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Brexit makes it very difficult to move to another country and get employment

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TheSeeker

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Not sure if this helps but my own situation pre-brexit was :-

Graduated University in South Wales in 1998.
Found a job in Slough for a UK firm.
Was immediately sent to Belgium for a big project they had won (fixing the Y2K problem for an insurance company)
Met a woman in a bar.
Eventually quit my job in Slough and found one in Brussels.
Moved here full time in 2000.

Things to note even when the UK was in the EU :-

On arriving in Belgium to live I had eight days to register at the town hall.
I had to show my new work contract or proof of being able to support myself (bank balance etc).
Proof of good conduct, i.e. no criminal record from South Wales police.
A policeman came to my flat to check I was living there, looked through my clothes, checked my name was on the doorbell and letterbox etc.
I was given an EU citizens "E" ID card, after five years this was upgraded to "E+" meaning permanent residency.
I was obliged to take health insurance (although this is generally not for profit and not expensive in Belgium).

So things may be worse for UK citizens post Brexit but freedom of movement in the EU/Schengen has always come at a cost of administrative overhead.

Post-brexit vote I applied for and received Belgian citizenship.
 
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WestCoast

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Not sure if this helps but my own situation pre-brexit was :-

Graduated University in South Wales in 1998.
Found a job in Slough for a UK firm.
Was immediately sent to Belgium for a big project they had won (fixing the Y2K problem for an insurance company)
Met a woman in a bar.
Eventually quit my job in Slough and found one in Brussels.
Moved here full time in 2000.

Things to note even when the UK was in the EU :-

On arriving in Belgium to live I had eight days to register at the town hall.
I had to show my new work contract or proof of being able to support myself (bank balance etc).
Proof of good conduct, i.e. no criminal record from South Wales police.
A policeman came to my flat to check I was living there, looked through my clothes, checked my name was on the doorbell and letterbox etc.
I was given an EU citizens "E" ID card, after five years this was upgraded to "E+" meaning permanent residency.
I was obliged to take health insurance (although this is generally not for profit and not expensive in Belgium).

So things may be worse for UK citizens post Brexit but freedom of movement in the EU/Schengen has always come at a cost of administrative overhead.

Post-brexit vote I applied for and received Belgian citizenship.

There have always been sensible conditions around freedom of movement that nation states are entitled to enforce, job after 3 months or money in the bank, long-term housing, healthcare coverage etc. That fact the UK didn’t have a proper pre-Brexit system to verify this always puzzled me, we were always told no way to control anything.
 

RT4038

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There have always been sensible conditions around freedom of movement that nation states are entitled to enforce, job after 3 months or money in the bank, long-term housing, healthcare coverage etc. That fact the UK didn’t have a proper pre-Brexit system to verify this always puzzled me, we were always told no way to control anything.

I suspect that what we were always told is probably basically correct. The UK could have controlled these things if we had more intrusive systems, such as ID cards, and health / social pseudo-insurance, but we don't, and attempts to introduce such things were met with stiff resistance (partly on 'open society' grounds and partly 'anti-Europeanisation').
Belgium and many other EU states have always had more intrusive government administration (the legal presumption of everything being illegal unless specifically permitted, versus our everything is legal unless specifically prohibited). We could have changed to being more European, but I don't think there was any appetite for this.
 

takno

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I suspect that what we were always told is probably basically correct. The UK could have controlled these things if we had more intrusive systems, such as ID cards, and health / social pseudo-insurance, but we don't, and attempts to introduce such things were met with stiff resistance (partly on 'open society' grounds and partly 'anti-Europeanisation').
Belgium and many other EU states have always had more intrusive government administration (the legal presumption of everything being illegal unless specifically permitted, versus our everything is legal unless specifically prohibited). We could have changed to being more European, but I don't think there was any appetite for this.
We have developed tons of processes which effectively require ID cards, and presume immigrants to be illegal unless specifically permitted. We basically have all that admin anyway, not that we need it because immigrants to the UK are already such heavy net contributors to the treasury. The government just chose not to face down various newspapers and public figures when they were telling bare-faced lies about it.
 

RT4038

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We have developed tons of processes which effectively require ID cards, and presume immigrants to be illegal unless specifically permitted. We basically have all that admin anyway, not that we need it because immigrants to the UK are already such heavy net contributors to the treasury. The government just chose not to face down various newspapers and public figures when they were telling bare-faced lies about it.
And how did any of this control FOM EU immigrants, which is what is being referred to?
 

takno

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And how did any of this control FOM EU immigrants, which is what is being referred to
It didn't, it just illustrates that there was no actual need to "control" them at all, since having them was net more profitable than not having them. If there had ever been any kind of actual issues we could have actually enforced the restrictions and sent the jobless ones home.
 

RT4038

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It didn't, it just illustrates that there was no actual need to "control" them at all, since having them was net more profitable than not having them. If there had ever been any kind of actual issues we could have actually enforced the restrictions and sent the jobless ones home.

And how would we have enforced the restrictions? We've no idea who is here?
The poster in #61 was referring to the administrative system in Belgium and why the UK did not have anything similar, not whether there was any need to control immigrants or whether they are profitable or not. Perhaps Belgium did not wait until there was a problem, but had controls from the very start. If these immigrants were as good for us as you say, the same surely would apply in Belgium?
 

takno

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And how would we have enforced the restrictions? We've no idea who is here?
The poster in #61 was referring to the administrative system in Belgium and why the UK did not have anything similar, not whether there was any need to control immigrants or whether they are profitable or not. Perhaps Belgium did not wait until there was a problem, but had controls from the very start. If these immigrants were as good for us as you say, the same surely would apply in Belgium?
We know who is working here because we have hard controls on employment, we know who is living here because they are on the electoral roll and council tax register, and we know who is using services and claiming benefits because we control those too. We could have made those controls stricter to control fraud, but it has never been judged worth the effort. Most of the fraud in all those environments is committed by British Nationals anyway, so resident Europeans barely factor into the equation.

Other countries in Europe do more or less the same thing - they require the same of European citizens as they do of their own. It just so happens that the normal requirements of citizenship in a lot of Europe include registration at the town hall, and accurate maintenance of address records. We don't do that because it's a faff for everyone and a massive waste of time and resources. We monitored the results of non-British nationals being here doing the same thing, and all of the evidence we have is that they were nicely profitable for us, so we didn't change anything.

There are people arguing for id cards and strict registration in this country, but the fraud they are trying to prevent is largely committed by British Nationals and not foreigners.
 

A Challenge

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And how would we have enforced the restrictions? We've no idea who is here?
Surely, given people who come in through Freedom of Movement were coming here legally, we would have records through passports of everybody who entered and left the country (together with Ireland because o the CTA), which would at least tell is who is the country, if not where?
 

RT4038

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We know who is working here because we have hard controls on employment, we know who is living here because they are on the electoral roll and council tax register, and we know who is using services and claiming benefits because we control those too. We could have made those controls stricter to control fraud, but it has never been judged worth the effort. Most of the fraud in all those environments is committed by British Nationals anyway, so resident Europeans barely factor into the equation.

Other countries in Europe do more or less the same thing - they require the same of European citizens as they do of their own. It just so happens that the normal requirements of citizenship in a lot of Europe include registration at the town hall, and accurate maintenance of address records. We don't do that because it's a faff for everyone and a massive waste of time and resources. We monitored the results of non-British nationals being here doing the same thing, and all of the evidence we have is that they were nicely profitable for us, so we didn't change anything.

There are people arguing for id cards and strict registration in this country, but the fraud they are trying to prevent is largely committed by British Nationals and not foreigners.

Most of those controls you mention are not exactly 'hard' - are EU citizens washing cars hard controlled on employment, on the electoral roll and council tax registers? Yeah right.

The UK has never had particularly strict controls, being averse to such administration. Somebody may well have judged it to be too much faff, but even if they hadn't, introducing same would be very difficult.

With the 'controls' that we do have, it would be almost impossible to enforce any restrictions on EU FOM. Whether Belgium is any better, I do not know, but my experience of countries with ID documents is that life is very difficult without one!

Surely, given people who come in through Freedom of Movement were coming here legally, we would have records through passports of everybody who entered and left the country (together with Ireland because o the CTA), which would at least tell is who is the country, if not where?

On the assumption that (a) the two sets of information are actually compared and records kept, and (b) this information has been collected accurately for the last 40+ years, which it hasn't.
 
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TheSeeker

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Whether Belgium is any better, I do not know, but my experience of countries with ID documents is that life is very difficult without one!
Indeed. Impossible to rent accommodation, open a bank account, get a mortgage or any type of credit, buy a car, sell a car (selling anything second hand you are asked for ID) get married, take stuff to the dump, buy a mobile phone subscription, visit the doctor (I had a covid test last week), the list goes on and on.

Probably why so many migrants see the UK as the best place to be. Everything is checked at the border but after that nobody seems to care. A German friend who moved to Wales several years ago couldn’t understand why he didn’t have to register with the police or local authority.
 

RT4038

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Indeed. Impossible to rent accommodation, open a bank account, get a mortgage or any type of credit, buy a car, sell a car (selling anything second hand you are asked for ID) get married, take stuff to the dump, buy a mobile phone subscription, visit the doctor (I had a covid test last week), the list goes on and on.

Probably why so many migrants see the UK as the best place to be. Everything is checked at the border but after that nobody seems to care. A German friend who moved to Wales several years ago couldn’t understand why he didn’t have to register with the police or local authority.

So the answer to #62 is that the statement that we were told that we are unable to control anything (with European FOM immigrants) was basically true, without introducing European style controls on the general population at large, which for various reasons would have been unacceptable.
Presumably one of the reasons that other EU countries had less issue with FOM (and other reasons besides)?
 

Cloud Strife

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Another example of how things are much worse:

A friend's company has the choice between hiring a British architect with permanent residency here in Poland, or a Polish architect. They want the British architect, as they do plenty of projects abroad and he's the ideal 'face' of the company for them. Unfortunately, because he would need to get a work permit for any on-site work in a foreign country, it's just not worth the hassle when they can employ a EU citizen who isn't restricted in any way.

The guy can work freely in Poland, but not elsewhere in the EU. Business trips are ok, but any actual work isn't.
 

biko

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I suspect that what we were always told is probably basically correct. The UK could have controlled these things if we had more intrusive systems, such as ID cards, and health / social pseudo-insurance, but we don't, and attempts to introduce such things were met with stiff resistance (partly on 'open society' grounds and partly 'anti-Europeanisation').
Belgium and many other EU states have always had more intrusive government administration (the legal presumption of everything being illegal unless specifically permitted, versus our everything is legal unless specifically prohibited). We could have changed to being more European, but I don't think there was any appetite for this.
I've read some of these myths before on the forum, but it's not true that everything is illegal unless specifically permitted. For example, the Dutch constitution explicitly mentions that nothing is illegal unless specifically included in a law. Also, I wouldn't say health insurance is an intrusive system, at least not in the countries that I know.

There is a culture difference however with respect to the administration. Napoleon introduced a civil registration in most countries in Europe based on the French model. All births, deaths and marriages were included and everybody needed to adopt a surname. Therefore, it is exactly known who are the inhabitants of a country. Also there is a requirement of letting the municipality know you are living there. If you're not registered at a municipality it is impossible to receive benefits or do any business with the government, making it difficult to be illegal. In the UK, this seems all managed in a totally different way.

ID cards are, I think, another difference. Personally, I don't like that is obligatory to carry some form of ID with one at all times, but it makes life in other areas much better. No faffing around with energy bills to show who you are and it is easy to establish who somebody is.

So the answer to #62 is that the statement that we were told that we are unable to control anything (with European FOM immigrants) was basically true, without introducing European style controls on the general population at large, which for various reasons would have been unacceptable.
Presumably one of the reasons that other EU countries had less issue with FOM (and other reasons besides)?
I wouldn't call it controls on the population, it is merely checking if somebody lives in the country. This makes indeed passport-free travel and FOM less of a problem. But the UK was never part of Schengen and thus could easily check who was coming in. If the UK would also ask people to register at the local authority, it would be easy to check who is living where. Why would it be unacceptable to just ask people to say where they live?
 

WelshBluebird

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Indeed. Impossible to rent accommodation, open a bank account, get a mortgage or any type of credit, buy a car, sell a car (selling anything second hand you are asked for ID) get married, take stuff to the dump, buy a mobile phone subscription, visit the doctor (I had a covid test last week), the list goes on and on.

Probably why so many migrants see the UK as the best place to be. Everything is checked at the border but after that nobody seems to care. A German friend who moved to Wales several years ago couldn’t understand why he didn’t have to register with the police or local authority.
But we still do need some kind of ID for a lot of that stuff in the UK, it is just that because there is no "official" ID that everyone has, the ID requirements of such things are often pretty confusing! Try renting a flat, opening a bank account and starting a new job without some kind of photo ID (usually a passport or driving license, and if you don't have either it starts to get pretty difficult pretty quickly).

Whilst your suggestion that "nobody seems to care" may be your own / your friends experience - the law is very different. For example a landlord must make sure that someone has the right to rent in this country, and an employer must make sure someone has the right to work here. Just because some landlords / employers ignore those rules, it doesn't mean they aren't rule that should be being followed.

We have developed tons of processes which effectively require ID cards
Yep - but because of this weird aversion to an "official" ID card, it means that people have to play a stupid little game of "which ID will be accepted today" when doing things like opening a bank account or starting a new job. A game that is much harder if you do not have a passport or a driving license. And even when you do, quite often you'll need something like a utility bill or bank statement - things that in todays age are just not as widespread (I've not had a paper utility bill or bank statement in years!).

I do find it somewhat ironic / amusing that most people who get all red eyed about ID cards and go on rants about civil liberties probably already have a passport or a driving license and so firstly their details are already on some government database, and secondly they don't have any of the problems that people without a passport or a driving license have that an official ID card would solve.
 
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RT4038

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While the UK was an EU member, introducing a European style Health or Social Insurance system in the UK would have been politically very difficult, as would a system of compulsory registration of residents. Its very suggestion would have invoked cries of evidence that the EU was changing our culture etc. on the one hand, and fears that this was a first step towards commercialising (a la USA, and therefore to the disadvantage of the poorer sections of the community) of such Insurance, and the first step towards a Police State [compulsory registration] on the other. Paradoxically, it may be a bit easier to introduce an Insurance system now, but the political difficulties should not be underestimated.

The UK Health and Social systems, the level of anonymity and the availability of work made the country a desirable place for EU FoM workers and families, especially from the (poorer) newly admitted former Communist bloc countries. Our systems were not designed to inhibit this movement in any way. The only control of this movement that was possible (ejecting jobless migrants, which was not a real problem anyway), was largely theoretical, as we have no practical system to determine and carry this out.

So, if the FoM people all have jobs, there are no controls possible. There are arguments that these immigrants are of net worth to the country, but this is little consolation if your town is swamped, your language hardly heard in the shopping street, your schools with more than 50% non English first speakers, your chances of getting a job reduced etc. It is not the immigrants as people - good luck to them - it is the sheer numbers and concentration; the frustration that life in your town has been changed for some greater European good with little in it for you. The theoretical right of retiring to a villa in Spain doesn't really cut it as a fair exchange. The failure of both British and EU politicians to recognise and deal with this issue most certainly contributed to so many voting for Brexit.
 

takno

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But we still do need some kind of ID for a lot of that stuff in the UK, it is just that because there is no "official" ID that everyone has, the ID requirements of such things are often pretty confusing! Try renting a flat, opening a bank account and starting a new job without some kind of photo ID (usually a passport or driving license, and if you don't have either it starts to get pretty difficult pretty quickly).

Whilst your suggestion that "nobody seems to care" may be your own / your friends experience - the law is very different. For example a landlord must make sure that someone has the right to rent in this country, and an employer must make sure someone has the right to work here. Just because some landlords / employers ignore those rules, it doesn't mean they aren't rule that should be being followed.


Yep - but because of this weird aversion to an "official" ID card, it means that people have to play a stupid little game of "which ID will be accepted today" when doing things like opening a bank account or starting a new job. A game that is much harder if you do not have a passport or a driving license. And even when you do, quite often you'll need something like a utility bill or bank statement - things that in todays age are just not as widespread (I've not had a paper utility bill or bank statement in years!).

I do find it somewhat ironic / amusing that most people who get all red eyed about ID cards and go on rants about civil liberties probably already have a passport or a driving license and so firstly their details are already on some government database, and secondly they don't have any of the problems that people without a passport or a driving license have that an official ID card would solve.
My objection to ID cards was that I didn't want all this control and checking of ID all the time. Boasting about getting rid of the card but still creating the overbearing checking and state control was just evil (or incompetent). Either way the best plan at this point would probably be to just introduce the cards. They should be free mind - having to pay 30 quid for the right to prove you exist is dystopian.

So, if the FoM people all have jobs, there are no controls possible. There are arguments that these immigrants are of net worth to the country, but this is little consolation if your town is swamped, your language hardly heard in the shopping street, your schools with more than 50% non English first speakers, your chances of getting a job reduced etc. It is not the immigrants as people - good luck to them - it is the sheer numbers and concentration; the frustration that life in your town has been changed for some greater European good with little in it for you. The theoretical right of retiring to a villa in Spain doesn't really cut it as a fair exchange. The failure of both British and EU politicians to recognise and deal with this issue most certainly contributed to so many voting for Brexit.
Ah, the racist argument. It's honest I guess if nothing else.
 

RT4038

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Ah, the racist argument. It's honest I guess if nothing else.

You can label it whatever you like. Perhaps you believe that calling people racist will make them cower in fear of politically incorrectness, and shut up? Perhaps they did, and vented their feelings in a secret ballot? I don't think anywhere in the world would immigration on a similar scale, threatening the economic and social security of some of the population, come without repercussions. Maybe you don't live in an affected area, or possibly you do but it is not an issue for you?

Whatever, I believe failure to recognise and pragmatically deal with this situation has contributed to the Brexit vote. Bit of an own goal for the protagonists of UK EU membership and unfettered FoM on both sides of the Channel - lost the lot.
 

takno

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You can label it whatever you like. Perhaps you believe that calling people racist will make them cower in fear of politically incorrectness, and shut up? Perhaps they did, and vented their feelings in a secret ballot? I don't think anywhere in the world would immigration on a similar scale, threatening the economic and social security of some of the population, come without repercussions. Maybe you don't live in an affected area, or possibly you do but it is not an issue for you?

Whatever, I believe failure to recognise and pragmatically deal with this situation has contributed to the Brexit vote. Bit of an own goal for the protagonists of UK EU membership and unfettered FoM on both sides of the Channel - lost the lot.
I don't expect people to cower in the slightest. I'd much prefer people made arguments based on what was making them feel the way they do rather than making up specious claims about immigrants costing money, or there needing to be more rules for obscure reasons. I think people ought to feel ashamed of feeling that way, and should endeavour to become better people, but no I don't want racists cowering or chuntering on about political correctness.

As to the economic and social security of the population, that is being threatened by a terrible government denying whole regions the support they need to cope with a changing world. The immigrants aren't taking jobs and housing that "belong" to local people, they're just like everybody else, trying to get by in a community the government has decided to shaft.

Anyway, this thread is supposed to be about the difficulty of going in the opposite direction, so let's not derail it.
 

WelshBluebird

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You can label it whatever you like. Perhaps you believe that calling people racist will make them cower in fear of politically incorrectness, and shut up? Perhaps they did, and vented their feelings in a secret ballot? I don't think anywhere in the world would immigration on a similar scale, threatening the economic and social security of some of the population, come without repercussions. Maybe you don't live in an affected area, or possibly you do but it is not an issue for you?
And yet, by and large the areas that tend to make the largest noises about immigration are the areas barely affected by it!

One of the places I have heard all of those excuses trotted out is back where I grew up in the Rhondda valley in South Wales. During the Brexit campaign, based on what people were saying, you'd have thought the area had a huge immigrant population that was taking up all of the jobs and all of the local resources. Yet the area is around 95% white British. Even taking somewhere local to area that is seen as having a large immigrant population, like Cardiff, you see a white British population of about 85%.

And I am pretty sure if you take a wider view around the UK you would probably see the same.
Places that do have high levels of immigration (London, Birmingham, Bristol), voted by and large to remain. Places that have low levels of immigration (Cornwall, Devon, much of Wales etc) voted to leave.
 

LSWR Cavalier

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Folk memory,are people influenced by that? There was huge migration to South Wales many many years ago, from North Wales, Ireland, Italy, England..
 

RT4038

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And yet, by and large the areas that tend to make the largest noises about immigration are the areas barely affected by it!

One of the places I have heard all of those excuses trotted out is back where I grew up in the Rhondda valley in South Wales. During the Brexit campaign, based on what people were saying, you'd have thought the area had a huge immigrant population that was taking up all of the jobs and all of the local resources. Yet the area is around 95% white British. Even taking somewhere local to area that is seen as having a large immigrant population, like Cardiff, you see a white British population of about 85%.

And I am pretty sure if you take a wider view around the UK you would probably see the same.
Places that do have high levels of immigration (London, Birmingham, Bristol), voted by and large to remain. Places that have low levels of immigration (Cornwall, Devon, much of Wales etc) voted to leave.
Perhaps take a look at the more rural towns in north East Anglia, East and West Midlands which have large Eastern European populations.......
As to the economic and social security of the population, that is being threatened by a terrible government denying whole regions the support they need to cope with a changing world. The immigrants aren't taking jobs and housing that "belong" to local people, they're just like everybody else, trying to get by in a community the government has decided to shaft.

Well I suppose that depends on your view as to whether the UK Government should have responsibility for funding the re-location of large numbers of EU citizens to the UK. I don't think other EU countries would accept such responsibility if the 'changing world' was mass migration of UK working citizens going there. Whether immigrants are taking jobs and housing that 'belong' to local people is a complex subject not for here.
 

AnyFile

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Not sure if this helps but my own situation pre-brexit was :-

(snip)

On arriving in Belgium to live I had eight days to register at the town hall.

(snip)

So things may be worse for UK citizens post Brexit but freedom of movement in the EU/Schengen has always come at a cost of administrative overhead.

The difference is that now the administrative cost is higher.

I do not know how the rules are in England for British people when they change where they live, so I do not know what you were expecting when asked for change of residency.

From what you wrote the bureaucracy and the checks you were required are very similar to what I will be required to do if I, as an Italian citizen, change place of living from one town in Italy to a different one in Italy.
 

SteveP29

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I do find it somewhat ironic / amusing that most people who get all red eyed about ID cards and go on rants about civil liberties probably already have a passport or a driving license and so firstly their details are already on some government database, and secondly they don't have any of the problems that people without a passport or a driving license have that an official ID card would solve.
And the National Insurance and National Health Services
So, if the FoM people all have jobs, there are no controls possible. There are arguments that these immigrants are of net worth to the country, but this is little consolation if your town is swamped, your language hardly heard in the shopping street, your schools with more than 50% non English first speakers, your chances of getting a job reduced etc. It is not the immigrants as people - good luck to them - it is the sheer numbers and concentration; the frustration that life in your town has been changed for some greater European good with little in it for you. The theoretical right of retiring to a villa in Spain doesn't really cut it as a fair exchange. The failure of both British and EU politicians to recognise and deal with this issue most certainly contributed to so many voting for Brexit.
So should the UK Government not have made the menial jobs that the majority of immigrants do, more attractive to the existing population?
Should the existing population (and the New Labour Government) perhaps accept that there will always be people who are incapable of doing more than menial work and not pursued the college and university for all route?
Should the existing population not accept that if towns are taken over by immigrants, is it not a failure of themselves?
 

RT4038

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So should the UK Government not have made the menial jobs that the majority of immigrants do, more attractive to the existing population?
Should the existing population (and the New Labour Government) perhaps accept that there will always be people who are incapable of doing more than menial work and not pursued the college and university for all route?
Should the existing population not accept that if towns are taken over by immigrants, is it not a failure of themselves?
Yes and Yes to the first two questions.

Not sure how it can be a failure of themselves [ other than they weren't horrible enough to chase them away?]? A well-off country (UK, a net contributor to EU budget) offering 'open house' migration to a large group of not so well off countries (former Communist Bloc, with high unemployment and lower living standards) is just not going to end well, as we have experienced in the Brexit vote. Can't think of a similar 'open house' migration in recent history? I know the USA (and possibly Australia, South Africa etc) offered similar up to the 1920s, but that was in different circumstances and trying to increase the population. In recent years migration numbers have always been controlled, particularly to protect the 'home' labour market. When FoM started it was among a fairly homogenous (economically) group of countries, but the accession of the former Communist Bloc countries changed things somewhat, and the politicians just did not keep up. Sadly I believe it has contributed to where we are now.
 

jamesheet49

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Most of the people who have wanted to leave central/eastern Europe have already done so. Those economies are growing at a faster rate than countries in western Europe so before long living standards will be sufficiently high so there will no longer be such a desire to flee to the west. A number of countries are not far off that point already, for example Estonia and Slovenia are not much lower than Spain in GDP per capita. Brexit therefore is a permanent solution to a short term problem.
 

RT4038

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Most of the people who have wanted to leave central/eastern Europe have already done so. Those economies are growing at a faster rate than countries in western Europe so before long living standards will be sufficiently high so there will no longer be such a desire to flee to the west. A number of countries are not far off that point already, for example Estonia and Slovenia are not much lower than Spain in GDP per capita. Brexit therefore is a permanent solution to a short term problem.
Estonia and Slovenia might well be, but Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia and Romania etc have still some way to go, and there will be new accession of Serbia, Montenegro etc. Albania anyone?

Sadly Brexit is therefore a permanent solution to a (short term?) medium term [more likely] problem, which really needed a political solution to restrict unfettered FoM until all the countries were economically homogenous. However, I suspect this was just impossible, and the UK went down its path. Of course, nothing is really permanent, and maybe the landscape will look completely different in a generations' time, and a rejoin possible? Not that Immigration was the only Brexit issue.
 

Cloud Strife

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It's worth remembering that Germany maintained labour controls on the A-10 countries until 2011. There was no reason whatsoever to have full and unrestricted FoM in 2004, except that it provided a very cheap workforce for a government that was massively overspending at the time.

With new EU countries: Montenegro isn't going to join anytime soon. They're nowhere near ready, so you're looking at a timescale of around 2026-2028 even if the new government goes full steam ahead with EU accession, which they won't. Serbia, Albania and North Macedonia aren't going to join anytime before 2030, and neither Kosovo nor Bosnia-Hercegovina have any prospect of joining before the mid 2030's at least.

I've spoken to one EU diplomat dealing with this topic, and in his words: "Montenegro is the end of the line".
 

JamesT

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Estonia and Slovenia might well be, but Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia and Romania etc have still some way to go, and there will be new accession of Serbia, Montenegro etc. Albania anyone?

Sadly Brexit is therefore a permanent solution to a (short term?) medium term [more likely] problem, which really needed a political solution to restrict unfettered FoM until all the countries were economically homogenous. However, I suspect this was just impossible, and the UK went down its path. Of course, nothing is really permanent, and maybe the landscape will look completely different in a generations' time, and a rejoin possible? Not that Immigration was the only Brexit issue.

I’m not sure how much convergence there has been in the existing EU nations. There’s a noticeable gap in GDP per capita between the Northern countries such as Germany or the Scandinavians, and the Southern ones like Spain and Greece. Especially with the Eurozone there’s a definite tension between the different economies that no longer have the release of currency fluctuations.
 
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