Tag Archives: migration

  • Courtesy Russell Watkins/DFID via Flickr

    The Rohingya crisis on verge of getting even worse 

    I have just had the harrowing experience of visiting the world’s largest refugee camp. Over half a million people are crammed into hastily erected shelters and tents that, in about 50 days, will be hit by the monsoon torrential rains which will wash away the shelters. There is a race against time to avoid the worst of this “catastrophe within a catastrophe”.

  • Courtesy wikimedia commons

    Japan’s concerns about UK’s Brexit deal

    A letter from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs published last year has resurfaced this week, and is a stark reminder of how little progress has been made on Brexit negotiations, and of the uncertainty it causes for industry and trade.

  • Brexit and Citizens’ rights: The devil is in the detail

    What happens to EU citizens’ rights – of EU citizens here and Brits in other EU countries – after Brexit? This is the first key issue of the Article 50 “divorce” negotiations. It is a cause of great anxiety for the millions of citizens affected. In this briefing I look at several of the key areas for negotiation – and the serious implications for millions if they are not resolved.

  • Courtest Wikimedia commons

    Brexit and Immigration: Squaring the circle

    Politicians have to understand the public’s concerns about immigration and take action on this. But leaving the European single market primarily because of its provisions on freedom of movement would have a major economic cost, while at the same time changing very little, if anything, in terms of the UK’s ability to control migration. But there is a way to square the circle…

  • courtesy Wikimedia Commons

    May’s Mess on Migration

    That Theresa May should come down on the side of the hard Brexiteers should not be a surprise. As a long serving Home Secretary, she must take much of the blame for setting – and failing to keep – a target of reducing net immigration to Britain to tens of thousands a year.

  • Red lines

    Red lines

    In an analysis for the Fabian Society, I suggest a range of possible ways to square the circle between voters’ genuine concerns about migration and the urgent need to keep our economy afloat.

  • Theresa May

    Government failure? Blame the EU

    So, the government is contemplating a ‘hard’ Brexit, taking us outside the single market, introducing a tariff barrier and regulatory obstacles to our main export market. The economic cost of this would be enormous. But it is being contemplated in order to curb immigration. The problem is, most migrants in Britain come from outside the […]

  • courtesy Home Office via Flickr

    Chickens coming home to roost

    The Leave campaign offered two contradictory visions for Brexit. Some argued that we could remain in the EU’s vital single market, despite leaving the EU. Others argued that we should cut links entirely, focusing on the rest of the world. The reason they were divided is that both scenarios are problematic. Staying fully in the single […]

  • Construction workers

    Does migration trigger wage compression or unemployment?

    The economic case for Britain’s EU membership always seemed obvious, even before it had been confirmed with evidence from virtually every major economist, independent study and international body, plus data from the Bank of England, UK Statistics Authority, and HM Treasury. For a while, Vote Leave’s only available response was to throw mud at this […]

  • Video screenshot

    VLOG: Project Fear and migration

    Today’s vlog is a discussion of the way eurosceptics are spinning ‘project fear’, especially with regard to migration.

  • An unhealthy obsession with migration

    My opinion piece on migration and the EU has just been published by New Statesman: If we want to take seriously people’s concerns about immigration, first and foremost we must be honest about what gives rise to those concerns. And if immigration is a problem, it is emphatically not an EU problem. It suits the […]

  • info4migrants graphics

    Helping newcomers to integrate

    Last week I had an interesting conversation with the small team behind a new website, info4migrants.co.uk, based in West Yorkshire. It’s early days, but info4migrants looks like it could develop into an invaluable resource. There’s been a lot of debate recently about ways to help migrants integrate into British society, with Cameron making a series […]

  • Photo by Sebastian Zwez courtesy of Munich Security Conference

    Why the focus on migrants’ benefits?

    Difficulties in securing a deal on Cameron’s EU proposals, widely reported today, were predictable as soon as Cameron added the subject of EU migrants’ benefits to his list of demands. This issue didn’t feature in his original Bloomberg speech, where he first set out his intention to reform the European Union and hold a referendum. […]

  • courtesy Vito Manzari via Flickr

    The EU is made of democracies

    My letter to the Telegraph was published over the weekend: SIR – European countries have not covered themselves in glory when it comes to addressing the migrant crisis. But it is wrong to suggest that the proposal to suspend Greece from the Schengen area is characteristic of a dictatorship. These proposals will be put to […]

  • European Commission building

    Are these really EU failures?

    I sent this letter to the editor of the Daily Telegraph today. Dear Editor, You list “a democratic deficit, economic stagnation and chronic failure over mass migration” as the failures of the EU (Telegraph View, 10 Dec). But are they? “Democratic deficit” trips nicely off the tongue. But it would beggar belief that 28 democracies […]

  • Cameron & Juncker

    Tackling migration

    A short piece I wrote a few weeks ago about Cameron’s plans to limit EU migration has just been published by Progress magazine: What does the government claim it wants to do? European Union freedom of movement, enshrined in the EU treaties, was not on David Cameron’s initial list of demands, but later became a […]

  • BBC Radio 4 logo

    The EU is a place for democratic cooperation

    A short debate on BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight programme about migration, and the democratic structures that underpin the EU.

  • Video screenshot

    Migration is a common challenge

    I spoke briefly in the European Parliament about the refugee crisis in Europe and how it can be addressed.

  • courtesy US government

    Twisting words to poison debate

    The public debate about migration in the UK has been poisoned, and that poison is killing people. The endless campaign by our right-wing press to hammer xenophobic prejudices into the minds of decent people has seized on an innocent umbrella term, ‘migrants’, and twisted it into an epithet of condemnation. The word ‘migrant’ doesn’t describe […]

  • Image courtesy of the BBC

    A red herring, a damp squib, a counterfeit & a false prospectus

    Cameron has never been very forthcoming on exactly what EU reforms he would seek. After all, spelling it out risks splitting his party further. But, with a general election approaching, he can no longer avoid identifying at least the headlines. On the Andrew Marr show last Sunday, he mentioned four headlines. He also said that […]

  • David Cameron

    Cameron tries to skew the migration debate

    The most striking feature of Cameron’s much-vaunted speech today is his almost obsessive focus on EU migration. He knows full well that the majority of immigrants arriving in the UK are from outside the EU. And, importantly, we set the rules for non-EU migration at a national level — no need to bring the EU […]

  • Courtesy of the European Parliament

    Pope speaks of grace, UK media misses the point

    The trajectory of eurosceptic commentary during and after yesterday’s address to Parliament by Pope Francis was truly a wonder to behold. Flicking through UKIP MEPs’ Twitter feeds from yesterday is illuminating in itself. When the Pope arrived at Parliament, he was introduced to the leaders of all the political groups. Cue lots of excitable tweets […]

  • Photo courtesy of the Labour party

    An outward-looking Britain

    Ed Miliband made an important speech today focusing on how Britain needs to change. The dividing lines between Labour’s values and the priorities of the Tories/UKIP have never been clearer. Throughout his speech, and even more in the extended question-and-answer session afterwards, Ed showed that Labour is not afraid to stand up for truth and […]

  • Photo by Alan Fryer via Wikimedia Commons

    Out of excuses

    Cameron is running out of excuses on migration. Last week, we were told again what we already knew: that EU migrants are a multi-billion-pound benefit to the UK, as well as being less likely to claim benefits, less likely to be out of work, and more highly educated than domestic workers. This week we’ve seen […]

  • From Wikimedia Commons

    New study tells us nothing we didn’t know

    Yet more evidence was released this morning about the impact of migration between the UK and other EU countries, this time from a detailed study conducted by University College London: European immigrants who arrived in the UK since 2000 have contributed more than £20bn to UK public finances between 2001 and 2011. […] Over the […]

  • Photo from Wikimedia by Luctor

    Load of tosh over Calais migrants

    Media coverage of the Mayor of Calais’s comments about migrants trying to get into the UK is, quite frankly, a load of tosh. First, the illegal migrants trying to enter Britain from Calais are nothing to do with the EU’s freedom of movement. Illegal migrants are by definition from outside the EU. After all, if they were […]

  • Ten years of a larger European Union

    It’s ten years this month since eight central and eastern European countries (and two Commonwealth countries, Malta and Cyprus) joined the EU. This was a historic achievement, bringing former Communist dictatorships into the family of democratic countries that constitute the EU — helping to anchor peace, stability and human rights in a potentially volatile area. […]

  • Visiting Poles in Britain

    I visited a Polish family in Bradford yesterday, the same day that UKIP’s poisonous election leaflet landed on their doorstep. In their small but impeccably clean and tidy flat, I heard about how both parents came to work here on the minimum wage, doing jobs that no Brit had applied for. Although one is a […]

  • Channel 4 news debate

    Challenging lies and scare stories

    The launch of UKIP’s European election campaign in Sheffield has given rise to many comments, not least because of the poster and billboard campaign they unveiled. Most politicians are prone to exaggeration, but they normally shy away from blatant lies. Not so with UKIP. They seem to be of the same school as Joseph Goebbels: […]