UK has a long established policy to shut its borders for migrants from outside the EU. PM David Cameron agreed to accept 20,000 Syrian refugees over a period of 5 years. The Brexit vote for LEAVE was a result of legitimate EU citizens from “New Europe” flooding the British market place. See the local protest and revolt to losing the lower end jobs to Polish and Eastern European citizens. Brussels had been warned and national leaders failed to heed the timely warnings. Poor judgement from “leadership” in Brussels made expansion to the Russian border their number one priority. Decisions made on political motives with Washington often forcing their hand, see also the talks with Turkey and the blackmail by Erdogan.
○ Viewpoints: Should borders be open? | BBC News – 2004 |
○ Migrant crisis: Migration to Europe explained in seven charts | BBC News – March 2016 |
Disclaimer under BBC articles:
- A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move
who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people
fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as
well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule
are economic migrants.
Times of McCarthyism returns, a civil discourse has become impossible or ideas/news get censored. Watch the social media conglomarates Google, Facebook, etc. AJ and RT have already been cut on the cable in western democracies or made life difficult. During the Cold War 1.0 there was far more openness with confrontation of Communist propaganda through education. In the 1960s, one could choose Russian as foreign language in high school and on University level we had courses about propaganda, economics, Marx and Hegel. Education is not a priority in the UK nor in the USA for the 21st century. On recent visits to London I was astonished about bureaucracy (as I knew it before Thatcher), inefficient organisation at the local level, overcrowded primary schools, many expanded with temporary units, massive poverty and inequality, delapited infrastructure of highways throughout Greater London, smog and high levels of pollution in urban housing areas. In the rush hour of pedestrians moving towards Canary Wharf, 90% were well dressed young people (age 25-35) all connected to smartphones and talking, large majority speaking a foreign language (Asian and East-European), no interaction with surroundings, quite ambitious which is as it should be. Beggars were stationed on a number of places, sitting on newspapers to protect themselves somewhat from the cold. The NHS is coming under attack for years now.
○ Read: European Court of Justice rules UK must clean up air pollution
- Unlike the smoky pollution of the past, NO2 is a hidden killer. “These days you can’t see pollution, you can’t smell it or taste it, so you’d be forgiven for thinking there was no pollution – but there certainly is,” says Monsour.
His next stop is a primary school in Poplar, one of the 1,000 schools in London sitting just 150 metres or less from roads on which at least 10,000 vehicles go past. This school is just 10m or so from the roaring A12, where more than 100,000 HGVs, coaches, construction trucks and cars roar past, while others queue for the nearby exit to the equally busy A13.
See also Frank Schnittger’s diary – A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall: Brexit disaster looms.
Below the fold an update: Keeping the Union of 27 Together …
○ Europe’s priority now is to keep the union of 27 together | The Guardian – Opinion |
While in March 2016, 61% of Germans polled suggested they would vote against exiting the European Union in a potential referendum, this number grew to almost 70% in August, suggesting that citizens feel a greater need for European solidarity and security in the face of a potential break-up. Trump’s inauguration is likely to cement this sentiment; consider that one aspect of Trump’s interview in Bild that aroused particular controversy was his suggestion that further exits from the European Union were not only likely but inevitable.
In Berlin’s political class, a similar sense of acceptance has developed. The result of the June 2016 referendum did not really come as a surprise to Berlin; what did create a strong sense of bafflement, however, was that Westminster had not adequately planned for this outcome. After the referendum, several government ministers expressed their dismay at what was seen as utterly careless behaviour by British politicians.
“Europe is not something to play around with,” the foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, commented in front of Berlin’s ambassadorial corps last summer, a hardly veiled criticism of the “Brexiters”. In fact, the political chaos unleashed by the referendum only strengthened the view that forced to choose between retaining bountiful economic relations with Britain or keeping the EU in good shape, Berlin should choose the latter.
More positively, the threat to European cohesion has brought Berlin and Paris closer together again and, at this stage, Berlin is much more worried about France’s future in the EU. A President Le Pen is a grave, existential threat to the EU, in a way Brexit never really could be.
The German government has resisted wooing by London lately, insistent that there would be no negotiations without Britain officially triggering article 50. Berlin has stood remarkably firm on this particular point over the past months, arguing that there could be no compromise on the “four freedoms”.
Having said that, German officials know from experience that what seems black and white from their point of view might in fact be different shades of grey on the other side of the Channel. In other words, Berlin also anticipates that in the upcoming negotiations, May’s currently clear-cut goals could very well give way to a more erratic approach; negotiating special rules for specific sectors, such as the financial industry, might still be on the table further down the road.
Berlin is prepared for the EU to enter a period of complex and demanding negotiations once article 50 has been triggered; considering last week’s speech, it has become abundantly clear that Britain will have to punch extremely hard in order to realise May’s vision of a “global Britain”.
Philip Hammond’s recent interview in German newspaper Die Welt, in which he implied that the UK could effectively become a “tax haven” as a means of relief from the consequences of Brexit, was universally rebuked in Germany, illustrating the state of current discourse.