Brexit: the negotiation process

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1 week ago (1:54 AM)
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Comments:

alex-l

If you're going to demean yourself by thinking you're just a guest, that's your problem. Not what the Mayor is saying so clearly not any kind of official policy. Guests don't pay rent and taxes or need jobs to visit. Tourists would possibly be guests, not full time residents.

For the millionth time, getting patronizing comments about how a real problem I pointed out is "all in your head" isn't a factual reason to change my view of how damaging brexit is.

Dellegg

About 5 min 37 sec ago julesandlola wrote:
" I want the UK to trade with the whole world and not have its stock exchange taxed for every deal no matter how small (the REAL reason for Brexit)"
i am afraid this is a rather typical Brexit misunderstanding. Yes the EU proposed a transaction tax on all transactions taking place within the EU. Using its seat on the top table, the UK successfully argued against this and the proposal was scrapped. Now we are giving up our seat and much of our influence, the way will soon be clear for the reintroduction of the transaction tax and any transaction that takes place within the EU, irrespective if it is arranged from outside the EU where the UK is heading, will potentially be taxed. Brexit has therefore made the transaction tax very likely. If we had stayed in we could have continued to prevent its introduction.

Talk London

Hi all,

Today, 29 March, following the triggering of Article 50, the Mayor has released a statement calling again for an interim trade agreement to reduce economic uncertainty on both sides of the Channel whilst Brexit negotiations unfold. Following some reassurance to EU citizens presently living in Britain, the Mayor has also called for a cast-iron guarantee that they will be able to stay after Brexit. You can read the full statement on Facebook.

Do keep sharing your views with us here on the issues that you feel should be raised with central government in order to secure the best deal for London.

Talk London Team 

alex-l

I am going to say thank you mayor Khan for actually holding the interests of all Londoners to heart, without excluding those of us who were born abroad from the issues that affect us the most. Don't let up in the negotiations because you're one of the few politicians who don't trivialize or outright threaten to take away these basic rights, and lots of people (EU citizens as well as UK partners) are relying on whatever difference you can make in what is a very daunting process.

RJHI

I think the Mayor could help many people by getting them to come out of denial and move forward. So many seem to think they can change the past. The Mayor is engaging with other European Cities and European bodies to make sure London remains one of the world's key cities. This is very positive and in London's interests. There are many though who seem to think democracy does not apply if they do not like the result and rather than working to get the best for London, they are stuck in the past. Someone needs the leadership to help them move forward.

alggomas

Yet again the Government is focusing on money rather than people. European AND people from other countries should be allowed to live and work here provided they are not living on benefits. The economy will not suffer from lack of labour because Europeans and British Citizens will apply for work permits. Is our government so arrogant and unthinking to say we will get a great deal? If The Euro government did this it would encourage other Euro countries to leave.e.g. Holland, Greece , Italy and Spain. We have to spend money and have good organisation for allowing us and European people to work in each others countries via work permits.

tahorchik

I am confused by what you want and actually think now Alex, having caught up reading all the posts. You continue to be extremely agitated about the security of your own status, as if you really want to stay here, but then in other posts you slag off this country! At one point you actually say something along the lines of "I feel this country is grossly overrated - the standard of living does not match the costs". On the later description Alex you are sadly right in many respects - the cost of rents particularly in the South East and London in no way reflect the quality of what you get and are so unaffordable that people have to live in multi-occupancy, but the reason for this is mass overpopulation, caused by the mass migrations of peoples to Britain over the last 15 years. Market forces mean high demand, which supply cannot possibly match, pushes prices up and quality down. It really is that simple.

Another irony is your visceral hatred at the fact that so many people (often but not exclusively migrants) have to live in multi-occupancy conditions, often maybe 8 - 15 people in one house, sleeping on floors etc in extreme cases. I agree, its awful. But Alex you don't seem to understand that 15 years ago this did not exist in Britain - this has come as a direct result of mass migration. Our country has changed massively over this time period. I assume you were not here 15 years ago as I think you are probably quite young, you have no idea what a beautiful country Britain was even just 15-20 years ago, how we could all afford our rents, how we could all move around on our roads and trains hassle free. If only I could take you back in a time machine, you would not recognise where you are.

You make some extraordinary comment that because we are an English speaking nation and because we "told the world the UK and US were great places to live" then we should "reap what ye shall sow" regards mass immigration. I'm sorry but who exactly told you the UK and US were amazing countries and you MUST come and live here? Who forced you and other people to do that? That's in your mind. When we all see the migrants (largely African or Middle Eastern) standing at Calais telling journalists they are determined to get to Britain by any means even risking death, this is not because British people are telling them to come here, it's because of their own self generated belief that the streets of London are paved with gold, which in relative terms compared to where they have come from is probably true.

Your politics are so left wing (all this anti capitalist stuff all the time) coupled with the pro mass migration agenda (because you cannot bring yourself to believe in migration control because you think it is automatically xenophobic to do so) means that you are never able to put forward an actual solution - you just keep posting meaningless political philosophy and empty phrases that will be great for the ultra hard left environment of your university coffee room, but have no meaning in the real world. I have asked about four times what you actually want the Government to do to reduce the cost of renting, seeing as you don't want to accept we simply need to dampen demand (i.e. number of people), but you answer with totally meaningless political philosophy, such as talk of "challenging the current model of exploitative business and maybe thinking about something other than capitalism to sustain the future". Sounds wonderful, but totally meaningless, and answer to the current problems come there none.

Of course a love of the EU and hard left anti capitalist politics are a complete contradiction in terms. Unlimited freedom of movement, which we are told is a cornerstone of the EU, enables wealthy people to become even more wealthy (landlords to charge higher rents, business owners to slow and suppress wage growth and expand the turnover of their businesses with more workers and more expansion which delivers more wealth for the OWNERS and shareholders but not the workforce), whilst at the same time free movement makes poorer people even poorer, as it restricts wage growth through increased competition for jobs (an employers market) and it erodes poorer people's disposable incomes through increased housing costs. Freedom of movement is designed to move cheap mass labour from poorer parts of Europe to the wealthier parts of Europe in order to benefit the wealthy business and property owning elite. The EU is a capitalist construct. It's so ironic (and confusing) to hear someone who sounds like a near communist defend it with such a passion.

alex-l

It is possible to live somewhere and still think critically about it (or, in brexiter parlance, "slag off"). Just because I need to stay in this country for the time being doesn't mean I'm required to shut up about every single thing that's wrong with it - and there are plenty of things wrong. Plenty of people are disgusted with where the country's going, but can't just up and leave this very minute. Leaving on your own terms when you and your partner are ready is a completely different situation from one person being deported for doing nothing wrong. Nothing confusing about this.

Regarding your comments:

"Another irony is your visceral hatred at the fact that so many people (often but not exclusively migrants) have to live in multi-occupancy conditions, often maybe 8 - 15 people in one house, sleeping on floors etc in extreme cases. I agree, its awful. But Alex you don't seem to understand that 15 years ago this did not exist in Britain - this has come as a direct result of mass migration."

If you ever experienced those conditions you'd have a visceral hatred for them too. And yet, despite the fact that I'm the one who survived it until I got my own flat, I don't turn around and blame the issue on the victims. There are plenty of countries with high immigration where these humiliating conditions are not the norm. Blaming it all on migrants is just lazy. The number isn't so high as to completely paralyze the housing market, and thinking there is only one reason the market here is this broken is just unrealistic. Other countries cope with migration.

"you have no idea what a beautiful country Britain was even just 15-20 years ago, how we could all afford our rents, how we could all move around on our roads and trains hassle free. If only I could take you back in a time machine, you would not recognise where you are."

Something tells me this little utopia didn't work out as well as you paint it for anyone other than white, able-bodied, non-LGBT people. But yes, sure, the trains were emptier.

"coupled with the pro mass migration agenda (because you cannot bring yourself to believe in migration control because you think it is automatically xenophobic to do so)"

Stop analyzing my reasons. I don't need to believe something is "automatically" xenophobic if I keep seeing actual, practical xenophobia every day. It's funny you'd call my reasoning lazy when all you've been doing in this discussion is regurgitate the same anti-migration agenda, but somehow that's more legitimate because you say so.

"you just keep posting meaningless political philosophy and empty phrases that will be great for the ultra hard left environment of your university coffee room, but have no meaning in the real world."

As opposed to what, the meaningless right-wing catchphrases ("take back control", "flood of migrants", "red, blue and white brexit", "if you don't like it then leave") that have become the mainstays of the media and politics lately?

"I have asked about four times what you actually want the Government to do to reduce the cost of renting, seeing as you don't want to accept we simply need to dampen demand (i.e. number of people)"

Your "solution" hasn't been tested either. I did suggest concrete ideas in other comments, which you should know since you've been clearly stalking them, but here's some more: introduce regulation of rent prices (oh no, what a commie idea, but it would work). Or, alternatively, stop selling off land to developers who then build "affordable" housing that at £1,500/month for a studio is not affordable, and as a result the new builds stand empty or underoccupied. Thus the ever higher demand and lower living standards in the older builds, as well as the rise in homelessness. Plenty of solutions here that don't involve demonizing immigration.

No one's saying that the EU is free of problems. Claiming that the UK will have less exploitation of poor workers and cheap labor if it leaves the EU has no foundation in reality though, especially considering its current government. The logic for forming the EU was to prevent European countries from waging war with each other, something that had wrecked the world more than once before. That capitalism finds ways to exploit that system doesn't mean the EU in itself is bunk, or that the UK alone will have a better track record of workers' rights. (In fact, the UK's track record is demonstrably worse, but trust brexiters to always pin the blame on everything but the UK. So much for "taking back control.")

One last time: I am not interested in you talking down to me just because I don't share your views on migration being the root of all economic evil. You can just accept we won't agree and stop.

tahorchik

You really are very paranoid. No one is going to deport you. But you hate the place and are planning to leave when you are ready on your own terms anyway.

On the substantive question of the effects of mass migration you are right, we are clearly not going to agree. Just for the factual record there is no comparable country in the world that has such migration levels in relation to our size and existing population density. ENGLAND has a population density of c.413 people per sqkm. Contrast this with Scotland at around just 68 people per sqkm. This explains the difference in the Brexit vote between England and Scotland. This is ONS data and note the supporting comment:

"England has become the most overcrowded major country in Europe. Population growth is so rapid that four times as many people will soon be crammed in as France and twice as many as Germany. England has overtaken the Netherlands to become second only to tiny Malta as the most densely populated nation in the EU".

You say in your post that "there are plenty of countries with high immigration where these humiliating conditions are not the norm" - but I am not aware of any countries of our size and present population density that have been adding to their populations at c.350K per year for an extended 15 year period. What matters is how densely populated they already are and what size they are, not a simple comparison of numbers. It would be fine for say Australia, if it so wished, to have migration at these levels because they have an existing population density that is a tiny fraction of what we have in Britain.

You keep dismissing it as if its nothing: "The number isn't so high as to completely paralyze the housing market". I don't know how much worse our housing situation has to get before you will finally admit we are already at the stage of paralysis. Yes your idea of a legal rent cap would help enormously with exploitative costs, I agree with you that this should be done immediately as an emergency measure, but that is never going to happen because the Conservatives believe in free markets in principle so philosophically could never do it, it's only Jeremy Corbyn who promotes this policy but he'll never be elected to implement it - so in practice it won't happen. Not at all sure how your idea of stopping developers buying land will help - yes of course developers overcharge but that is because its a sellers market due to the demand. If you stop developers buying land and building who is going to build the needed homes instead? It might make us all feel better as it will stop greedy companies taking advantage of the situation to make inflated profits, but it won't solve the actual problem.

You keep mixing up xenophobia and racism with a decision / opinion on sensible migration levels. You can't seem to separate the two. All Governments of all countries in the world have to make a decision as to what their immigration policy is - the system, the approximate numbers involved, the protocols etc. It's not xenophobic to have an opinion on migration levels.

It sounds so bitter when you say "something tells me this little utopia didn't work out as well as you paint it for anyone other than white, able-bodied, non-LGBT people". What on earth does sexuality have to do with any discussions on Brexit? How weird to make such a comment. Actually the UK is a great place to be gay, I should know given I am gay myself. Not that this has anything to do with this debate. I only say it because of your stereotyping of Brexiters or anyone with similar views as not only white but now also heterosexual!! You will one day grow out of your belief that white, heterosexual, middle-aged men are the enemy you currently stereotype them to be.

And it's not about trying to make you or anyone agree with my "views" about migration, its effects and its links to Brexit. These issues are a matter of public record and fact. I suggest you do some reading and you can make up your own mind, see:

https://www.migrationwatchuk.org
Office of National Statistics website for the figures
See the parliament website where you can download the briefing papers on the effects of migration written by civil servants to brief MPs

I actually agree with you it's a great shame the UK has to leave the EU, but we have no choice. The EU had a chance to prevent this - when David Cameron tried to conduct his "renegotiation" this was the chance for the EU to reform the freedom of movement principle to give countries the ability to control it. You have to remember Britain has had more inter-EU inward migration than any other EU member state. Other EU countries have not experienced what we have experienced, we are quite unique in terms of the level, and the other EU states should have recognised that the UK was becoming overwhelmed. But they stuck their heads in the sand and the result is Brexit. If only they had the sense to address this I and many others would have voted Remain. It is a shame we have to leave - and on that we can end this discussion with a note of agreement.

alex-l

You've got your hardline brexit government with its determination to take the UK out of the EU at any cost, and you keep coming here because you can't get one individual forum member to concede "defeat". You can't force people to think what you want them to think if they have their own reasons to disagree. Not if 52% voted for this, not if 98% voted for this. Honestly, live with it.

I am not mixing xenophobia with anything. There could be a debate on how much migration is "reasonable" if the press and the right wingers weren't acting like absolute thugs about it the whole time. You can't in good faith argue that xenophobia hasn't shaped the discussion around the referendum, especially when there were so few factual arguments for leaving (but plenty of lies like the £350 million a week for the NHS - instead your vote has already created a nursing shortage because people don't want to live in a hostile environment, well done).

I get you don't care enough about racism and xenophobia to engage it seriously as an argument, so you just dismiss it as missing the point every time. That's your prerogative, but stop telling the people affected by it that they can't recognize it. You are not an authority on this issue just because you think it doesn't deserve being taken seriously.

Until Theresa May has guaranteed that EU citizens won't be deported or otherwise​ discriminated against, me worrying about it isn't paranoia. If it can't possibly happen, why won't she say so? She seems to treat it like a genuine possibility, so your opinion doesn't change anything here.

It's not bitter to say that 2002 wasn't as good for people of color, disabled and LGBT people as today. For instance, you couldn't get your gender legally recognized if you were trans in 2002. Gay men aren't the only LGBT group and if anything, being gay clearly is no guarantee of being progressive. It is not off topic to point out that 15 years ago wasn't some utopia when you brought it up. I was in alive and able to remember things in 2002 - in fact, that was my first visit to London! I remember it being exactly as congested as today. Possibly more if it was before the congestion charge.

Again with the patronizing comments about my presumed age and life experience, none of which you know anything about. I never said white cishet middle aged British men were "the enemy". I said they were privileged in comparison to other demographics, which is a fact, and so would be the people to benefit the most from turning back the clock while others could incur considerable harm or at least reduction in opportunity (gender recognition, marriage equality, etc). There's nothing about this assessment I need to "grow out" of, it's basic sociology and recent history.

What makes you think I haven't done any reading to make up my mind? I just haven't done it from known right wing think tanks like the Migration Watch. You can't possibly be linking me that like it's some kind of factual, unbiased source. You spent your previous comments deriding the fact that I've been applying uni level learning to a real life situation like brexit; assume I know how to read and do research even if we clearly use completely different sources.

On that note, I'm really not the one responsible for formulating London's housing strategy. You might want to look up organizations like Shelter for information​ on what causes bad housing and homelessness beyond "let's blame immigrants". I'm sure the UK's migration levels will drop not as a result of any specific event, but simply because people will realize it's not worth it to break their back working an underqualified job for years before getting a crack at a real one, speak fluent English, have friends and partners in the UK, and STILL be made to feel unwelcome and like they're somehow in the wrong for even trying by the society at large. That should just not be the standard of conduct in an ostensibly developed country.

That's the real "accomplishment" of your brexit vote - eroding values it took decades to establish for an easy fix that will never come. Have no doubt this effect is already taking place. At least, though, have the decency not to keep "correcting" people about their own experiences. That's the minimum I expected here.

Talk London

Hi all,

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tahorchik

I know you think I am trying to "convince" or "correct" you as an individual, but honestly I have better things to worry about in my life than what someone on a web forum thinks - I have simply been putting an alternative point of view to yours on some of the issues we have been discussing. You really do attach an overestimated view of your own importance if you really think I am trying to make it a mission to somehow "convert" you. So just to be clear for the record, I am merely arguing for what I believe and challenging the point of view that you espouse which, by the way, is exactly what you have been doing with me. And that's fine, surely. We are all entitled to our own views and surely as adults we can discuss the issues on a forum without needing to accuse each other of trying to "convert".

Regards the Government being as you call it "hardline brexit", well we have an election now so we have to see the situation afterwards. I do hope IF the current Government is returned with a massively increased majority that it finally persuades "hardline" remainers to accept that this is what the majority of people want i.e. at the moment remainers keep saying (wrongly) that brexiters had no idea what they were voting for, did not express a view on the "type" of brexit etc. There is actually no such thing as a "hard" brexit and a "soft" brexit. These terms are a construct of nonsense by remainers like Tim Farron. There is either "brexit" or "no brexit". If you stay members of the single market, continue to cede control of your own population numbers to automatic free movement over which your own parliament has no control, and allow the European courts to have supremacy in law, that is not actually leaving the EU, that is remaining within it.

Regards the question of status of EU citizens I was actually trying to be nice to you Alex in trying to reassure you that you won't be deported (God knows why I was trying to be nice given how aggressive you have been to me on this forum), but I won't bother anymore.

You say "there could be a debate on how much migration is "reasonable" if the press and the right wingers weren't acting like absolute thugs about it the whole time". That's exactly what I have been trying to do with you on this forum, have a debate about it, and look how you have responded!!!!!! You identify anyone who believes current levels are far too high as "right wing" and by default "thugs". That sums up the problem with the immigration debate in this country over many years - people on the left always try to say anyone against uncontrolled immigration is a "thug", so for many years people did not talk about it. And now it has reached a crisis point. Personally I think the Government's suggestion of tens of thousands, rather than hundreds of thousands, is sensible - these are the levels it use to be before the sudden increase from the early 2000's. If you want a debate Alex about it you can state your own view on a sensible number, but if you want to stay in the EU you can't actually enforce any limit anyway. You give the impression (because you use words like "thugs" etc) that your instinct is that people who think migration numbers should be lower are somehow dangerous. I once heard a Green Party spokesman say he thought present numbers were too low, and we should increase it to at least 700,000 people per year net increase. Where on earth he thought all those people were going to live I have no idea. That's the sort of thinking I call dangerous.

Regards xenophobia what I am saying is that wanting migration numbers reduced is not xenophobic. I don't fear or hate foreigners Alex. I have friends of many nationalities, just because I might not want 1 million more Polish people (for example) to come here over the next 2-3 years does not mean that I don't like Polish people, it just means I don't want to live in a severely overcrowded country. I explain it in these very simplistic terms because your posts do indicate that you think of people like me as xenophobic. You may well want to live in an overcrowded country, but most British people don't want this - and it's nothing to do with xenophobia. A few days ago in a council ward election in Harrow the Conservative candidate beat the Labour candidate and won the seat. This seat is 60% Asian, and has not been Conservative for over 40 years. The Asian vote normally votes Labour, but they are now also sending a message that they support brexit for some of the same reasons I have been describing - they don't want the overcrowding and pressure on rent levels either, they are suffering from this as much as everyone else. I assume it would not even occur to you to think of this Asian community as xenophobic.

I work with 2 EU citizens (French and Portuguese) and both of them tell me life is as normal, and my father's Polish neighbours also say they have had no abuse.

On your cheap NHS point, if we keep growing our population by such vast numbers we will need more and more nurses and doctors to look after the extra people. There are approximately 55,000 NHS workers from the EU - but those 55,000 are needed to care for the other 3 million+ EU citizens living here - including you Alex. So please don't lecture about nurse numbers - we only need so many because of the size of the population. Once brexit is concluded the Government (if it so chooses) can drastically reduce low skilled migration numbers so the population growth gradually slows, whilst at the same time implementing a work permit scheme where it chooses what skills we need - and if we need more nurses then they can issue permits for nurses and health workers. Under EU freedom of movement there was no ability to control the proportion of nurses and doctors in relation to the overall numbers each year - the whole point of leaving is to be able to control and influence such things for the better.

Of course on LGBT rights we have made massive progress over the last 15 years - but that has absolutely nothing to do with the EU as far as I am aware. I am sure you must hate the fact that it was actually a Conservative Prime Minister that brought us equal marriage.

Anyhow we had better let you get back to fighting the election campaign, so I won't post any further as I think we have both exhausted all the issues from our own respective points of view. Good luck with trying to overturn brexit with a new PM on 8 June - after all if 48% of people agree with you then there must be a good chance to change things. Keep denying the effects of mass migration on this country, that is what the current Labour Party is doing and as you can see it's going really well for them!

alex-l

Well, you're the one who keeps appealing to me as if you know me, which obviously you don't. I don't care about changing your mind either, but I do reserve the right to defend myself from patronizing ad hominems. "I explain it in these simplistic terms" - seriously? And I'm the disrespectful one?

Not sure what gave you the idea that immigration is about crowdedness. If some parts of the country are crowded, then surely there are internal factors that could be used to reduce it (such as not displacing people unmanageably far from their jobs with unrealistic rents, building something attractive in rural areas so more people might actually want to live there and not just London, etc etc). It's such an easy way out of a complex topic to say it's crowded because migrants, and you either like it that way or you must necessarily want migrants out.

On that note: yes, it's literally a right wing principle to be against immigration and multiculturalism, or believing at least that they should be "curtailed". And there is a documented overlap between right wingers and xenophobes, resulting in the debate being easily mired in xenophobia and racism. Of course in an ideal situation it would be possible to talk about anything without bias, but we're not living in that ideal situation. Pretending otherwise is literally dangerous to marginalized people.

Labour is defending migration and the EU now? Last I checked Corbyn was a brexit supporter/apologist and pretty much killed off any appeal of Labour as an alternative to Tory. That's their issue.

My life is largely "normal" too. I don't work in professions that are stereotypically associated with EU migrants so I'm not on the front line, and I socialize with a broad range of people in multicultural parts of London. That alone doesn't mean there is no threat (such as the uncertainty of EU citizens' status) or that the country isn't experiencing a high level of hate speech and bigotry. There is a difference between just looking at your immediate situation and taking the context of the whole society into account. I've said very little about my day to day life here and yet you keep making these assumptions. That's not what this is about.

You are missing why I pointed out the nursing shortage. I said as opposed to the promise of the NHS being better off outside the EU (whatever gave brexiters that idea), the hostile climate following the vote has actually resulted in worsening the situation already! That's the relevant bit to this debate, not how political parties and the NHS will scramble to fix it in the future. That side of it is frankly not my fault or problem.

The EU guarantees your human rights because the UK Human Rights Act is an implementation of EU policies, in addition to the UK being governed by the ECHR (both of which May plans to get rid of if she remains in power). There are also several processes for individuals to appeal to EU institutions if their human rights are being violated by an EU member state, which obviously won't apply either if the UK becomes a non-member.

How come you're "not aware" of this? You voted in the referendum, you should have been familiar with what the EU does before making such a sweeping decision as to leave it.

I don't "hate" the fact that marriage equality was legalized regardless of who did it, even if it is by far not the only LGBT issue in the world. (It's just the most "respectable" one, which is why it became acceptable to the Tories in the first place.) You must however be aware that the PM who agreed to it isn't the one who's in power now. Theresa May has voted against or abstained from voting on every LGBT rights issue since at least 1998, when she voted against equalizing the age of consent. That's your Tory party leader now, not David Cameron. If she gets back in following the snap election, do you honestly think your rights are better off with her party than with the EU?

Anyway, let me finish this by addressing the conceit that brexit opponents are irrational and denying facts:

1) There is a high level of xenophobia following the referendum, including a recorded spike in hate crime - fact.

Ad 1) I never claimed all British people were xenophobic or that talking about immigration in itself was xenophobic. I'm saying the way it is currently done in British politics and mainstream media is such that racism and xenophobia have become normalized and common. This is a problem, it is happening, and if all you do is keep denying it and moving the goalposts every time it's brought up ("it happens in other countries too", "some Asians voted for a tory one time", "I spoke to two EU citizens who didn't complain about anything"), it won't be meaningfully solved. I bet all these people would be thrilled about being used as token props in your brexit argument.
I can counter your anecdotes with mine, for instance that the Asian people among my friends and loved ones are remainers and even concerned about brexit fuelling racism against them (irrespective of their citizenship status). That's why anecdotes aren't a scientific sample; they only apply to that specific situation and can't be generalized.

2) Uncertainty of EU citizens' status in the UK following brexit, and the unwillingness of the government to do anything about it - fact.

3) Fascist language in the media and from politicians - fact.
See "crush the saboteurs" just last week, "enemies of the people", "red, blue and white brexit", the "breaking point" nazi poster with Farage, etc etc.

4) Portraying basic principles of democracy (like the opposition being allowed to oppose) as undemocratic - fact.
See every single brexiter crying that questioning anything about the referendum is "undemocratic". It's not. Or May's increasingly authoritarian rhetoric.

5) Increasing divisions in British society - fact. Just look at the demographics of the vote, and pay particular attention to young people being forced to live with something they overwhelmingly didn't support for the longest out of anyone.

6) Scapegoating immigration as the reason for every legitimate problem in the country - fact.

7) Stereotyping immigrants as either job "stealers" or benefit scroungers or somehow both - fact.

8) Tories planning to repeal the Human Rights Act and leave the jurisdiction of the ECHR - fact.

9) Referendum based on misinformation, outright lies (e.g. the £350 million for the NHS) and headlines fanning irrational anti-immigrant sentiment - fact. You can still look all this up.

10) Unchallenged belief that things were better in the past, in spite of all the evidence of improvements made since then - fact. You did it just earlier too.

11) Studies claiming an economic benefit to brexit getting debunked one by one - fact.

12) Brexiters unwilling to acknowledge any problems as being serious and worthy of attention - fact.

I believe a society with these issues will ultimately be worse for everybody, natives and immigrants alike. Now you might disagree with that, not care, or even be willing to make all the above sacrifices just to make sure immigrants also have nothing. That's your opinion, fine, but acting as if all of these issues are made up by EU supporters is just dishonest.

And that's a big irony if you think it's my duty to campaign in a snap election I can't even vote in, in order to fix the very same country brexiters keep saying us foreigners shouldn't "meddle" in!

AlisonPrice

Tahorchik,

I am entirely in agreement with you about Brexit and I have been very impressed with how eloquently you made the case for it on this forum!

However, I will be voting Labour in this election. This is because I disagree with the way that the Conservatives have handled welfare. I seldom vote Conservative anyway.

I think there will be a lot of people who will vote Labour or LibDem because they want to vote against the Conservatives over tax and spend issues. I think there will be other Conservative voters who will stay home on polling day because the Conservatives tried to raise National Insurance and they are pledging to increase tax if they win the election this time. I think there is a possibility that the Conservatives may not achieve the landslide victory many people have been expecting. Some people may interpret that as a vote against Brexit. However, I think most people will simply be voting on other issues.

I think it's unlikely that the Labour Party will reverse Brexit if they do get into power. They largely voted in favour of triggering Article 50. Jeremy Corbyn strikes me as a closet Brexiteer. Personally, I trust him to go ahead with a full Brexit because I think he fully understands why that is in the best interests of our country.

I think many people in the Labour Party think they ought to find something about the current government's handling of Brexit that they disagree with, not so much because they disagree with Brexit but because they think it's their job as opposition to oppose something. However, I don't think there's much opposition to it among the general public - I think the main opposition to it comes from EU immigrants who don't have the right to vote in our general elections anyway. I think the Labour Party would be wiser to support the Conservatives on Brexit and oppose them on other issues. Personally, I think Jeremy Corbyn's VERY LUKEWARM "support" for remaining in the EU has been an asset to his party. Sadly, many of his MPs simply don't get it.

Like you, I don't have much time for the terms "hard Brexit" and "soft Brexit". Throughout the referendum campaign, we were told that a vote for "leave" was a vote to leave the single market, the customs union and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. On the eve of the referendum, the idea of voting "leave" but remaining in the things above suddenly emerged, with the term "soft Brexit". I think it was dreamt up when it became clear to the Europhiles that we could not be persuaded to vote to stay in the EU after all.

Alison (age 32)

alex-l

To be consistent, you might acknowledge that many of the original brexit voters considered it a protest vote against the then-government - so similarly, it wasn't "really" about the EU. Discounting opinions shouldn't only go one way, should it?

It's just fascinating to me that leavers will paint everyone who supports the EU (I don't count Corbyn in that) as actually supporting something else, or at least disagreeing with something other than brexit. As if EU supporters are unable to think and decide what they support or oppose independently of a brexiter putting words in their mouths. That's a really disturbing trend I notice in this forum, every time a new notification ends up in my inbox. I'm sure British remainers would be thrilled to hear they don't exist.

tahorchik

"Not sure what gave you the idea that immigration is about crowdedness" - of course higher migration will result in the country becoming more crowded. Immigration grows the overall size of the population, and we are a relatively small country. Our population density is now very high. If we were a country where our population was falling dramatically due to other internal factors (like for example in Lithuania which I wrote about earlier) then of course immigration would not be contributing to overcrowding. But our population was not in decline when the high levels of migration started. Sure we can have a debate about what to do about it, your idea that perhaps people should be distributed more evenly around the country is an interesting one, I am glad I did not suggest this myself as I can only imagine what you would have said to me had I done so. But I am not sure how you can force someone to live anywhere specific, it sounds very authoritarian, and then there is the issue that people who live in rural areas may not want their villages and small towns to be turned into mass cities. By far the easiest way to deal with the situation is to simply control the problem with a much lower migration level.

"You either like it that way or you must necessarily want migrants out" - I (and many others) don't like the overcrowding and the negative consequences of it, and many migrants living here also don't like the overcrowding themselves. I would have preferred that we had not allowed our migration levels to jump from 50,000 per year to 350,000 per year, but given this has happened I have been talking simply of the need to reduce it back down to more manageable levels in the future, so at least the situation does not continue to get worse. Not once did I ever say that existing migrants should be removed, so please don't make hints that seem to suggest that. Slowing the expansion of our population would benefit both native citizens and migrants already here in the future.

You said in one of your earlier posts that we could have a debate about what a manageable level of migration might be in this country, but then you constantly bring in the view that really it's all about racism. So we can't really debate the issue if you are going to keep suggesting that anyone that wants to reduce it is racist. You are welcome to give your own opinion about what you think the level could / should be, but you never say. Maybe you think the current 350K per year is fine, you are entitled to think that if you believe it.

I am pleased to hear your own life is continuing as normal. I have no doubt that many people experience prejudice, that was the case before brexit. Opinions on whether brexit itself caused any significant rise in incidents vary. But the BBC interviewed a senior officer from the Met Police 3 weeks ago who said that reported incidents in London were now back down to their pre brexit level.

I am perfectly well aware of the ECHR and it's relationship to the current UK HRA. I just don't see any need for the EU to be the arbiter of our human rights. Perfectly happy for our own parliament and our own courts to take that responsibility in future. I have faith in our own parliament, system of government and level of democratic accountability in this country. On the subject of LGBT rights I also hold no fears for the future, nothing is going to change just because we leave the EU. Do you honestly think Theresa May is going to do anything that will change your life or mine in that regard?

I see you want to keep running the arguments of the referendum again and again. Those of us that are content with the result don't need to keep rehearsing the arguments again and again. It's clearly become an obsession for some people who are less happy.

Thank you Alison for your comments, they are very interesting. I agree with you that all of us should vote how we see fit on all issues, not just brexit. I don't share your faith that a majority Labour government would go ahead with a "full" brexit however. They want to stay in the single market and have said so on many occasions. I do agree that very often this has been opposition for oppositions sake, but even so were they in a position I think they would try to "soften" the brexit. The Labour party is not actually opposed to high migration levels, they always chide the Conservatives for trying to have the target of tens of thousands (even though the Conservatives have been totally useless in getting anywhere near that so far). Instead JC believes in having a "migrant impact fund" (his words) - in other words higher taxes on the rest of us to fund the costs of building more housing and infrastructure to cope with migration, rather than trying to reduce the migration itself. It was the Blair government that actually started this - the population increased by 3.2 million during his term, mainly because he relaxed the visa and work permit rules for the rest of the world, as well as grossly underestimating the migration from Eastern Europe when those countries joined free movement because he did not put any transition controls into force, which some other EU countries did at that time (and by the way Blair has no manifesto mandate to do that as it was not in their manifesto as a policy and people did not even realise what he has done until many years later). So all in all it's a difficult choice for someone like you that is pro brexit but uncomfortable with the Conservatives on many other social issues.

On tax yes the Conservatives have been vague this week, but I think taxes would rise hugely under JC and Labour. So I guess we have to see what both parties say about that in their manifestos. But regards brexit I guess you will find it useful to see what Labour actually put in their manifesto about that - I think we are all clear on the Conservative position on brexit. I would like Labour to explain what they would actually DO with brexit if they had a majority - to me it seems unclear right now. I don't know if that will effect your vote and of course that's up to you, but might be worth taking a look at it when it's published. My expectation is they will promote a "soft" brexit rather than a "full" one (even though both you and I think there is no such thing as a "soft" brexit as that is not really brexit at all). But I might be wrong - or maybe they won't even mention their own brexit approach in their manifesto at all, as they are very keen not to talk about it at the moment!

I wish you the best of luck casting your vote in whatever way you decide! The main thing is that in the future, assuming brexit proceeds and is concluded, your vote will be far more powerful when you elect a government that is truly sovereign with full control over it's own decisions and law making without any supersedence by the EU.

alex-l

Didn't you just say you were going to stop responding? Or does that only apply when you get the last word.

I did not suggest anyone should be forced to live in a specific area of the country. There is a difference between an incentive ("build something appealing in rural areas so people might WANT to live there") and the use of force (deportation, fining firms for hiring EU nationals as suggested by Rudd, forcing medical students who start this year to work in the UK for 5 years post-qualification or pay a fee of £250,000 to leave - yes, that's an actual policy dreamed up by the government you "trust" with your human rights, to punish young people who didn't vote for brexit in order to make up for the devastating impact of brexit on the NHS). A big, glaring difference.

"But the BBC interviewed a senior officer from the Met Police 3 weeks ago who said that reported incidents in London were now back down to their pre brexit level."

Back to anecdotes, I see. Even if they have fallen back to the previous levels now, it doesn't mean what happened directly after the referendum doesn't count or didn't result from English xenophobia. You've never disproven any of the facts I've pointed out, just moved the goalposts every time they were mentioned. The BBC didn't even cover the 100,000+ people protesting against brexit last month in central London.

By the way, I checked your claim that Harrow suddenly voted Tory - I would have expected to hear about it given how familiar I am with the area. It was actually neither of the Harrow constituencies (East or West), but Kenton East. And this is very nitpicky, but you do realize that there are Tory members who were/are remainers, and plenty of Tory seats voted remain in the referendum (Putney, Richmond...which is Libdem now precisely because of the brexit issue). A vote for a Tory isn't necessarily a vote for brexit, especially in local councillor elections where grassroots issues are going to be viewed as more important. It especially doesn't prove that the Asian population in Kenton supports brexit when you realize the Tory winner is Asian (although so is the Labour runner-up, and the difference between them was only around 250 votes), hence this is much more likely to be about diverse representation.
This must be what you're talking about: http://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/15238481.Conservative_councillor_wins_...

"I just don't see any need for the EU to be the arbiter of our human rights. Perfectly happy for our own parliament and our own courts to take that responsibility in future."

Well, you shouldn't be, considering Theresa May's homophobic/biphobic and transphobic voting record and the likelihood of her staying in power. There are ways to breach your rights in daily life that don't rely on repealing, say, the Equality Act. For instance, my human rights as an immigrant are being violated by having to live in total uncertainty about my legal status, in a country I came to legally. Other "diversity initiatives" (LGBT, disability, etc) run by the government ring hollow to me now as you obviously need to have a UK passport first. That's not a situation you want in a developed country. The EU adds an additional layer of accountability for when your government abuses human rights, which does happen continuously in the UK and wil be worse once there's no Human Rights Act or ECHR.

The EU doesn't replace your government, it merely holds it to account when it fails to work in the interest of all its people. Getting rid of that should be ringing alarm bells, not inspiring complacency. I mean...the current Tory manifesto is identical to the BNP's from 2005 (yes, someone did a systematic comparison of the two), and you "trust" them with your human rights? Knock yourself out, but people generally should not ignore a red flag of those proportions.

Economically, the UK is now officially at the back of the queue for trade deals with both the US and Australia. That should raise serious questions about the viability of this whole brexit thing, but as usual facts don't matter here. The UK is simultaneously a small island that can't cope with a few million immigrants total, and a powerful global player that should be prioritized over 27 EU countries apparently. Something doesn't add up here.

"I see you want to keep running the arguments of the referendum again and again. Those of us that are content with the result don't need to keep rehearsing the arguments again and again. It's clearly become an obsession for some people who are less happy."

No, I started commenting in this forum to add an opposing perspective to the overwhelming brexit sentiment that was being posted (much of it abusive and since deleted by mods). I read it and felt it wasn't right to have an official mayor of London site steeped in that, especially since the stuff you've been saying is totally out of touch with the Mayor's actual policy. I will not bother entering brexiter-dominated discussions in the future since I see arguing with them makes no difference, but don't blame me for responding to notifications when you keep rehashing the same beliefs over and over without ever acknowledging any examples to the contrary. Of course brexiters are content to say nothing more on the referendum - that would expose the whole project to scrutiny. But plenty of people will happily continue challenging it, else we'd be living in a one-party dictatorship. At least it gave me something to do on my commute.

TL;DR: The idea that brexit will deliver the UK from all its problems is wishful thinking that isn't backed by any independent evidence, but its negative impacts on everything from the economy to the rights of migrants and UK nationals are already in full effect. That's all I'm pointing out here, and no amount of denial will simply erase that.

Steve42

new

Stopping EU citizens - and all other citizens from outside the EU - from coming to the UK for free medical treatment on the NHS unless we have a reciprocal arrangement with them.

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