Why I am voting to leave the European Union

by Calvin Robinson on June 16, 2016.

calvin-robinson-vote-leaveImmigration

Why has it become taboo to talk about Immigration? When did immigration become a naughty word? In this overly politically correct society, you’re more or less automatically deemed as racist for even suggesting the prospect of controlled borders. Equally, you’re classed as xenophobic for wanting to Vote Leave.

Well I want to talk about immigration, and I can imagine some of you cringing. I can promise you I’m not racist, nor am I xenophobic and I think it’s the sign of a healthy democracy that we should be able to talk about these issues without casting such aspersions.

Among the many reasons I am planning to Vote Leave, is to regain control of our borders. Now, that’s not to suggest we should close our borders, but I think we’re big enough and old enough a country to have earned the right to control our own borders.

Net migration to the UK rose to 333,000 last year, according to the Office of National Statistics. Over 55% of that number was from EU countries, that’s a record high and there’s no sign of it stopping any time soon. I’m not going to drone on about the strain on our society, our over-stretched NHS or short supply of housing. You know all of that, and frankly it’s quite glum. Believe it or not, I want to talk about the positive side of immigration, and the benefits of taking back control of our borders.

I’m a school teacher. I trained in Computer Science and that’s what I intended to teach. This year, as well as teaching Computing and ICT, I’ve taught a ridiculous amount of Latin – a subject I never studied a day in my life. I went to a state school in the Midlands, Latin wasn’t on the curriculum where I grew up. But because we simply don’t have the teachers, I’ve had to just get on with it. Why don’t we have the teachers? Teaching is, or was, a respected profession. As the DofE will tell you, we have lots of people training to become teachers, but with our population increasing at a number we can’t sustain, we don’t have enough teachers to manage the number of pupils.

Class sizes are increasing and learning quality is decreasing as a direct result. The UK is now 20th position in the world ranking of education systems. 20th, that’s below most of Asia and half of Europe.

You might ask, if we have such high numbers of immigration, why aren’t teachers in abundance? Because the majority of immigrants entering the UK are low-skilled, entry-level workers. Not only is this bad for British entry-level workers, who can’t compete with the low wages that immigrants from poorer Eastern European states are willing to work for, but it also means that the skilled professionals we want and need to emigrate to the UK can’t.

This doesn’t just apply to teachers of course. While it’s difficult for teachers from say Australia, it’s equally hard for nurses from Canada, software developers from India, you name it, the list goes on. If you’re not from an EU country, you’re pushed to the back of the queue. It’s nothing more than discrimination.

The fact of the matter is, we do need immigration. We need more immigration of skilled professionals, and to do that we have to drop the discriminatory EU policy and create a fairer more open system that is inclusive of everyone, no matter what country they come from, so long as they have the skills we need.

What I’m suggesting isn’t rocket science, nor is it a new idea. I am a direct result of a policy of encouraging immigration to fill gaps where we need the workers. My dad’s side of the family are from the West Indies. They moved over here during the Windrush period, to fill shortages in the labour market. West Indian labourers were invited to live and work in the UK at a time when the help was needed, but the borders didn’t remain open forever. The Commonwealth Immigrants Act of 62 made it so that if you already had a work permit or your parents or grandparents were born in Britain, you could still emigrate, so families weren’t ripped apart, but the floodgates weren’t left open.

Right now we have shortages of so many professions. We need more teachers, nurses, doctors, so let’s set up a fairer system and encourage them to join us. The only way we can do that, is by leaving the EU.

Sovereignty

Talking about us having control of our own country. Sovereignty is another one of those words that instantly raises eyebrows. And why should it?

When I talk about Britain taking back control, I’m talking about us – as a British people – having a say over who serves us in government. We elect a government based on a manifesto – a selection of promises – and if they fail to accomplish their pledges, we have the option of getting rid of them and replacing them with someone else. It’s a beautiful system. Britain lead the way in democracy, for decades. We’ve fought wars to defend our freedom of democracy, both on a global scale, and civil. It used to be important to us. It ought to be important to us.

That’s why I’m surprised when I hear arguments from the Remain camp that it’s okay for us compromise our sovereignty in order to subscribe to the EU project, because it’s better than not knowing entirely what will happen after we leave. I can’t tell you everything that will happen if we Vote Leave, but I can tell you we will regain control of our country. We will regain the right to create our own laws and govern our own land. Right now the majority of our laws, are created in Brussels, by people we didn’t vote for, and people we cannot remove if we don’t like what they’re doing. It’s okay to say “well the EU has created some really useful legislation” well that might be the case, on occasion, but what happens when the EU create legislation we don’t agree with? Laws that go against the British way of life, what then? We have literally no democratic way of undoing those laws, and we have no way of removing the people creating them. Not only that, but EU law has supremacy over UK law. We signed up to a trade deal and ended up joining a superstate. It’s a coup of the highest proportions, and it all happened in broad daylight, right under our noses.

Again, people will argue the case that giving up our supremacy of law and the right to control our own borders is a just compromise, for trade deals and/or short term financial stability. To that I say they’re short sighted.

My colleague to my left has far more knowledge and experience of trade than I probably ever will, so I will leave it to him to explain in more depth, the ins and outs of why Britain would not only survive, but grow stronger outside of the EU. But even a layman like myself can see that the 5th largest economy in the world, being part of the slowest growing continent (bar Antartica) is a one-sided relationship. And that a project that has taken nearly a decade to forge a trade deal with Canada (that’s still not complete) is not fit to negotiate on our behalf.

The EU has no trade deals with China or India, two of the fastest growing economies on the planet. People accuse the Vote Leave campaign of being isolationist, but it is the EU that is in fact isolationist. We’ve heard arguments that the EU would no longer trade with us if we left the project – what kind of nonsense is that? You honestly mean to tell me that  Audi,  BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and Volkswagen would no longer want to sell their cars to one of their biggest markets? And if the EU really is that spiteful, maybe that explains the lack of deals with China and India, and the amount of time it has taken to even begin to form a deal with Canada. It sounds more like a protection racket to me. Is that something we really want to be a part of? We’re Britain, we stand up for the underdog, it’s what we do. Why are we a part of this bullying, discriminatory system?

Let’s sack them off. Get out of this exclusive, isolationist, walled-garden and join the larger, global marketplace. As Gove said the other evening, “‘rather than be a difficult lodger in a house we didn’t design, let’s be a better neighbour.’”. And as I said earlier, we’re big enough and old enough – I think we can cope! In fact, if we regain our freedom of democracy, supremacy of law and control of our own borders, I think we’ll thrive. So let’s Vote Leave and Take Back Control!

Politics
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