Conservative MEP Backs Brexit and Commonwealth Free Movement

Posted on Posted in Australia, Europe, New Zealand, Referendum, UK

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Former London Mayor, Boris Johnson, and Cabinet Minster, Michael Gove, who are leading the Vote Leave campaign, have promised to create a “genuine Australian-style points based immigration system” by the next UK general election should Britain decide to leave the EU on June 23rd.

The radical change would mean citizens of EU countries, like Romania and Bulgaria, forfeiting their right to automatically live and work in the UK:

Those seeking entry for work or study should be admitted on the basis of their skills without discrimination on the ground of nationality“, Vote Leave said. “We could then create fairness between EU citizens and others, including those from Commonwealth countries.

The change would benefit thousands of Australians who are currently being deported from the UK if they earn below £35,000 per year, as the UK government attempts to limit immigration numbers in compensation for the EU’s 508 million citizens benefiting from free movement.

Net migration to the UK is currently at 300,000 per annum, with net migration from EU countries at a record 184,000 (from April 2015 to April 2016).

Conservative Member of the European Parliament, Daniel Hannan, said forcing Australians out of the UK to compensate for unrestricted EU migration was “immoral”:

People with Australian passports are kicked out at the expiry of two years, or less now if they don’t earn enough money in order to free up unlimited space for people who may have no connection to this country whatsoever”, Mr Hannan stated at a public rally in Hammersmith, London. “I think that’s immoral, I also think it makes no economic sense“.

Australia’s High Commissioner to London, Alexander Downer, recently criticised the UK’s current immigration policy towards Australians, and also expressed his support for free movement between the UK and Australia (read about it here).

Mr Hannan said it was no way to treat a country that had come to Britain’s aid in the first and second world wars:

I think we should remember who our best and oldest friends are, look at the size of the war memorials in Australia, on two occasions in the last hundred years Australians came in huge numbers when we were most in need, to help us.

He also added: “One of the first things I would like to see after we’ve left is a free movement area with Australia and New Zealand”.

The United Kingdom Independence Party MP, Douglas Carswell, also explained that the open-door policy for Europeans was a “crazy system” and “blind discrimination” against non-Europeans.

All Commonwealth citizens living in the UK are allowed to vote in the June 23rd referendum, with recent opinion polls indicating the public are split between staying and leaving. Mr Hannan has urged all of the estimated 87,000 Australians living in the UK to vote “Leave”.

To connect with Daniel Hannan and express your support for his comments regarding free movement, please email him at: daniel.hannan@europarl.europa.eu

[Image Attribution]: Daniel Hannan – BlogActiv.EU | Vote Leave – The Guardian