Brexit: the negotiation process

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1 week ago (1:54 AM)
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Comments:

AlisonPrice

JohnL, don't you have any respect for democracy?

gazbag7

hahaha what have you been smoking????

Evilchicken0

The Conservatives have moved to a much more right wing area of politics. I don't believe they have the country's or populations best interest at heart in perusing the exit. If they did they would have some sort of study together and had a look at both the long and short term repercussions together. This would have given them an idea of how they would negotiate with the EU and they could have chosen a meeting and possibly discussed changes that might have benefitted everybody. Now we're being primed for a this harder than exit where we just walk away with nothing, no deal etc, and that's probably what will happen maybe before the end of the two years ...
All this for 1.8% of the population who maybe though we'll be able to stay within the Single Market, that Cornwall will keep it's EU money, that 350mill will be spent on the nhs, and finally that migration will be stopped. We've been sold a pup, the Emperor has no clothes but ones who could stop it see how they can benefit and so they're buying. Problem is it's us that will pick up the bill.
The opposition party is so divided it couldn't organise a sit down protest on a train, let alone spot a govt U-turn. They've already sold London out, they don't and won't represent the people who elected them.

Set against this The Mayor issues the above .... do you really think anybody will listen ?

AlisonPrice

Brexit is for the 52% - not sure where you got 1.8% from, EvilChicken0. Don't you respect democracy either?

gazbag7

Well said Alison

Dellegg

Scotland voted remain and they are trying to remain by seeking to leave the Union. I don't think their economy is strong enough to make that feasible but if London - which also voted remain - joined them.....

Evilchicken0

That would do it. Lets face it, it's the wealth generated by London that subsidises a lot of the UK, Scotland would be less of a drain on us.

alex-l

Honestly I'd like to see the Brexit parts of England going it alone, instead of dragging London and Scotland down with their awful decisions. They wouldn't last a day and that's why they're so against Scottish or even London independence.

AlisonPrice

I'd like to see immigrants like you quit talking down our country and our people and our government. Clearly you have no respect for British democracy. I have sympathy for nice people who come here and get on, but you have insulted our country and our people and our democracy. I want nasty people who don't like our country to pack their bags and leave.

alex-l

Tories make no difference between "nice" and "naughty" immigrants. All of them are being treated like human bargaining chips and that's what people are opposing, including many British people.

Anyway, it's amazing: you are apparently entitled to insult and make blanket statements about EU migrants all you like, but legitimate criticism of the politics of hatred and xenophonia that has currently taken hold here is "talking down our country". Typical brexit hypocrisy.

julesandlola

ditto

Martimus

Firstly who asked this Mayor to repond to the white paper, I would suggest he needs to get on with the day job of looking after the day to day needs of Londoners rather than raising his profile for his next polical appointment.

Secondly, why an earth should we take the slightest notice of a politician who lied in his manifesto to get elected, we all remember the lies over tube fare rises and 50% affordable houses. I would politely suggest he goes and crawls back under the rock from whence he came.

gazbag7

Yep. Couldn't agree more.

julesandlola

ditto.

Martimus

London's legimate concerns over the effects of Brexit will be managed by the Govement and Mrs May have no fear. But to somehow links London's fate with that of Scotland is naive, Ms Sturgeon is ridiculous in her assertion that Scotland's interests are best served by leaving the union. Scotland would plunge itself into being a third world country which we no doubt would have to bail out.

- Scots would have no right to work in England without getting a job and securing a visa over other competing foreign countries.
- Scotland's trade is 50% with the UK and they would no longer have a single market within the Union
- they would get the Euro
- they would have no access to the 17% on income generated by the City of London
- they would have a 17 billion hole in there curretn account
- the Barnett formula would cease.
- they would get a proportionate share of the UK's national deficit.
- they would need to create all their organs of state, tax office, DVLA, etc etc

Ms Sturgeon does not have the interests of Scotland first but places her narrow desire for power above all.

We really are disproportionate in spending anytime talking about Scotland with its small population and contribution to the British economy.

AlisonPrice

Nicola Sturgeon doesn't seem too keen on respecting the will of the people. A bit like some people posting on this forum...

Michael3112

I too call on the Mayor to urge Parliament to amend the "great repeal bill" in the summer to provide for a referendum on the terms of Brexit with the option to Remain.

London voted to Remain, not for the Mayor to campaign for a better Brexit.

The argument for the Referendum on the terms is simple project management. No-one takes a project from idea to implementation without a project review. In June, Leave had no plan. Every Leave voter decided for themselves what Brexit meant. The June vote conveyed a valid democratic mandate. But that mandate is provisional until there is a plan. Only when there is a defined plan whose benefits costs and risks can be properly assessed can there be a final decision.

The referendum on the terms would not be a re-run of June. It would be asking a quite different question. Instead of "choose your own Brexit" the choice would be between Theresa May's Brexit and Remain.

Leave voters who argue against a referendum on the terms on the ground that there has been a vote need to understand the provisional nature of a decision made without all the facts. I once decided to go somewhere on holiday. When I looked at the flights they were too expensive. Leave voters would tell me that I had to go anyway because that decision had been made. But I did not go there. I revised my intentions in the light of new information. The earlier plan was abandoned. No matter, absent all the facts it had only been a provisional decision.

You can read more from me on this subject on my Facebook page: Campaign for the Real Referendum - on the Terms of Brexit.

AlisonPrice

There's one big flaw in your argument: when you changed your holiday plans, YOU made the decision, but THE PEOPLE would decide in a second referendum and they might vote exactly the same as before.

alggomas

Brexit is here. Mainly due to the weak Conservative previous Prime minister.
The media are fuelling all kinds of crisis. Our negotiators will try and get the best deal but it will not please everyone, especially politicians who prefer to score points rather than help run our country.
There can be no fail safe plan. If Brussels and UK cannot agree then we go back and re-negotiate not walk away as some have suggested. As far as immigration is concerned people can apply for jobs here by work permit and we do the same if we wish to work in the Europe. People from anywhere outside our country have to be monitored.

AlisonPrice

Brexit is here mainly because WE who voted leave put enough pressure on the government to get a referendum. After all, we don't live in a totalitarian state, so the government can't ignore us forever.

Ian Davis

The democratic vote to leave was our own Declaration of Independence. The sooner we are able to exit the European Empire, the better.

AlisonPrice

Well said Ian!

alex-l

Too many people in this thread fail to realize that "democracy" does not mean blindly following along with an obviously destructive goal just because a thin majority voted for it once, in a referendum full of conscious misinformation no less. If you're going to use democracy in your argument then that also means the other side bring able to criticize what you're doing. There are many legitimate reasons to oppose Brexit and we are not going to simply shut up just because xenophonia is now the new normal in this country. To me it's a raging disappointment that that's what this country now stands for and obviously I'm not alone in this outlook.

Brexiters name-calling and bullying people into silence does absolutely nothing to convince me they have a genuine cause.

RJHI

It staggers me the posters who believe in democracy when it agrees with their views. There was a referendum, the country voted to leave, the Parliamentary procedure has been followed and notice is to be shortly formerly given. There will not be a new vote, there will not be a change of policy because some people disagree. It would be productive to look how London and the UK can get the best outlook and be best prepared to take advantage. It is so pointless pretending Brexit will not happen. By,focusing on the past and living in demial you ignore the opportunities available for today and tomorrow. Lomdon needs to clean up the pollution, get rid of diesels, improve roads to minimize congestion and separate bicycle, pedestrian and motorized traffic. London needs integrated public Transport. Maybe Eurostar should come under TfL as it is a London Service. London needs affordable housing, London needs to protect those who are made self employed on zero hours contracts and who have lost the employment rights they had in the days before the EU when Unions were stronger. Tuere is so much to be done to make London better none of which are achieved by saying I do not like it so it is not democratic. How are we going to make London relevant to people from Africa, Asia, Australasia, the Americas? The world is not all White European, why do people want to ignore everyone else?

AlisonPrice

Agree100%. Couldn't have said it better myself.

alex-l

"It staggers me the posters who believe in democracy when it agrees with their views." Funny, I thought that described the Brexiters perfectly right there. People can still criticize despite your thin majority referendum - that's the part of democracy under threat right now.

I fail to see how removing a safeguard for human rights in the form of the EU will help to accomplish any of the improvement goals for London. These are precisely the kinds of things conservative governments are known to actively sabotage.

RJHI

Of course everyone always has a right to criticism. Constructive criticism is normally beneficial. I find it troubling that you regard over a million voters as a thin majority. Still i cannot see how allowing the minority to hold sway can be democratic. I am afraid you have been misled on the role and nature of the EU based on the proganda they have promoted over the years. Human rights had protection in various acts of parliament prior to joining the Common Market. These go back to basic rights like habeas Corpus which was in Magna Carta in 1215. The European element of Human Rughts protection comes from the European Convention of Human Rights which is a separate entity together with its coyrts system from the European Union. All EU members are signatories but there are many non EU stares who are also signatories. The ECHR has its counterparts in other parts of the globe. The idea that human rights and workers rights have been protected by the EU is a fallacy. Zero hours contracts being a case in point. So let us look constructively on how London can appeal more broadly and not stay with a 1960's solution that has outlived its time. The Cold War is over, we need a modern world not a hustoric one.

alex-l

Then I assume you're aware that the Tories are planning to scrap the Human Rights Act 1998, as well as leave the jurisdiction of the ECHR. Both of which will be much easier for them with the EU out of the picture. There's a concerted effort in this government to take away rights because they can see that the current sentiment in the country will allow them to get away with it.

I appreciate that you acknowledge the right to criticism, but as you can see in this debate it's not being respected. It's not a safe environment for remainers or EU citizens if anything they say is immediately followed by ad hominems and variations of "democracy means that you shut up now". Combine that with a government that stubbornly refuses to either admit there​ are problems or give any guarantees on EU citizens' rights, and you can see why this country feels extremely hostile even to those of us who were just fine "fitting in" previously.

AlisonPrice

OK we demanded a referendum because certain types have been coming in from other countries. They did not fit in at all. "We demand this, we have a right to that, all you English people are backward, xenophobic, Little Englanders, can't speak your own language, blah-blah-blah." They have been putting the wind up us for years now and we've all had enough. If people want to be allowed to stay in other people's countries, they should try to get on with people.

alex-l

Yet again no source for who these people are or where you got that impression of them from.

And clearly, London is doing fine with being a multicultural city. Over 70% of Londoners voted to remain, higher in some areas, so the people who have such a big problem with hearing languages other than English every now and then are in the minority here. So chill it with that "we" since you're obviously not speaking for every British person - just for the Little Englanders, yep.

Talk London

Hi Folks -

Thanks for all your views. We're really enjoying reading your opinions on this challenging issue.

Some parts of the debate are getting heated, and whilst we encourage a range of opinions, we'd like to remind you of some of our community guidelines: "It’s your right to disagree with an opinion, but don’t attack the person or people who hold it and please make your point respectfully"

Remember, in this discussion we're trying to find out what you think the Mayor should focus on in his continued discussions with the central government. It has been decided that the UK will be exiting the European Union, and the Mayor wants to make sure that Londoners get the best deal possible in that process through his engagement with the Brexit Secretary and the Prime Minister. What does that deal look like to you?

The Talk London Team

AlisonPrice

OK I have just read this post NOW: 8.20pm. Point taken. I will shut up from now on.

Apologies that I posted some comments before reading this post. I see you posted it 4 hours ago, but, as I say, I only just read it NOW.

alex-l

Thanks for saying this, but I wish the team had done more to moderate the debate. Time and again yesterday I was getting notifications of the above user replying to every single comment I made with almost nothing but ad hominems, ranging from telling me to shut up or get out, random assumptions about me as a person, inciting other users to "gang up" on me in other threads, and finally culminating in the implication that EU citizens/remainers are violent even though it's the leavers who are behind the rise in hate crime in the UK. I should not be getting this sort of abuse when commenting on an official Mayor of London website with a reasonably negative opinion of something that can ONLY affect me negatively. Intimidation and name-calling is not a heated debate, it's just harassment.

(I did call their comments xenophobic but that's literally a description of what they said, not a personal attack. That's the entire problem, brexiters being unable to differentiate between criticism of a widespread negative trend in society versus an attack on themselves as a person. But it's not anyone else's responsibility to teach them the difference.)

Since the thread got completely derailed, I'd like to at least have a go at answering your question now: create a climate where EU citizens and young British people who voted remain feel like there's any point in staying. Initiatives like the "London is open" campaign help, and I suppose it's not as bad in London as in the rest of England, but the messages from politicians are clear in that EU citizens aren't even being thought of as people. The idea that we should be quiet and criticize nothing during these dehumanizing "negotiations" that have the potential to ruin lives is ridiculous, but that's exactly what keeps being used to shut down debate. People who are directly threatened by brexit can't by definition say anything positive or even neutral about it, because brexit is the thing that jeopardises their lives. Until that is understood and not just met with constant vitriol, there can be no meaningful debate.

I think London should definitely have exceptions to whatever draconian immigration policy the conservatives are cooking up, not just for practical/economic reasons but also because the majority of Londoners have been shown to support remain (and if you're going to question that mandate, you better be ready to do that for the whole referendum). I came to the UK thinking that diversity was one of its main values, and it would be nice if at least London retained that if the rest of England is determined to send anything positive that used to attract people here down the drain.

The Mayor's call for EU citizens to remain in London needs to be backed by concrete guarantees that won't leave people vulnerable to deportation (and it's ridiculous that deportation between two European countries is something we're suddenly having to worry about!) or even more deliberate hostility from institutions. Since London drives the economy in the region, it should be possible to get those guarantees by negotiating strongly for them.

Finally, just to prevent any further trolling, of course I'm aware that not ALL British people are xenophobic (otherwise I'd have no job, no friends and no relationship here). But at the moment it is very hard to see any long-term future here, and it's very likely that non-UK nationals as well as younger Brits will just move abroad if the spiral into hatred and divisiveness continues, regardless of any negotiation outcome with the government. The brexiters will of course consider that a win, but to anyone else the country and London in particular will be the poorer for it.

RJHI

I do wish we could have stuck to positive suggestion to strengthen London's appeal when Brexit happens. I get so sick of the attacks that anyone not young is a racist, that the UK hates foreigners and that by welcoming amd trading with Africa, Asia, the Americas and other coontinets and not giving the EU Apartheid proority is so terrinle for example quote below "Finally, just to prevent any further trolling, of course I'm aware that not ALL British people are xenophobic (otherwise I'd have no job, no friends and no relationship here). But at the moment it is very hard to see any long-term future here, and it's very likely that non-UK nationals as well as younger Brits will just move abroad if the spiral into hatred and divisiveness continues, regardless of any negotiation outcome with the government. The brexiters will of course consider that a win, but to anyone else the country and London in particular will be the poorer for it." We need to work together to make London the No 1 city in the world and not keep fighting a cause that is lost. As Imsais earleir, pollution imcluding banning diesels and unified transport under TFL are key. Also improving the capacity of Heathrow, building the direct acess rail tunnel to cut private car and bus access and further noise restriction measures. I think London should be accelerating Crossrail 2 and ensuring that all major stations are signed in multiple langaugaes including Japanese/ Chinese and Disabled step free access must be 100% within 5 years. The absorption of inner suburban rail services to Tfl is a no brainer. This is what we should be thinking about not how the EU is nothing but Ellysian Fields and we will never leave. That eurostar has left the station. London should be the No 1 city and that means more than flying a blue flag. Pollution transport, traffic, crime, cost of living cost of housing, parks, museums, theatres, cinemas, sports events not to mention a place,for,good jobs and maintaining the city"s status whilst cutting back on practices like zero hours contracts on no benefits self employment so often used on those,transporting the people and coments that generate the revenue. Should comfestiin charge be applied across all Lomdon Boroughs?

alex-l

The question is how will all these useful, but non-political improvements help keep young people and EU citizens in London if they're constantly made to feel unwelcome by the politics side of it? I doubt anyone enjoys constant arguing, but that's exactly the problem - you say anything negative about brexit and it's "shoot the messenger". People are fighting this "lost" cause because literally some of our livelihoods depend on it. It's such a privileged position to say forget about brexit, it's a lost cause, let's all focus on air pollution now. Air pollution won't matter to you if you're told you have to leave. Why would you care whether London is considered the #1 city if you're forced out of it? This is just asking people to work for your personal cause without even being able to benefit.

If you want people working together, then realize shifting the blame onto the primary victims of brexit isn't going to achieve that. I just went through a barrage of xenophobia and personal attacks on this site, all of which is up there for you to see, and your response is still "don't stereotype all the Brits" even after creepily quoting my disclaimer that I'm not (the quote is the only reason I'm even replying). Yet, apparently, it's totally OK for brexiters to stereotype all EU migrants (as evidenced here yet again) as well as call UK citizens in favour of the EU traitors and "enemies of the people". That should be the focus, not victims of xenophobia pointing out that there's xenophobia. If you want respect, then that's a two way street and it's the brexit side of the deal that's off the rails at the moment.

alex-l

Also it's ridiculous to compare the EU to apartheid, not only because it's founded on literally the opposite principles (reducing segregation between countries, not creating segretation within liek the brexiters have so successfully done), but also because not everyone living in EU countries is white. Not by a long shot. Source: actually having lived in multiple EU countries.

The first week after the referendum, I reported a hate crime to the police where a Black bus driver was abused by some white English guy shouting racist slurs at him. The bus driver was British. Do not use people of color as a smokescreen for anti-EU sentiments, because brexiters have made it painfully clear that the only Brits they prioritize are other white brexiters.

se15resident

I would like to address the perception that Londoners are pro Europe following the EU referendum. Using information obtained from the Electoral Commissions website, there were 5,424,768 people registered to vote in London, of these 2,263,519 voted remain. This is 41.72% of those entitled to vote. When put in this context hardly a resounding vote that London is Pro Europe. Yes, those that voted leave was less at 1,513,232, but more importantly those that failed to vote total 1,648,017. I would argue that these are the forgotten people, there are many and varied reasons why individuals don't vote, but in the main I believe it's because this group of people feel disenfranchised! Being in or out of Europe makes no difference to them. Being governed by London or Brussels is irrelevant to them.
So can we please stop trumpeting that London is Pro Europe and if we are going to use percentages in claims about London's population lets at least include all of the electorate and be factually correct!

tahorchik

I'm amazed how some people are still trying to argue to stay in the EU. The decision has been made, accept it.

As far as the Mayor suggesting EU citizens are granted right to remain BEFORE British citizens are given the same guarantee, let's just imagine we did that and then the 1.2M Brits were sent back. Our population would grow by 1.2M in an instant. When we are already vastly overpopulated. What insanity. Remainers don't seem to understand that the vastly high levels of rent in England, particularly in London and the South East, is already caused by overpopulation in relation to the housing stock. We have been growing our population at a nightmare rate for the last 15 years, look at the figures. It's supply and demand. I myself know many EU citizens who themselves complain about rent levels, and they share a house between 4-8 people to share the rent as it's the only way they can afford to pay it. And British citizens living in the same area suffer the same rises that landlords impose because they take advantage of the situation.

My father had to move house for 6 months due to a fire (caused by the neighbours which spread) and when he moved back in the landlord's agent actually said to me he is lucky to have such a nice landlord that kept the rent the same because (agent's exact words) "we told the landlord he should subdivide the house into 4 bedrooms and move 4 Polish migrants in there as that would yield 2K per month as each person could be charged £500pm".....my father was extremely lucky as the landlord has know our family for many years and would never do this, but it shows the attitude of letting agents and they were so brazen in actually saying this to my face.

This is what is happening in this country. This is why we have Brexit.
We are the second most densely populated country in Europe after The Netherlands - 3.5 times more densely populated than France, and 10 (!) times more densely populated than Spain. This is why we have Brexit.

Virtually no one believes EU citizens that came and settled under the rules legitimately should be thrown out, but obviously we have to wait until the EU confirms the same in reverse. The PM already tried to sort this and Germany blocked it until after A50. So all these demands should be addressed to the EU. Lobby them to agree it, as they are the ones blocking it thus far, not our Government.

Greg Tingey

"I'm amazed how some people are still trying to argue to stay in the EU. The decision has been made, accept it."

And WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CHANGE OUR MINDS
- Unlike General Elections, say?
Particularly as the "decision" was based on false data & deliberate lies by Farage, Gove, Davies & others ...
Oops, as the saying goes

alex-l

And even then no one voted on appointing Theresa May or any of her ministers. No one voted to go for a "hard brexit". None of these terms were subject to any vote or referendum, but since it's not happening in Brussels but in London, it's all right!

Brexiters need to stop scapegoating immigrants for every problem. Unreasonably high rents aren't the result of population numbers, but of gentrification, the housing agents viewing it as a good thing when prices rise, and the government doing nothing to curb this ridiculous pricing out of everyone on a regular salary out of London. There are many countries with high immigration numbers where the costs of living aren't this insanely high and the standards not this insanely low for what you pay. Unaffordable rents are a policy problem mainly, and immigrants are among the worst affected. You have no idea what so many people go through just to live here.

If British expats living abroad are forced to return, it will be the fault of "hard brexiters" (or as we should really call them, political extremists). Not people who are in favour of the EU.

But the main point is: when someone comes here legally, they can't just be turned into an illegal migrant overnight because of a vote they could not influence. That is a basic human rights issue, it is not up to politics in one referendum. It's shocking that a supposedly developed country refuses to accept something this obvious.

RJHI

Well I see despite pleas from the moderator, those wishing to remain choose not to express ideas to help the Mayor impove London but continue to try and fight a battle that they lost. Roll on Match 29th, maybe we can move to working together to make a success of things. Or perhaps we should be asking to refight the Battlebof Hastings?

Martimus

I would politely suggest that the Mayor get on with his job rather than promoting the idea of a seperate city state, and also I would suggest that this Mayor told us two massive lies to get elected, and promote his own personal agenda with a view to his next political position. He lied on tube fare rises and he lied on 50% of affordable homes. This Mayor cannot be trusted to work in anyones interest except his own and I do therefore not except your premise we need to help him to improve London. We must always judge public figures by the actions they take not the rhetoric they employ to get elected.

Martimus

A small number of points I would like to make, and I voted to remain

- in an election we vote in a government, the leader is chosen by the party that is elected in
- everyone I know who voted understood that a vote to leave the EU meant to leave the single maket and leave the customs union as only by leaving the former could you take control of borders and the latter to make bi-lateral trade deals
- Everyone I know is in favour of free movement of labour and not people, and in fact it is this very point David Cameron failed to negotiate on.
- Communities object to the large movement of unskilled labour and the effect this has of local services
- I am clear that all EU nationals here will be protected as will the rights of expats abroad
- Rents and property prices have little to do with the Brixit issues and I don't recall this was every high on the agenda of either side
- ultimately I am clear that the purpose of a referendum was to ask the people to decide they have spoken, whilst I wish it was different, democracy is a numbers game and the quicker they get on with it the better

tahorchik

This idea that people have changed their minds and we must have another vote...
Am I the only person on here that finds it very odd that hard line Remainers keep saying that Brexiters have changed their mind? Very strange.

I know about 20 people who voted Brexit and about 10 people who voted Remain and in my experience NO ONE has changed their mind. Certainly none of the Brexiters I know have changed their mind. Some Remainers seem to think they have or should change their mind - but they haven't!!!! If you ran the vote again the result would be roughly the same.

BUT even if half of people who voted Brexit have changed their mind (which they haven't) you can't keep running a vote. Of course you only have one vote! Do you think the Government should keep running a vote until we get the answer you personally would have liked? If the result had been Remain would you then be calling for the vote to be run again several times just in case anyone who voted Remain had changed their mind and wished they had voted Brexit?! Do you not realise how childish it sounds to keep calling for another vote until you get the answer you want, like a child stamping their feet because they cannot have their own way. Even the Mayor would not be so silly as to try to call for another vote!

I'm so sad for the firebrand contributor on here that they think anyone who believes in controlling migration levels and that our population level is too high is automatically a racist and a xenophobe. I expect their law degree taught them that. There is no point trying to have a sensible discussion with someone like that because such thinking is not rational. The logic of this position is that they don't believe there is any limit to the number of people that can live within any given land space. In that case let's just go fast track for a population of 100 million, maybe 200 million for the UK. Why not? Surely it's racist and xenophobic to believe there should be any limit on migration numbers.

You need to understand that the issue of migration / population is NOTHING to do with someone's nationality. It's to do with the NUMBERS. Years ago when the EU was made up of Western European countries with similar economies / wage levels, freedom of movement worked well because roughly the same number of people went backwards and forwards between different countries. But since the opening up to countries where wage levels are a tiny % of what they are here it cannot work anymore because of the mass imbalance in one direction over the other. The EU should have foreseen this and adapted the policy, but the hard line Europhiles in the EU (who are the real political extremists here) are obsessed with this principle.

One point I must just comment on is this denial about housing costs. A comment was made that "unreasonably high rents aren't the result of population numbers".....do you not understand the principle of market forces, principles of supply and demand? Might be a good idea to swap the law degree for an economics one. If anything is scarce the price of it goes up in a free market. We have a severe housing shortage because our population has been growing by approximately 350,000 every year in recent years. Before this period net migration was at levels of only 40 to 50,000 per year. There was never a problem at these levels because the Government was able to keep up with demand. But no Government, labour or conservative, has been able to keep up with these higher levels. This is why so many EU citizens actually live in HIMO (houses in multiple occupancy) - not only because they can't afford rent levels alone but because there would not be enough houses / flats in the country anyway for everyone to have their own home.

Do your own research on average rent levels in different areas of the UK and correlate that against population growth. Rents have exploded in recent years, at exactly the same time as we started to experience net migration levels of 7 to 8 times what it historically was.

I do wonder how much more overpopulated we have to become before some people realise what is happening. It's because the British never complain! People have now accepted that it's "normal" that you go on the M25 in the middle of the day on a Monday afternoon (NOT in the rush hour) and it takes 1 hour to drive 2 miles. People now think this is "normal". 15 years ago the M25 was only like this in the rush hour. Now it is like this MOST of the time. 15 years ago commuters on trains into London could get a seat. Now people phone up LBC radio scratching their head complaining that they have to let 4 full trains go past them in the station on their way to work, because they are so full they can't get on. And they are so stupid they call the radio station and ASK WHY this is happening. Victoria tube station regularly has to be closed because of overcrowding, this now happens regularly in London tube stations sometimes even outside the rush hour, I hear it on the radio all the time and the explanation they give is "overcrowding". I have lived in London my whole life and this NEVER use to happen. Over population does have a consequence.

EU citizens that have only arrived in this country in recent years don't know what it was like before - they think how it is now is normal. It's really interesting if you speak to EU citizens that have been here a long time already and have seen the changes and added pressures, and are also unhappy at the increased rents they are having to pay! I worked with a Romanian who has lived in Britain for 12 years and he told me he laughs at how stupid the British are to let so many people into the country! And one of my best friends is Bulgarian and he has lived in Britain since he was in his 30's and he has just retired, he owns his own house here for many years etc. He voted Brexit.

alex-l

If you're going to call people irrational firebrand commenters, it would be nice if you did it to their face. Talk London sends email notifications anyway, so all I see is trying to patronize people without giving them a chance to dispute it. Kind of like the overall treatment of any brexit critic.

I only started with the strong wording AFTER getting personally attacked by leavers, including insults, "get out of the country if you don't like it", "don't tell me how to speak my language" after they got my pronouns wrong, "London would be a better place if you didn't live here", the lot. I see the admins have deleted most of those threads, but that doesn't fix the fact that brexiters are by default aggressive and happy to stereotype people they've never met solely on the basis of their EU nationality.

What's irrational to me is the stubborn refusal to acknowledge that xenophobia is a massive problem in this country right now. You had Farage posting in a recreation of a nazi poster in the referendum. You have a prime minister who keeps on going as if EU migrants have by default no skills and no right to have a say in what happens to them, despite the fact that almost a year after the referendum they haven't been reassured of staying (which was, by the way, one of the false promises made by the leave campaign). You have critics of the government being demonized in the mainstream media and by internet trolls alike. If you look at the front pages of the metro and the like, I've lost count of how many xenophobic headlines they had - and that's not talking about something like the Daily Mail or Express. When judges upheld an established legal process that should have applied anyway, they were branded "enemies of the people". Finally, the all time high in hate crime is not made up either.

All of that is stuff that demonstrably happened. If you don't like hearing it or think it's not important, fine. But there is nothing irrational about pointing out it exists.

Than again, you've just said law is irrational, so maybe there's no point discussing this either.

The pressures on public services are the combined result of austeeity, unchecked capitalism, and people being forced to live miles away from where they work due to no policy addressing the unsustainable rise in rents. Blaming it all on new immigrants is blaming the victims that are the worst affected. Your 12 year EU resident only proves that some people forget their own pay difficulties once they've become part of the establishment.

Feel free to disagree all you want, that's about what I expect. But the patronizing tone is uncalled for.

RJHI

OK so I am not bothering with the insults which are unnecessary or the desperate attempts to deny we are leaving the EU. I believe the Mayor needs to act on pollution levels. All diesel vehicles need a sunset date by which time they will be banned from London. This will include all Commercial and Public Transport vehicles (including Buses, Taxis and Trains). Additionally whilst Crossrail I will make a great difference, Crossrail II also needs to be built and fares in London need to be made affordable again. The cost of Public Transport in London is unreasonably high and I believe that a payment to lower pollution levels could be used to lower fares, increase ridership and lower private vehicle use. Tackling transport and pollution is vital and achievable.

alex-l

I said there was a high level of xenophobia in the country, which is a description of the situation and not a statement about all British people or even you in particular. You, in response, made condescending remarks about "irrational firebrand commenters", as if it's wrong to have a strongly negative opinion of something that can only have a strongly negative impact on you.

It's clear that every time I (or other users as seen upthread) respond with a specific example that goes against a brexit argument, the thread gets abandoned because it's not what the leave side want to hear. But just for the record, I only said that EU citizens need to be given real guarantees that we won't be subject to deportation and this is what the Mayor should negotiate for. That assumes brexit does go through. If the UK stayed in the EU, these guarantees would already be implied.

I was under the impression that the topic of this thread was brexit, given it is the article title. But if we must change the subject, I also think air pollution needs to be cut, public transport fares need to stay frozen, EU citizens who came here before brexit must be guaranteed the right to stay, and positive action needs to be taken against rogue landlords as well as the unsustainable rise in rent and house prices. All of which is going to be more difficult under the sole jurisdiction of a conservative government with a track record for austerity.

tahorchik

Alex-l - just to be clear, regards your point about there being xenophobia in this country, I did not say that there wasn't. You keep seeming to accuse other people of denying there is xenophobia when most people, including myself, never mentioned it. But there is xenophobia everywhere, in every country, in every human society. It's nothing new here.

As it happens I am as anti-racist as you Alex-l, which I dare say will surprise you or you won't believe. I was an Anti-Nazi League supporter, have friends of multiple nationalities, and am well traveled and love experiencing other cultures. This does not however stop me from recognising that we are becoming over populated, and experiencing the problems this is leading to. Ironically these problems are ones that will be suffered by ALL people living here, both British and EU citizens. Those who voted Brexit to end uncontrolled EU freedom of movement and hopefully persuade the Government to finally start bringing the numbers back down are saving not just themselves but EU citizens here already that choose to stay. If migration continues at this level, rents will continue to rise beyond control - and that's your rent Alex-l as well!

I know you have talked about receiving insults on here. Just to let you know British people find it insulting when you say things, as an EU citizen living in this country, like London should be separated from the rest of the UK. You are not helping yourself when you make such comments. Imagine how the French would feel for example if I moved to Paris, and then, as a GUEST citizen in their country, started calling for Paris to be separated from the rest of France! I think you will find if you moderate some of what you are saying other people will moderate themselves also.

On the substantive point about housing, which I think we both agree is a key issue, you keep blaming "unchecked capitalism, and people being forced to live miles away from where they work due to no policy addressing the unsustainable rise in rents"......you don't actually engage with the point that it is the mass increase in population that has driven it up, and also what should now be done about that. You keep on blaming the "wicked conservatives" (when ironically they are far more likely to get migration under control than Labour) but you don't say specifically what you want them to do? You say there is "no policy addressing the unsustainable rise in rents". That's because there isn't a policy that would work, apart from reducing demand (i.e. population) which will very slowly dampen prices, or at least slow down further rises. If it were as easy as you suggest don't you think the Government would have done it? What exactly is this magic policy you keep referring to? Be specific. But please don't just say the Government should build 350,000 homes per year, every year just so that we can meet the migration numbers, because that's impossible and would never happen. And in any case it's not the job of the British tax-payer to fund a mass house building programme for anyone from Europe who wants to come here under freedom of movement.

And please Alex-l, don't keep complaining that it's EU citizens suffering high rents and poor conditions. No one forces anyone to migrate to Britain from the EU, it's a free choice that people have been making themselves. And it's the volume of this that has largely led to those very issues which they now suffer in the UK. And by the way, this situation is also causing issues within a lot of the countries losing their workers to Western Europe. For example in Lithuania the entire population of the country has fallen by ONE THIRD, their own towns are empty of any young workers, it's causing economic contraction there - the crisis is so acute that there is a political party called the "Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union" which champions the single issue of STOPPING emigration to Western Europe, and they are gaining massive support. The EU has it's head in the sands about all this.

As far as your own future is concerned I honestly believe it is secure, if it is that you wish to / choose to stay. Whilst we cannot sustain levels moving forward, I believe like most people that anyone already here should have the right to stay because they moved their lives under the rules available at the time and did nothing wrong. Of course this is no different to what the PM is saying, but quite rightly she won't make that guarantee until it is reciprocated. She tried to force the issue with the EU, it was Mrs Merkel who said no to an early pre Article 50 agreement. And even people like Nigel Farage say the same thing. But the ball is now in the court of the EU. It's effectively the EU's decision whether citizens can stay here because our Government has already said it's what they want based on reciprocation for British citizens in the EU. So please direct your anger and representations about your own position to Mrs Merkel, not Mrs May, as it's Merkel's decision we are all waiting for. I am sure however that once A-50 in triggered and formal talks start you will find this issue is mutually agreed very quickly.

alex-l

The problem is that everyone in this forum, including you now, keeps "correcting" me about my experiences. Whenever I said xenophobia was a problem, it was met with either insults (mostly deleted by admins now) or with accusations that it's not that bad. That does not make me think the problem is being taken seriously by the commenters, it's just patronizing. If you don't accept that EU citizens are the authority on their own experiences, then you can't engage in dialogue. None of the British people I actually know in person have a problem with this basic concept.

I can't say I really find any value in you coming back to "explain" to me some more. Again, you presume to speak for all British people. That is simply not true. My British friends and not to mention British partner make the exact same criticisms of this country as I do, and they do not operate under this mistaken impression that I'm only going to be graciously tolerated here as long as I shut up about everything even slightly political. That would be an unequal, unhealthy dynamic, but it's not even acceptable as a blueprint for social relations in general. For all the Brits talk about "democracy" and equality, some of you have a hard time putting it into practice. I am already disadvantaged compared to a British national, there is no danger to you from me speaking my mind about how this country's government affects me.

There is a world of difference between some British people not being able to stomach the idea that non-UK nationals have opinions about their country, and calling someone personally irrational or a pain in the behind. A difference that should be obvious.

I am not a guest. Guests don't pay rent or get jobs to rely on for their stay. The Mayor has repeatedly stated, most recently just a few days ago, that foreign-born Londoners are Londoners and that's how he intends to run this city. He has already introduced several policies to reduce the cost of living so, again, claiming that the level of immigration is what makes it impossible is just scapegoating the wrong people. The most prominent reason for wealth inequality is unchecked late capitalism, as this is what it's designed to do. But blaming immigration is easier, I know.

Personally after living in this country I feel it's grossly overrated as the standard of living does not match up to costs, not to mention the current political climate and lack of decent job opportunities for graduates. I do actually agree that it's not right for one country to siphon in disproportionate numbers of talent from elsewhere to the point that other countries are adversely affected, but again think about ideology. Globally, we're all told that the UK and US are the best places in the world, English is the best language everyone needs to learn - and when we put that learning into practice and actually want to live there, we are suddenly in the wrong? You reap what you sow as a global power.

I'm not going to beg anyone to please be allowed to stay; I came for personal reasons that have no economic motive, and at this point there will be no love lost between us and the UK if both me and my partner move abroad to avoid suffering for someone else's decisions we both disagree with. But there is a world of difference between departing on your own terms and being forced out before you're ready. The PM could guarantee the unilateral right to remain now. It's not the EU that stops her. At least own up to brexit being caused by Britain and stop pinning all its problems on countries that didn't vote for it. If you voted to "take back control", admit you got control for better or for worse. I have lived in total uncertainty for almost a year and until there is an official guarantee from the government, your guess on the matter means nothing.

Finally, I want to say that the division you are forcing in this comment does not universally work as brexit also alienates a number of British people: Brits abroad, partners of EU nationals, most young people, most Londoners and Scottish people if we go by the actual referendum result, and finally just people who don't believe that an increase in nationalism and division between countries is the answer to today's problems. If I had a British passport my opinions would be exactly the same, because to me it's a matter of principle and my personal danger is secondary.

I'm going to keep arguing against a damaging brexit in person where I've seen it making a difference, with or without your approval because my basic rights are hanging in the balance. Only today I've been to a youth research panel that will be used to influence policy and it was a great, respectful experience without any offensive antagonism. If you're not willing to change your stance that EU nationals in this country should be meek and quiet, then I'm quite happy to end this discussion here because we won't see eye to eye.

julesandlola

We are all guests in this country and should not forget it. I am a third generation Brit. I know how lucky I am and I know it every day. BTW I am married to an EU citizen si I know her worries, but they are in her/your head.

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