They're Not Listening by Ryan James Girdusky

They're Not Listening by Ryan James Girdusky

Author:Ryan James Girdusky
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: N/A
Publisher: Post Hill Press
Published: 2020-04-18T16:00:00+00:00

The United Kingdom

Immigration was a key motivating factor for Brits leading up to the vote on whether to remain in or leave the EU. For many working-class voters, their reason for supporting Nigel Farage’s campaign to Brexit from the rest of Europe was the fear that the EU’s free movement of people, known as the Schengen Agreement, would hurt them economically.

National populist economics was something that Farage, a former commodities trader and like Trump, not a member of the working class, had been campaigning on for years before Brexit. During the EU parliamentary election in 2014, Farage said the UK should change anti-discrimination laws to allow businesses to hire only British citizens487 and warned about the free movement of people from Eastern Europe coming into the UK to work.

“We must be completely mad, as a country, to be giving people from Eastern Europe in-work benefits…. Even if I thought, which I don’t, there was an economic benefit to mass immigration some things are more important than money, namely the shape of our society and giving our own youngsters a chance to work,” Farage said in January 2014.

In that election, Farage’s UKIP party won the largest share of the vote with 26.6 percent because it addressed the concerns that Labour and the Tories simply wouldn’t touch, including how the free movement of people could hurt the working class. By that point, the UK had seen a wave of migration from Eastern Europe, especially since Poland entered the EU in 2004. In the preceding decade, more than eight hundred thousand Poles moved to the UK for employment opportunities; the influx of Polish immigrants was so large that they replaced Indians as the most common non-UK country of birth among the nation’s residents.488

Adding to the anxiety among workers was the fact that Bulgaria and Romania nationals had gained the right to work in the UK at the beginning of that 2004 as well.489

Farage used the Schengen Agreement to campaign against the EU, warning Brits that hundreds of millions of people living in economically unstable countries like Greece and Italy or low-income former communist nations like Romania and Bulgaria could flood into the UK.

“I think you know the difference. We want an immigration policy that is not just based on controlling not just quantity but quality,” Farage said during a radio interview in May 2014. “I am making one very simple point in this election. We cannot have any form of managed migration into Britain and remain a member of the European Union because we have an open door to nearly half a billion people…We would be far better off if the policy that did not discriminate against doctors from New Zealand or engineers from India in favor of anybody regardless of background and skills coming from southern and eastern Europe and that is the great debate.”

Farage focused on immigration from within the EU and the cost to the nation-state economically rather than changes that were happening culturally because of high levels of immigration from Muslim countries.


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