This article was originally published on The Commentator
On 23rd June 2016, the Great British Public voted against the Establishment and the status quo. They voted against British taxpayers money not being spent at home, and instead being given to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels.
Arguably most significant of all, however, was the public’s desire to see an end to unrestricted mass migration.
The public — Britons up and down the country — are rightly concerned about immigration and the detrimental impact it’s having on their lives and on our public services.
In election after election, and year after year, the Government has pledged to reduce net migration from the 100,000s to the 10,000s, and even with its clear mandate, it has continually failed to do so.
However, while we are inside the EU, even the Government knows this is a promise it would be unable to keep due to the EU’s rules on Freedom of Movement keeping our borders open to over 500 million people. Only when we are outside the EU and its disastrous rules and regulations, can immigration be controlled.
Figures out this week demonstrate the scale of the Government’s failure. In the year to last September, net migration into the UK is estimated at 244,000, well above the Government’s target.
To demonstrate the impact of this situation, in order to accommodate this annual influx of new arrivals, the UK would need to build a city about the size of Luton every year.
While EU migration into the UK was slightly lower than last year, it remained high at a net figure of 90,000. However, it has also been reported more EU migrants arriving have already secured work, and are highly qualified.
In a week in which it has been revealed Civil Servants are refusing to co-operate with Home Office inspectors investigating foreign nationals, it has become clear the Government must reprioritise controlling our borders and immigration after Brexit. It may also be necessary to spend some of our Brexit dividend on increasing the Home Office’s budget to ensure our borders are secure — this would be a price many would agree is well worth paying.
While it may be difficult to keep track of the millions of migrants in the UK, the Government must make sure Civil Servants are at least doing the jobs they are paid to do!
On the other side of the English Channel, President Macron has just announced interesting measures to try to help control the French migrant crisis. By reducing the time taken for asylum applications, deportations can be sped up. By making crossing the French border illegally punishable by 1 year in prison, he has also entrenched a deterrent to entering France illegally — although I am not sure if this will deter those who are determined to cross France into the UK.
Why isn’t Britain tackling our migrant problems seriously already? In 2016 for example, 68 percent of initial asylum applications were rejected. Of these rejections, only a small proportion were actually deported.
With Brexit, the UK will once again be in full control of its borders. This presents a perfect opportunity to get tougher on border control, as well as over immigration controls — ensuring those who overstay visas, or who don’t have a right to be here in the first place, are deported quickly. Currently, our system fails to achieve this. It must be reformed.
Unrestricted mass migration has reduced the wages of millions of hardworking Britons. As a direct result of uncontrolled immigration, British workers are £450 worse off a year, according to a report by the left-wing Resolution Foundation. Even economists at the Bank of England — hardly known for their anti-immigrant sentiment — have published reports outlining how wages have been driven down by this over-supply of labour.
While frequently in the news, too often the roots of this country’s housing crisis are ignored. This is almost certainly a crisis which, if not created by migration, is at least exacerbated by it, and is having a significant impact on people’s lives.
The cost of housing in many parts of the country is now astronomical. Buying or renting a property is taking an ever-increasing proportion of people’s income. While the UK would clearly benefit from a program of house building to increase supply, current levels of immigration mean we would need to build around 240 houses every day for the next 20 years — just to house the incoming migrants.
Social housing, which subsidises housing costs by providing them at below market rates, has been overwhelmed by the rapid increase in population. Currently, around a million families sit on social housing waiting lists, which is totally unacceptable. The fact that almost half of all social housing in London is now headed by someone born abroad, demonstrates the impact migration has had on housing within the UK.
While more homes need to be built, this mustn’t come at the cost of our greenbelt. Clearly the demand for housing must be seriously tackled. By lowering demand, prices would invariably fall. However, we should not be willing to see the UK’s natural beauty pillaged and destroyed in order to house 100,000s of people coming here from abroad every year.
The UK’s public services, unsurprisingly, have been unable to cope with this huge increase in the population. The NHS now has to cope with around 3,000 additional people turning up to A&E every single day since last year.
This is in no small measure due to massive uncontrolled migration, putting an almost existential burden onto our public services. In schools, 1 in 15 pupils nationally now have a parent who is a citizen of another country. The large number of different nationalities in classes causes unavoidable difficulties in communication, with extra costs for the necessary additional language teachers required.
The sooner we Get Britain Out of the EU, and bring an end to unrestricted mass migration, which severely restricts the Government’s ability to plan where additional services will even be required, let alone funded, the sooner we will be able to take back control of our borders, and spend British taxpayers’ money on domestic public services.
The EU’s Freedom of Movement has caused or exacerbated a significant proportion of the issues currently facing the UK, and has proved disastrous for many of the UK’s poorest citizens.
Jayne Adye is Director of cross-party grassroots campaign Get Britain Out