EU immigration row / time to get out

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UndercoverElephant
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EU immigration row / time to get out

Post by UndercoverElephant »

OK...nothing to do with peak oil, but very important regarding the future of the UK, IMO.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25087153
I was in Bulgaria last week. It is hard to assess the numbers who will migrate, let alone to Britain, but there are plenty of people who say they will make the journey.

In the end, the discrepancies in wages are too hard to resist. The average annual wage in Bulgaria is about £4,000 compared to £26,000 in the UK. My colleague Emma Jane Kirby found Bulgarian doctors hoping to earn ten times as much in Germany or the UK.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski told me: "For sure some Bulgarians will try and work in Britain. Most of them will look for proper work rather than taking advantage of the welfare system."

But the fear remains that some immigrants will not look for, or find, regular work.

So some EU countries are agonising over how to respond to the lifting of travel and work restrictions. The Times reports that 16 German cities have written to Chancellor Angela Merkel saying they cannot cope with the new arrivals and asking for emergency help from the beginning of next year. Some German politicians openly agree with some of the concerns raised in the UK.
I think this issue has finally pushed me over the edge, and I now want OUT of the EU. It pains me greatly to say this, and I hate finding myself on the same side of any argument as David Cameron, but the prospect of several hundred thousand more eastern Europeans arriving in the UK fills me with dread. Why wouldn't they come here, when they can perfectly legally multiply their salaries several times over? And yet we have a huge unemployment and debt problem in the UK already. The last thing we need is another great influx of people from Romania and Bulgaria.

It's also very personal, because I've already seen what the recent Polish immigrants have done to the British countryside with their foraging activities (i.e. stripping it of everything edible, as if it was a competition to demonstrate the extent of one's personal greed). Do I want to see more of that? No I bloody do not. There are too many people on this island already. An extra 500,000 or 1 million, is a disaster. It is the result of politicians not thinking through the consequences of their decisions, being totally out of touch with the people they are supposed to represent and thinking too much about great idealistic plans without dealing with the bothersome details.

On balance I believe that the benefits of being a member of the EU are now outweighed by the drawbacks, and unless there can be some sort of renegotiation that prevents this sort of mass migration, it is time to get out. For the first time, ever, I can now say that if there was a referendum on the UK's continued membership of the EU, I would vote no. I would vote to get us out of there. I can hardly believe I am writing this, but there you go.

I do not think that the UK is ready to be part of a super-state which also contains places like Bulgaria and Romania. And the fact that people in Germany are now openly saying the same thing, combined with the ongoing joke that is the European single currency, makes me wonder whether the entire EU project needs to be rethought, regardless of the issue of the UK's continued membership.

Also, is it actually in the interests of Bulgaria and Romania that loads of their medical staff are going to emigrate?? It is potentially disastrous for the people of those countries too (those who actually stay home...)
Most importantly, the minister tried to shut the door on a proposal that the government should extent the current controls beyond New Year's Day.

"It simply isn't legally possible," he said. "Treaties would have to be amended. It would not be complicit with treaty obligations."

And then came the polls. By a huge majority those polled did not want a new round of immigration. Some 85% feared schools and hospitals could not cope.
So 85% of the British population do not want these people to come here, because they fear that our public services can't cope. And they are right to fear this, given the current state of our schools and hospitals. This is a recipe for something very unpleasant, socially. I suspect that those people from Romania and Bulgaria who arrive in the UK early next year are going to receive a very frosty welcome from the natives.
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Post by boisdevie »

As someone who left the UK for a hopefully better life in another country I can understand the desire of Bulgarians or anyone else who wants to have a better life. BUT, it should be the right of any country to decide who they want to let in and who they don't want to let in. That's the issue and it's not being addressed in the UK. No wonder people are pissed off.
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Post by adam2 »

Yes.
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Post by extractorfan »

I predict that most will find work and pay tax.

So some may not look for or find work, but that "some" is a very small number.

Of course the net effect is the same, if they have work someone else doesn't.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

They will be willing to work for less and able to do so because their overheads will be lower. That will benefit British industry but the economy?

They will be willing to live ten or more to a house: their rental outgoings are lower and they don't have a mortgage. Is that of benefit to the British worker?

Yes they will contribute to the British economy but a significant proportion of what they earn will be remitted to their native country instead of being recirculated in the British economy; how does that help us?
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Post by Little John »

extractorfan wrote:I predict that most will find work and pay tax.

So some may not look for or find work, but that "some" is a very small number.

Of course the net effect is the same, if they have work someone else doesn't.
Yes, they'll find work. They'll find it by undercutting the poles, who themselves found work by undercutting the English. And who benefits from this endless ruthless completion of the working man and woman against each other? That'll be the bastards at the top, who are also part of the same club as the policy-makers who allowed this insanity to happen. Nobody at the bottom, not even the immigrant themselves, in the long run benefit from this. I don't blame them for coming here and looking for work at lower rates than the locals. We'd do the same. But, it has to stop or there is going to be a dreadful backlash.
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Post by boisdevie »

stevecook172001 wrote:But, it has to stop or there is going to be a dreadful backlash.
I just had this crazy thought. I wonder if all the big political parties have got together and had a competition of some kind along the lines of 'I bet my bit of loony legislation will get them rioting in the streets'. Then they enact the loon legislation and see if they win the bet.
So far the Brits are so apathetic none of the parties has won their bet yet.
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Post by extractorfan »

stevecook172001 wrote:
extractorfan wrote:I predict that most will find work and pay tax.

So some may not look for or find work, but that "some" is a very small number.

Of course the net effect is the same, if they have work someone else doesn't.
Yes, they'll find work. They'll find it by undercutting the poles, who themselves found work by undercutting the English. And who benefits from this endless ruthless completion of the working man and woman against each other? That'll be the bastards at the top, who are also part of the same club as the policy-makers who allowed this insanity to happen. Nobody at the bottom, not even the immigrant themselves, in the long run benefit from this. I don't blame them for coming here and looking for work at lower rates than the locals. We'd do the same. But, it has to stop or there is going to be a dreadful backlash.
I'm not just trying to be argumentative but there is also the fact that people from these countries work harder than the Brits. I know companies paying higher than average rates for the trade but still seem to have a preference for Eastern Europeans. There's a reason for this and it's not because the owners of these companies are fuzzy liberals, they like workers who don't complain and work hard, turn up on time, don't get sick often blah blah blah.

I still acknowledge the problem of population growth though but it's important not to use the excuse "well they'll just do it for low wages".
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Post by UndercoverElephant »

extractorfan wrote:
stevecook172001 wrote:
extractorfan wrote:I predict that most will find work and pay tax.

So some may not look for or find work, but that "some" is a very small number.

Of course the net effect is the same, if they have work someone else doesn't.
Yes, they'll find work. They'll find it by undercutting the poles, who themselves found work by undercutting the English. And who benefits from this endless ruthless completion of the working man and woman against each other? That'll be the bastards at the top, who are also part of the same club as the policy-makers who allowed this insanity to happen. Nobody at the bottom, not even the immigrant themselves, in the long run benefit from this. I don't blame them for coming here and looking for work at lower rates than the locals. We'd do the same. But, it has to stop or there is going to be a dreadful backlash.
I'm not just trying to be argumentative but there is also the fact that people from these countries work harder than the Brits. I know companies paying higher than average rates for the trade but still seem to have a preference for Eastern Europeans. There's a reason for this and it's not because the owners of these companies are fuzzy liberals, they like workers who don't complain and work hard, turn up on time, don't get sick often blah blah blah.

I still acknowledge the problem of population growth though but it's important not to use the excuse "well they'll just do it for low wages".
This is misleading.

They are willing to "work harder for less money" only when you compare what they are doing to what the average working-class British person is willing to do. But from their perspective, another comparison is more pertinent, and it is to do with what they would get for the same amount of work in their own country. In other words, they are being paid a whole load more than a person working the same hours in some country in Eastern Europe which has a considerably lower living standard than others. Which means, as Steve has correctly pointed out, that the living standard of working class British people is being dragged down towards that of Bulgaria and Romania, and the only people benefiting from this arrangement are the bastards at the top.

I cannot imagine why anybody would think that what is about to happen is a good idea apart from the Eastern Europeans who are going to come to this country and a few very wealthy British people who will not be negatively affected by their arrival. It ought to (and apparently has) unite both the political left and the political right to oppose it by any means available. Admittedly it is for different reasons (the left are worried about the consequences for working class people and the right tend to dislike immigration in principle).
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Post by SleeperService »

When HMG starts making noises about leaving the EU then I'd bet serious money that benefiting the bottom end isn't what they have in mind. Cutting EU proscribed holiday and leave allowances, working time regulations, breaks and other worker benefits are the top of the agenda.

Ask anybody working in an Argos warehouse....

As this would just about kill discretionary spending stone dead once the credit cards are maxed out it would be game over. They literally take the last scraps of meat off the bone.

This applies to everybody below the average wage at least, immigrant or not. TPTB keep the sections of the workforce at odds with each other as they know that, should they ever put aside their differences and go for the common enemy, TPTB wouldn't last 48 hours...

IMHO the sooner the better. This country is broken, everything that could be sold has been, nearly everything is on credit (PFI) and the piggy bank is nearly empty. If UK plc were a car it would have been off the road twenty years ago....
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

This race to the bottom in wages will kill capitalism and even corporatism stone dead. You can't make money if people don't have any to spend! Our politicians are just too stupid to see this.
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Post by Little John »

kenneal - lagger wrote:This race to the bottom in wages will kill capitalism and even corporatism stone dead. You can't make money if people don't have any to spend! Our politicians are just too stupid to see this.
Somebody else said that some time ago Kennel:

"Capitalism contains the seeds of it's own destruction"

What you have identified is not an example of poorly run capitalism. It is capitalism and the only thing that has hidden this fundamental contradiction in its heart is growth. Growth is over. Capitalism is over. The only pertinent question, then, is what we replace it with.
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Post by stumuzz »

boisdevie wrote: BUT, it should be the right of any country to decide who they want to let in and who they don't want to let in
But your area of France,Picardie? has the highest representation of the National Front. If it was not for the EU, you would probably not be living there.
Reading some local media last week,the English were getting slated for moving over and 'dropping' out,thus not genuflecting to their revered social security.

On the Bulgarian and Romanian issue. Make no mistake this is all about efficiency, we discussed this on PS years ago. If you have left or socialist beliefs then the future is not going to be fair, equal or distributive.

People whom live on the minimum wage in the UK have one of the highest standards of living in the world. There are plenty of people lining up to displace them.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Most political systems contain the seeds of their own destruction in some way because they are developed by that very error prone species called man. What any system needs in continual tweaking in the form of regulation. Capitalism was not well regulated and has given way to globalism and corporatism which is being even more poorly regulated.

It is the inability to get rid of the global aspect which means that we can't regulate our own system properly as bad regulation or none at all is imposed from outside. Even socialism couldn't be made to work under the present system of global regulation.
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Post by clv101 »

It's all just part of the great global levelling. Rich nations (us) are getting poorer, poor nations (them) are getting richer. The few mega-rich get richer still.

The huge wage disparity between us and them is unsustainable. It'd be lovely if they could become richer without us getting poorer at the same time - but that boat has sailed.

Protectionist policies (like strict border controls, tariffs etc.) may look appealing in the short term but it'll be a sad future if we just entrench the nation state. In my opinion we need weaker nation states and more emphasis on the global. Of course this is likely to be negative for us, at least in the short term. But only because we're in such a ridiculously unequal situation atm.
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