Saturday, 28 November 2015

The Telegraph: No, leaving the EU will not solve Britain's immigration worries

The Telegraph: No, leaving the EU will not solve Britain's immigration worries


Article by Will Straw

"If Britain did pull up the drawbridge, it would be harder, not easier, for us to get on top of illegal immigration. We would fall out of the Dublin system, damaging our ability to deport failed asylum-seekers. And as both the French Interior Minister and the Mayor of Calais have warned, the French could insist on moving the UK border back to Dover.

Those of us arguing for Britain to stay in Europe are not uncritical cheerleaders for immigration. I fully understand the reservations many Britons have about the pace and scale of immigration into our country, although I know from countless conversations that most people value the important role of those who come here – particularly to work in our NHS and public transport systems. But it is crucial to recognise that on this issue, as on so many others, Leave campaigners are selling a fantasy.

They say that by leaving we would be more secure against illegal immigration, failing to recognise that dealing with the problem requires co-operation with our European partners. They pretend that we could restrict immigration and retain access to the Single Market at the same time, when no other member state will give us something that they couldn’t have for themselves. And they dismiss the genuine threat of our border moving back to Dover if we left. The truth is that when dealing with the complex issue of immigration, Britain is stronger working with our allies as a part of Europe."

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