tell him.


    September 9, 2017 at 3:11 am

  11. Zelda

    September 9, 2017 at 8:29 am

  12. “We have freedom of movement between the two.”


    September 9, 2017 at 8:30 am

  13. It must have really pained the David Davis-supporting Morning Star to have to print this from Manuel Cortes of the TSSA, in Saturday’s edition: https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-c68f-Tory-Brexit-is-an-Economic-Disaster-in-the-Making#.WbVCi7sksic

    Jim Denham

    September 10, 2017 at 2:51 pm

  14. Says it all really, “BREXIT ain’t the route to socialism in one country. Still less to world revolution. Disagreements over the best option for our class has split sections of the left since the referendum was announced.
    Sadly, many have been slow to get to grips with the realpolitik, continuing to rehash the 1970s anti-joining positions without much regard for how 30 years of neoliberalism have changed the balance of forces for our side.
    Those who thought that the referendum outcome would be Remain weren’t the only ones who failed to anticipate the Leave vote.
    Neither did Nigel Farage or the three muppeteers Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox, who are committing political hara-kiri on Britain’s behalf on a daily basis.
    The trouble is, if we on the left don’t take a united front position against Tory Brexit, it’ll help sink our people.
    Just like when Labour helped to prosecute the war with Iraq, we must oppose Tory Brexit because it’s “not in our name.”

    Andrew Coates

    September 11, 2017 at 12:22 pm

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