Friday, 22 June 2018

Migrants: Hug them, don't hate them

It’s reported that record numbers of migrant nurses and midwives from EU27 countries left Britain last year, exacerbating fears that a Brexit ‘brain drain’ will worsen the NHS’s already chronic staffing crisis.

According to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, a total of 3,962 such staff from the European Economic Area (EEA) left their register between 2017 and 2018.
Reported The Guardian:
‘The number of departures was 28% more than the 3,081 who left in 2016-17 and three times higher than the 1,311 who did so in 2013-14, the first year the NMC began keeping data on such departures.
‘At the same time, the number of EU nurses and midwives coming to work in the UK has fallen to its lowest level. Just 805 of them joined the NMC register in 2017-18. That total is just 13% of the 6,382 who came over the year before.’
Janet Davies, the chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing said, “It feels that efforts to boost the number of nurses are being dragged down by a botched Brexit.”
She added that the government’s refusal to detail the rights that the 3 million EU citizens living in Britain will have once the UK leaves the EU in March next year is a key cause of the loss of EU staff.
“Nurses returning home, or giving Britain a miss entirely, are doing so because their rights are not clear enough.”
In interviews conducted by the NMC, Brexit was cited as the main reason why EU-trained staff are stopping working in the UK. Almost 3,5000 people who left the register between June and November 2017 were included in the survey.
In addition, mistreatment of the Windrush generation by the British authorities is “raising anxieties” among EU citizens hoping to settle in the UK after Brexit, a group of MEPs warned British officials in Brussels,
The delegation, led by the European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, met officials from the Home Office to summarise concerns they have about transition and post-Brexit arrangements for EU citizens who wish to live in the UK after Brexit.
The European Parliament has expressed concern for some time about the provisions on citizens’ rights set out in the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and UK, in particular about the difficulties involved in applying for residence.
Commented Mr Verhofstadt, MEP:
“The treatment of the Windrush generation under UK immigration law has unfortunately created renewed anxiety among EU citizens in the UK and shows why we have to get this right.”
Brexit is causing distress; it’s making EU citizens already settled here no longer feel welcome here. Yes, the UK government has said EU citizens living here can apply to stay by paying £65 each, raising up to £247 million for Treasury coffers.

But why should citizens already settled here have to pay anything? It's all very unsettling.
‘You’re talking about us as if we’re not in the room’, is how many EU and non-EU migrants have expressed their hurt and alarm at how some British people have displayed dislike for them during and following the EU referendum.
Too many EU migrants was cited as one of the main reasons people voted for Brexit.
The feeling of not being welcome in Britain was compounded by the speech of Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, at the Conservative Party’s first annual conference following the EU referendum.
She announced that foreign workers should not be able to “take the jobs that British people should do”.
After Brexit, she said, companies in Britain could be forced to publish the proportion of “international” staff on their books. It was a proposal that would effectively “name and shame” businesses which fail to hire British workers.
This Tory idea represented discrimination plain and simple – something that’s not allowed under EU rules or principles.
And even though the policy idea was quickly withdrawn (because of public outrage) it told us something about the true feelings of those in the Tory regime
Both the Home Secretary, and Prime Minister Theresa May, pledged during last year’s general election to reduce net migration to just tens of thousands. The message was clear: we don’t want EU migrants here.
None of this makes sense. Why make EU migrants feel so unwelcome here, when they give and do so much for our country?
After all, these EU migrants represent only 5% of our population – that’s small, and can hardly be described as ‘mass migration’.
And almost all of the EU migrants here are at work, spending most of their earnings here, paying taxes, and making a substantial net contribution to our Treasury.
They enrich our country economically and culturally.
Britain has a record number of people at work, and record numbers of job vacancies – currently around 800,000 vacancies (source ONS).
That’s far more than can be filled by British workers, so EU migrants here are vital.
They not only help on our farms and in our factories, and care for our elderly and infirm, but they also do highly skilled work too.
Such as scientists, doctors, dentists, nurses, lawyers, accountants, teachers, pilots, engineers, architects – skills this country urgently needs.
Since we have more vacancies than can be filled by the indigenous workforce, and since most EU migrants are gainfully employed here, it must show that the numbers already here are about right.
EU migration to Britain is already efficiently controlled by the jobs market, and businesses want to be free to choose the best people.
That isn’t always necessarily a British worker. If it was, why doesn’t Manchester United only choose British footballers?
In summary, EU migrants are a boon to this country, not a burden.
They are filling job vacancies that mostly Britons can’t or don’t want to do. They are making a significant contribution to the wealth of Britain.
They have become our work colleagues, friends and partners.
If all EU migrants here took the day off tomorrow, Britain would come to a standstill.
Maybe that’s what’s going to happen with this Conservative government’s nasty, xenophobic, Brexit policies.
It’s time to appreciate EU and all other migrants here. Let’s hug them, not hate them.

The evidence is all around us that Brexit promotes hate. Is that really the kind of country we want Britain to be?

  • Watch this video: 'How newspaper lies led to Brexit.' (Shot one year before the referendum, it shows how newspapers spread hatred of EU migrants in the lead up to the EU referendum):

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