Monday 24 October 2016

Brexit - Is free movement a red line for the Out voters.

Last bit about Brexit for a while, promise.
However, an interesting, well managed, debate on LBC this morning. The Liberal Democrat, Remain voting presenter put the usual idea that people didn't understand that they were voting to actually quit the single market.
It went on to suggest that if Scotland and Northern Island were proposing to exit the UK, via a referendum, would the voters reconsider a second referendum to remain in the single market, with free movement, but possibly opting out of other areas of EU control instead.

This has been doing the rounds for a few weeks now. The idea that the UK fears a break-up enough to accept free movement. And the recent economic shocks have woken people up to the dangers of a go it alone exit.

Personally, I think not.

I doubt the Scots will call another referendum on Scottish independence. The $ oil price alone means that the economic arguments that they couldn't win last time will be harder this time. Plus the unlikelihood  of automatic EU membership being offered. {Spain will veto} makes an argument that was lost once, harder to win the second time. Not impossible. Brexit proves that. But hard to win.
It was 45% - 55% in a more favourable time. The way Sturgeon is only hinting she might do something, rather than saying she will definitely, demonstrates the SNP recognises that it may get more from bluff, than from call.

Northern Ireland won't vote to leave. The main fears, deliberately stoked up by project fear; the threat of a Berlin Wall style border and the threat of no trade with Ireland and repatriation of EU nationals, have all been shown to have been false. So N.I. is unlikely to vote in the same numbers that it did when its genuinely felt self-intrests were threatened.

And, the killer blow for such a Liberal scheme, is that the free movement was a central issue. Not a side issue but the first or second reason why people voted to leave in the first place.
An attempt to keep free movement, by the back door, would not be acceptable.

But, let's find out. Do you believe that if TM can do a deal with the EU, to remain in the single market, but to have free movement, with some restrictions on benefits claimed and possibly having to have a job arranged before coming, some kind of eurofudge that we are all well used to seeing.
Would that be enough for YOU to vote in favour of REMAIN, in a second referendum ?


E-K said...


The EU cheats.

Anonymous said...

"Remain voting presenter put the usual idea that people didn't understand that they were voting to actually quit the single market."

Except of course this was covered repeatedly by Remain during the referendum.

There are lots of video clips of Cameron and Osborne saying that a vote to Leave is a vote to Leave the Single Market. Over and over and over again.

Remain also said that the UK could not countenance the EEA/Norway option because it meant accepting rules without any means of shaping them. I.e. the worst of all possible worlds.

Norwegian pols presumably on request by Camerborne lined up to say that they would not consider their example as one to follow.

Remain's position could not have been clearer.

There are also plenty of examples of Boris and Gove saying that Leave meant leaving the single market.

On the fundamental issue of having control over our own laws and being subject to non-UK courts, membership of the single market is indistinguishable from full EU membership.

The Norway model was developed to allow Norway to salami-slice its way IN despite its voters saying they did not want to join the EU *TWICE*. It is not a model for semi-detached status, nor as a model for outward-leaving states.

In summary, staying in the single market is the same as staying in the EU, which is why Osborne Clegg Sturgeon et al. are now demanding it.

Like it or not, voters voted to Leave and they voted to Leave knowing perfectly well what they were voting for.

Mark In Mayenne said...

For me the issue is more about the lack of democracy in the EU.

A parliament that can't propose legislation? An unelected president?

Peter MacFarlane said...

"Would that be enough for YOU to vote in favour of REMAIN, in a second referendum ?"

No, of course not.

Because "they" would then still be in charge, and that is why I voted to leave.

Jan said...

The issues are:

2)control of borders

so no

Any kind of euro-fudge is going back on what we clearly voted for.

John in Cheshire said...

I cannot foresee anything that would persuade me to change my mind and vote to Remain in the EU.

Antisthenes said...

I want a hard Brexit for a mountain of reasons but free movement is not one of them. I would be happy with controlled movement our economic well being relies on a large pool of skilled labour and the EU has an abundance of it outside not so much. Being realistic we cannot leave the single market not because we cannot prosper outside of it but because the confidence of too many that we rely on our prosperity for will be shattered. Post Brexit it is important that that is not the case otherwise all the doomsayers will be proven right. In the end we will have to accept EFTA/EEA membership as the only Brexit possible under the circumstances. It will not be exactly what we what but it will give us a lot more than we have now. Free movement we will have to accept but it will also be controllable much more than it is now.

Steven_L said...

How much do the EU want it? Would they use the nuclear option and threaten to send 250k UK pensioners and nearly a million UK workers home?

Don't assume they wouldn't.

Elby the Beserk said...

"I doubt the Scots will call another referendum on Scottish independence"

Only Westminster can do that, whatever the Wee Binty might like to claim

Elby the Beserk said...

Free movement and mega-welfare states (such as out own) are incompatible.

Antisthenes said...

"Free movement and mega-welfare states (such as out own) are incompatible."

Indeed we lose sight of this fact. It is that alone that accounts for so many heading for Europe and particularly the UK. It is also a major factor for many Eastern Europeans heading here as well. Other factors also play a part we are more liberal (in the classic meaning of that word, the progressives meaning quite the opposite) than many other countries even European ones. Is one.

Bill Quango MP said...

The welfare state bit is a part of it. But I believe for many of the Eastern Europeans it was the high value paid for work.

£7.20 may not seem like very much - £15,000 a year.
But its mostly untaxed.

And translates to 3 to 5 times more spending power in the home nation.

Say £6,000 a year being sent home. That's £18,000 - £30,000 being sent back without claiming any benefits.

I have said before, but bears repeating. A dad i know from the playground pickup, Polish guy, has been a foreman on a fruit farm for about eight years now.
He has paid for half a fruit farm in Poland with the money he sent back.
The rest on bank loans.

Good for him. Seems a nice enough bloke. And no one wanted his job anyway. He hasn't taken anything from the UK except 2 school places. It would have been fine if 750,000 other Poles and 500,000 Romanians, 300,000 Hungarians - 250,000 Baltic states etc all decided to follow him.

And even then it wouldn't have mattered except for the equal increase and more of Non EU nations numbers and the total lack of any government administration of such large numbers of people.

dustybloke said...

The free market was the Trojan Horse within which the One State was disseminated through Europe.

It is integral to that concept and is meaningless without it. Might as well ask for free movement between here and Texas.

If it happens, then you know that, however it's dressed up, we haven't left the EU.

The SNP are terrified of a referendum, it would end their raison d'etre.

They will content themselves with being meddling little shits in the Commons to satisfy their more rabid supporters.

Steven_L said...

The SNP are terrified of a referendum, it would end their raison d'etre.

Nope, the SNP represent the 40%+ Scots that want Scotland to leave the UK. It is not a bluff, they will use Brexit to try to make Scotland leave the UK. They care far more about leaving the UK than they do being in the EU.

Electro-Kevin said...

Can anyone explain why NGOs/charities have taken over from the government on who is allowed into Britain to become British citizens ?

Electro-Kevin said...

"How much do the EU want it? Would they use the nuclear option and threaten to send 250k UK pensioners and nearly a million UK workers home?

Don't assume they wouldn't."

Then we send all sorts back to them.

Electro-Kevin said...

Interestingly the comments on this brilliant article seem to indicate that the Scots are getting thoroughly sick of the Ginger Whinger.

Steven_L said...

Then we send all sorts back to them

And that's the reality of not reaching an amicable agreement on immigration status isn't it? You'd hope that common sense would prevail and folk currently residing would experience no change in status. But if a 'qualified majority' of member states unite around the position "If you remove free movement we're revoking the right of British immigrants living in the EU to reside" it could come to this.

Or we back down and keep free movement. Which is more likely?

Blue Eyes said...

If the Scots have another vote, I want a vote on the permanent bail-out of the whinging spongers.

dustybloke said...

The SNP will only countenance an independent Scotland that has access to the Bank of England. We came close to that when the idiot McCameron brought in the idiot McBrown.

Without the BoE, Scotland will be bankrupt after the first year. No EU, no BoE, and when the "experts" tell you a country can't become bankrupt, ask yourself where the money comes from when you haven't got any, you can't print any, no one will lend you any and you can't invade anywhere to steal any?

I suppose you could always ask Richard Murphy to guide you through those muddy economic waters. Then you could become Robinson McCrusoe.

Steven_L said...

The SNP will only countenance an independent Scotland that has access to the Bank of England.

They have to promise to keep the £ to get enough support to cross the 50% threshold.

Anonymous said...

In response Steven_L unless they have the Euro?

BTW, has anyone asked the SNP what % over remain, leave has to be to count as a win? We know from the SNP itself that 52.5% isn't a mandate for Brexit.
55% isn't enough to end referendums on exactly the same topic either.

So, maybe the threshold should be 60% ? That's a pretty clear win.

Anonymous said...

Obviously it only takes 1 vote more to leave the UK. But according to Sturgeon's logic, any area that voted to stay in the UK would be allowed to. Edinburgh, for example.

L fairfax said...

I don't have any problem with freedom of labour, but I don't want to pay people to come here. I know people who got off the plane from Spain and got a flat.

Anonymous said...

BQ - "Good for him. Seems a nice enough bloke. And no one wanted his job anyway. He hasn't taken anything from the UK except 2 school places"

No one wanted his job at the money offered. If you offered more money, people would still pick fruit. I did as a youth. The UK produced fruit and veg before 1971. And 2 school places will cost about £12,000 a year at State prices. He won't be paying anywhere near that amount in tax if he's on 15K - maybe £600 a year plus the tax on his booze. And that £6,000 a year he sends home is lost to the UK economy.

So in fact, nice chap as he be (and I don't blame him either, I blame our politicians), he's actually taking rather a lot from the UK, while primarily enriching his employer.

Steven_L said...

In response Steven_L unless they have the Euro?

I suspect some of the SNP executive would like to adopt the Euro, or even have their own currency, but they have calculated that promising to keep the £ is the best way to get a mandate for independence from the electorate.

The line they took was "if you expect us to take our share of the debt, then we should get our share of the assets" and it went down well with the voters. And there is some truth in it, because in the event of independence, if the UK ejected Scotland from the official 'sterling zone' there is no mechanism by which they can force Scotland to owe them a debt.

At the end of the day, the potential upheaval to FS industry balance sheets would possibly have forced the 'sterling zone' to remain as it was anyway.

But this is all besides the point. The point is that in the comments here there has long been a suspicion that the Scots independence movement is just a bluff to get more money / powers from England. It was/is no more a bluff to leaving the UK than UKIP was/is a bluff to the UK leaving the EU. They are deadly serious about doing it. It is their #1 aim.

andrew said...

It depends what the price is.

If we get to pick the bits we want
(no freedom of movement, passporting for the city, southern french weather in wales, not paying for anything etc etc),
and bin the rest, I am all for staying.

Those who are happy exiters should not forget they won 52/48, and the young generally voted in.
You should allow the narrowness of the majority as a caution to not go for the hardest of exits unless you can portray it as the EU's fault.

TM is probably thinking of the next election and if she can navigate that v.v. narrow path that does not hack off too many on the 52 or 48 side,
she will reap the next 15 years or so

Anonymous said...

@Raedwald: 60% of Nigerians are Christian, of which about a quarter are Catholic. Any reason you prefer Polish Catholics to Nigerian Catholics (who are generally educated in English and have a fondness for British culture)?

Anonymous said...

England and Wales should leave the UK, allowing Scotland, NI and London to remain in the EU.

Personally, I don't care about having free movement, it is the bureaucratic and political structures I want to leave. Switzerland and Lichtenstein are able to manage immigration to some extent, and are in the Schengen area, without being in the EU, and so there doesn't need to be any hard border between London and the rest of England, or between Scotland and England.