I want to stay in the EU. There I said it. I put my political point of view out there for everyone to see. As an honorary member of the large expat community in Birmingham, I do feel strongly about this.
So, could Eastern European immigrants take British jobs? What the hell does it matter? Surely a good company will hire the person that’s best for the job regardless of where they are from, or how long they have been in the country. You’re not going to hire a Romanian that can barely speak English to a mobile phone call centre job. I don’t have the exact numbers but I believe that the actual immigration figures since the UK welcomed Romania are significantly less than all that hype before the borders opened.
People get so lazy, and snobby, people used to work. “Why should we work if the government gives us a nice £45 a week to do nothing? I wouldn’t want a stupid cleaner job anyway.” With that attitude you really can’t complain that immigrants come in and take “your” jobs. We’re now enriched with a new workforce with a new ethic of hard work and commitment because they feel lucky to be in a situation that can give them a better life. The Romanians are the new Poles are the new Indians are the new Irish. And nobody’s even noticed the sudden influx of Spanish, would it be because they are better educated? Or because they are from a country whose democratic and social values match our own more closely?
There’s a member of UKIP that I sometimes find in my social circle, whose wife is from Eastern Europe. I find that so conflicting. Think about the law, power of attorney gives you the right to make someone’s decisions for them – one of the only decisions that is not covered is who to vote for in elections. The law of the land deems this to be so personal and so integral to that person that nobody else can make that decision at all. So how can you feel so strongly about Nigel Farage and his piss-poor pointless rhetoric and still live your life to the contrary?
You encounter so much casual racism in the world, at work my colleagues have just had a conversation about hospital wards “Yeah there weren’t none of them in there, they bring their own food and it stinks / Thankfully everyone was white when I went in”. P*ki and Ch*nky are banded around the office like they are people’s names. It makes me cringe. I hide in my work, not saying anything.
Freedom of movement is a powerful thing. Without Europe the UK would be left to flounder in the saturated world of global politics. As it is we stand dipping our toes in the water, we kept the pound, we have very different internal policies and we don’t make waves in Brussels, Frankfurt and Strasbourg. We cannot compete with Germany or even France at this stage, surely the best solution is to keep the borders open and embrace the cultural and economic advantages that brings.
Not to mention, my job would be a lot easier if the UK stays in. Imagine the extra paperwork!