Real con­cerns on free move­ment of peo­ple

The Guardian - - LETTERS | BREXIT -

What those who want to re­main in a re­formed EU that lessens peo­ple’s in­se­cu­rity must grasp is that Brexit vot­ers don’t want an apol­ogy, they want poli­cies to deal with their de­sire for man­aged mi­gra­tion. What is still in­ad­e­quately un­der­stood is that the one up­side of the grim rise of the ex­treme right across Europe since the ref­er­en­dum has been the in­creas­ing dis­cus­sions in the EU about adapt­ing free move­ment of peo­ple with mea­sures to man­age mi­gra­tion.

In our new re­port, The Progressive Case for Tak­ing Con­trol of EU Im­mi­gra­tion – and Avoid­ing Brexit in the Process, on how Brexit can be re­versed if pro­gres­sives ac­tively sup­port these trends, we spec­u­late that if Keir Starmer (on be­half of Jeremy Cor­byn), Vince Ca­ble and Caro­line Lu­cas shared this anal­y­sis, they would pri­ori­tise seek­ing au­then­tic agree­ment across the EU to ac­knowl­edge con­cerns about mi­gra­tion. Jonathon Por­ritt and Colin Hines London

• I have noth­ing to apol­o­gise to Brian Fors­dick for (Let­ters, 13 Novem­ber). Bri­tain is the cul-de-sac of Europe and has ab­sorbed im­mi­grants for mil­len­nia, which is why this is such a fan­tas­tic coun­try to live in – var­ied, di­verse and in­no­va­tive. I voted re­main to keep my free­dom to work, live and re­tire any­where in Europe, which he sought to take away from me. Bri­tain is bet­ter off forg­ing al­liances with our neigh­bours – to strengthen our se­cu­rity, sup­port our econ­omy and de­velop in­ter­na­tional so­cial, cul­tural and tech­no­log­i­cal links – than seek­ing iso­la­tion. At a time when Europe is sur­rounded by wars and ten­sions fu­elled by na­tion­al­ism (from the Baltic states through to north Africa), closer “in­te­gra­tion” is es­sen­tial for our se­cu­rity.

But I lost; there is no bar­rier to Brexit as par­lia­ment has voted to leave. It is not my fault it isn’t hap­pen­ing. It is the gov­ern­ment that seems to think it can re­tain the ben­e­fits and free­dom of EU mem­ber­ship with­out ac­cept­ing the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties that mem­ber­ship brings with it. Eric Goodyer Ber­wick-upon-Tweed

• If there is any­thing to apol­o­gise for it is al­low­ing the cre­ation of a ben­e­fits sys­tem that en­cour­ages peo­ple to think they can stay where they were born, wait­ing for some­one else to bring them a car fac­tory, or re­open mines, rather than eas­ing their move to ar­eas where jobs can be cre­ated. If new jobs most nat­u­rally arise in East Anglia, peo­ple in any English de­pressed area are much closer to them than peo­ple in Poland. Brexit or re­main, the ben­e­fits sys­tem must be re­ori­ented to help peo­ple move to work, with in­fra­struc­ture pro­grammes aimed at supporting ar­eas with a nat­u­ral fu­ture, and evac­u­a­tion of old in­dus­trial ar­eas with no prac­ti­cal fu­ture. John Hall Bris­tol

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