The EU is pro‑immigration? Don’t make me laugh

This year alone, 3,649 people have drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean. Blocked out by Fortress Europe, millions of desperate asylum seekers have been forced to embark on a life-threatening journey in order to reach safety. Yesterday, 14 of them arrived in the UK.

Part of Britain’s measly promise to take 20,000 refugees over the next five years, this week’s tiny intake suggests we need to carve out a far better dialogue about immigration in Britain. 

Much of the criticism of Britain’s failure to take in more migrants is coming from Remainers. Which is ironic since it is their beloved EU and associated institutions that have stoked up the migrant crisis. Brussels bureaucrats control migration in a very severe way. European nations have paid African dictators to prevent their citizens from coming to Europe. Strict EU rules about who has freedom of movement — certain Europeans, but very few Africans or Asians — mean people must risk life and limb to get to this continent. The great humanitarian crisis of this decade was heartlessly catalysed by stringent EU border regulations.

The elitist bloc in Brussels is anything but pro-migrant. From Bulgaria’s high-steel security fence to the squalid camps in Malta, Calais and Idomeni, the events we have witnessed over the past 18 months show that the EU cares little for freedom of movement or meaningful equality.

Now that Britain is set to leave the EU, we have the opportunity to argue for and implement a far more generous, liberal system of migration. We shouldn’t limit our intake to those lucky enough to possess European citizenship.

The idea that the EU is the progressive promoter of free movement is deeply disingenuous. In truth, it is an institution that puts the elites before the masses, white Europeans before black Eritreans, and border bureaucracy before drowning Syrian children. It does not stand for welcoming people regardless of race, ethnicity or nationality; it blocks people out.

Let’s reject the Brussels-centric perspective that says some people can have free movement but others cannot. Just as we overthrew the EU’s political outlook on 23 June, now we must challenge the idea that one man’s quest for opportunity and a better life is more legitimate than another man’s.

Izzy Lyons is a writer and a campaigner for spiked’s Invoke Article 50 NOW! campaign.

For permission to republish spiked articles, please contact Viv Regan.

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