Will we ever take back control of our borders?

Yesterday the Government began to release its post-Brexit EU immigration policies. They have now committed to maintaining visa-free travel so EU tourists can travel to the UK with no prior checks and no need for advance visas – presumably pushing for the EU to return the favour. Not sure if this will turn out to be a great idea – we will have to see!

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The Government is also supposed to be committing to a limit on the number of permits to work, study, claim any benefits, and settle in the UK for EU citizens. This is not a guarantee of meaningfully controlled immigration after March 2019, flying in the face of the vote to ‘Leave’ the European Union.

It’s clearly not enough! We voted to ‘Leave’ the European Union in part to get a handle on uncontrolled mass migration which is squeezing our wages, housing and healthcare. As University College London showed, from 1995 to 2011, immigrants have taken out about £114billion more from the UK economy than they have put in. There is just not enough room or enough money to maintain mass migration!

Over 77% of the population want immigration numbers brought down, but the Government has completely failed to guarantee it will do this. We cannot simply sell out to big business interests or Eurocrat threats. Whatever the words in the Tory manifesto, the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd’s pussy-footing around on the subject does nothing to inspire confidence!

This is all made worse with the newly released Government paper on Northern Ireland. Within this, they commit to putting the Good Friday Agreement front and centre, not installing physical infrastructure at the border, and maintaining the pre-EU Common Travel Area, which lets people travel freely over the border. This would mean an open border with Ireland, and potentially a back door into Britain. The Government must not betray Brexit by allowing mass migration through the Northern Irish border. They must think very carefully about how to prevent this.

Speaking of migration, Spain has recently faced a surge of migrants from Morocco and beyond. Borders have been closed at Spain’s African outposts of Ceuta and Melilla, but this hasn’t prevented some slipping through, and many more crossing the Mediterranean – in many cases, as in other situations like this, helped by charities, effectively giving these migrants a taxi-ride into the EU. Over 600 were ‘rescued’ in just one day on the way, many travelling in children’s paddle boats and jet-skis. This has to be stopped. If this trend continues, Spain will take over three times more migrants than last year. We should remember – Morocco is a perfectly safe country. The sham of the migration crisis grinds on.

Spaniards have held public protests against foreigners in their country, but these have bizarrely focussed on attacking tourists – rather than attacking the people who are taking advantage of their country’s already overstretched safety net. Left-wing protestors are attacking people who bring almost £10billion into the Spanish economy every year. This is all while Spanish unemployment already stands at 17.8%. Perhaps the protestors would like this to be higher.

Spain’s floundering contrasts sharply with the latest Brussels scandal. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s assistants have claimed £455,000 of expenses in just two months – with Juncker claiming a massive £25,000 for one single 2-day trip to Rome alone. It’s scandalous, but utterly typical of the Brussels bureaucracy and gravy train. One of the many reasons for us to Get Britain Out as soon as we can.

Following our previous e-Bulletin calling on supporters to contact their MPs: ‘NO’ to the Chancellor, Philip Hammond’s ‘Halfway House’ on Brexit – Respect the Referendum Result or Resign.

Thank you for sending a torrent of letters and e-mails to your MPs across the country. We want to thank everyone who participated and raised awareness of this. People like you brought about Brexit, and people like you will be crucial in ensuring a good and proper Brexit is realised. If you have not already done so, here is the link to engage with your MPs, if you have not already done so already.

With pressure from the Great British Public like you – our supporters – the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has now caved in on his ‘Soft Brexit’ proposals. On Sunday 13th August, he and International the Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, wrote a joint article for the Sunday Telegraph in which they back leaving the Customs Union and Single Market in March 2019. While Hammond hasn’t yet conceded on there being a transitional period, if there is one, it must be as short as possible and free of the worst restraints imposed by the EU. This would be a spectacular achievement for the Eurosceptic movement, but it is imperative we at Get Britain Out, keep a close eye on what happens – and try and do whatever we can to make sure we get a proper Brexit for Great Britain.

The Great British Public itself has swung behind real Brexit – according to a poll of 3,293 Britons by the LSE and Oxford University. It showed 67% back ‘No Deal’ over ‘Soft Brexit’, 68% back a real Brexit and 69% back leaving the Customs Union. This fantastic news shows the country is uniting behind Brexit. Their will must be respected.

The joint Fox/Hammond article was followed by the first in a series of Government Brexit papers. The first was released on Tuesday, detailing plans for our future trade relationship with the EU. It confirms our intention to leave the Customs Union, and sets out two potential replacements to aim for. As well as these two options, it finally sets out Government plans for a ‘no-deal’ scenario.

The first option is a streamlined customs system using the latest technology and techniques to ensure minimal disruption for trade – with the EU overhauling its customs systems already, this is the most straightforward option. The second option would involve running a parallel customs system – copying the EU’s tariffs and rules – while offering refunds on products sold in England from countries we already have trade deals with. In return, we would supposedly have no customs barriers at all with the EU. This would be tough to implement, and given the EU has already shot it down, tough to negotiate too!

However, since we released our proposals this week, the European Chief Negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier, has, as usual, come out to say our plans are unacceptable to the EU. We will see! Our own Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis has now suggested how we could counter resistance to our suggestions. As his paper puts it “Customs duty and import VAT would be due on EU imports. Traders would need to be registered. Traders exporting to the EU would have to submit an exploration declaration, and certain goods may require an export license”. We are not without our own options if our backs are forced against the EU wall!

And now for what else we have been doing recently:

In response to the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, saying recently, European vessels will still be able to fish in the UK post-Brexit, Get Britain Out sent him an ‘open letter’ expressing the concerns of our supporters. In this we demanded he remember his promises and put our fishermen – like his beloved step-father – first. (Put our Fishermen First: an Open Letter to the Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP)

Labour’s confused position on Brexit will not help them in the long run. To safeguard their future and to get what is best for Britain, Labour should also get behind Brexit, as we write exclusively on the Get Britain Out website as well as for Labour Leave: (Labour stands to gain from backing Brexit in full)

The ‘Ridiculous Rules’ which emanate from Brussels are indicative of a more insidious truth about the European Union. Our Get Britain Out exclusive points out countless examples of ridiculous regulations which are sourced from Brussels, and created by its inherent corporatism. The EU, by its very nature, cannot help but constrain the countries it has jurisdiction over: (Rules Rules Rules – Freedom from Ridiculous EU Rules)

We also wrote for The Parliament Magazine on MEPs’ £billion InterRail scheme. We questioned the obscene cost, and pointed out the motivation – Eurocrats clearly fear their world is slipping away: (MEPs’ InterRail proposal would come at huge cost)

There is no more prospect of a return to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, than there is of the UK sinking into economic depression. Workable solutions are there for the taking, we write in The Commentator: (Why Northern Ireland won’t go south after Brexit)

The ongoing immigration crisis was at the forefront of the news again last weekend. The Great British Public voted to leave the EU – with immigration at the forefront of their minds. The effect on public services and cities is evident. The Government must deliver on this in Brexit negotiations, we write for The Commentator: (Pending Brexit, immigration has still not been addressed)

When Vote Leave talked about ‘Taking Back Control’ in the EU Referendum campaign, they touched on something truly important, as we write in Comment Central. Our politicians lack of control makes them less accountable – to restore accountability and faith in democracy, we must indeed ‘Take Back Control’: (The Importance of Taking Back Control)

And finally:

Much has been said about the Government’s proposal for an ‘interim’ Customs Union after Brexit – but another concern has gone largely unnoticed. As we argue on BrexitCentral, one of the Government’s two proposals for our permanent post-Brexit customs regime is unacceptable, probably unworkable, and clearly borne out of a Remain mindset among civil servants: (The ‘New Customs Partnership’ – untested for a very good reason)

That’s it for our e-Bulletin this time

REMEMBER, ONWARDS AND OUTWARDS
WE AT GET BRITAIN OUT ARE STILL FIGHTING FOR THE BEST BREXIT FOR THE UNITED KINGDOM!

Best wishes and have a great weekend,

Jayne Adye, Campaign Director, and the Team at Get Britain Out

P.S. If there are any of your friends and colleagues who would like to see this e-Bulletin, here’s the Sign Up link and forward this e-Bulletin onwards please

P.P.S. We really appreciate all your support. If you have any Brexit queries, please e-mail us at info@getbritainout.org, and we will do our best to help. Everything you contribute to our campaign in donations goes towards our work to secure the Best Brexit for Great Britain – every £ counts.