Facing immigration concerns head onComments Off on Facing immigration concerns head on

Facing immigration concerns head on

The referendum on whether Britain should stay or leave the European Union is just over a week away. Most of the people who want to leave are concerned about the impact of immigration, and yet the Remain campaign have not acknowledged people’s feelings about this.

People are scared of being overwhelmed, and angry at what they see as unfairness. When such strong emotions are brushed aside people do not feel heard, and this makes them even angrier – especially at anyone trying to persuade them they are wrong!

So the very first thing the Remain campaign needs to do is acknowledge why people are so upset. Only then is there any chance of them taking any notice of the facts below.

Less than half of migrants to the UK are from Europe. Most European migrants go back home after a few years when they have earned some money and their countries have a stronger economy. Most of us have a powerful sense of belonging to where we think of as home.

It is not immigration undermining access to public services, such as schools, the NHS and housing, it is government policy – cuts have been draconian in the name of austerity.

If Leave wins, this will empower those people who want to cut public services further and privatise. It will be worse, not better. The Leave bus saying money will go to the NHS is astonishing – look who is saying this and examine their history in political life. Can you really trust them? Anyone who believes this is being manipulated. Watch John Major on the Andrew Marr show – this mild man was enraged at the duplicity, the lies.

Migration is an issue that needs to be tackled across the world – it is not going away any time soon. We need to work together on this, leading not leaving Europe.

We cannot go back to the Britain of even half a century ago – we need to be going forward for the sake of the next generation.

It used to be black people that white Brits objected to – now they are very largely integrated into British life and communities. It is the unknown that bothers us, we become more comfortable when we get to know our neighbours beyond the stereotypes.

Apart from a few – and the few are in every culture – European migrants are hard-working, courteous, reliable contributors. This has been our family’s experience anyway – and that of many others we know.

Why is no-one shouting about very rich non-Europeans buying up property and companies in the UK? This is having much more of an impact on housing affordability than European migrants. New flats near us in London re being marketed to investors in Hong Kong.

The alternative to Europe is closer ties with the US not the Commonwealth. Do you really want to become the next state of America? Especially now!

People are people are people – let’s focus on what we have in common and not make a turn toward xenophobia, racism and fascism.

A united Europe is not perfect but it’s a hell of lot better than the alternative – my uncle died in the Second World War because of the rise of fascism – and now my brother is married to a German and we all love her! Let’s move forward not back.