brexit

Since Article 50 was triggered, there are some recurring themes in the EU debates that rage across my social life that warrant some scrutiny. It’s always good to fact-check, and I’m afraid you are mythtaken on some issues. The facts:

The European Union is not very nice to migrants if they’re not European.

Migrants look through the fence as they wait to cross the Slovenia-Austrian border in Spielfeld, Austria, on October 22, 2015.

“Migrants who are refused entry to the EU and dispute the decision should be detained to prevent them staying illegally, the European Commission said Thursday as it unveiled measures to get tougher on migration.

People who have been told they will be returned to their home country and “show signs they will not comply, such as refusal to cooperate in the identification process or opposing a return operation violently or fraudulently” should be detained to “prevent absconding,” the Commission said in a statement Thursday.

Migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said the measure was “in full compliance” with human rights laws and it would “not only take pressure off the asylum systems in member states and ensure appropriate capacity to protect those who are genuinely in need of protection, it will also be a strong signal against taking dangerous irregular journeys to the EU.”

It’s not a call for blanket detention, said a Commission official, but a way to make full use of European legislation which allows irregular migrants to be detained for six months, and in some cases for 18 months. The official added that the move is to stop migrants disappearing while their claim is being processed.

In 2015, the number of irregular migrants ordered to leave the EU was 533,395, up from 470,080 in 2014, according to Commission figures. That figure could top 1 million once all outstanding asylum applications have been processed.”

Lock up migrants to stop them absconding, says Commission

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Originally posted to Facebook in March 2017 and edited (including the comments of others) into a semi-coherent stand-alone piece.

Jeremy Corbyn Promotional Image Election Campaign 2017

In March 2017, Theresa May passed the legislation necessary to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and commence Britain’s exit from the European Union.

This has been a long time coming and there have been many efforts to soften what has been sharping up in Theresa May’s hands to be a very hard Brexit – crashing out of the customs union, the Single Market, and and the four freedoms. Lord Hain tabled an amendment in the Lords to require the Government to negotiate to remain in the Single Market, but Jeremy Corbyn whipped his peers to vote against.

The amendment was defeated by 299 votes to 136.

As Politics.co.uk put it,

“This was not a vote on whether to activate Article 50. Corbyn couldn’t use any of his excuses about not being seen to stand in the way of the vote. This was an amendment to the bill, one which would have insisted that May pursues an exit from the EU which puts the fewest possible jobs and standards at risk. By whipping his peers against it, Corbyn worked with the government to make sure it did not pass.”

Lord Hain, who tabled the amendment, told peers that Corbyn would be judged by history to be on the wrong side of the argument “by forcing us in the Labour party to do something that we do not actually believe in”.”

At that point, I began to fall out of love with Jeremy Corbyn. [click to continue…]

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Lexit

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What is Lexit? Lexit was a rhetorical term used to deliberately distance people who wanted Britain to leave the European Union but didn’t want to be identified with right-wing Brexit narratives around immigration or nationalism. The Left Leave campaign has a simple explanatory page here. I had no formal role in the Lexit campaign and […]

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Six Months After Brexit

December 21, 2016

Originally posted as a Facebook comment. Edited and updated for clarity. Six months on from Brexit, the debate is still raging over what we should do now. As the government continues to fight a court case to force it to pass Parliamentary legislation to invoke Article 50, many people who voted Remain have been accusing […]

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Guy Verhofstadt MEP Addresses European Parliament on Brexit (28th June, 2016).

December 21, 2016

It is often argued by people who wish to remain part of the European Union that the fears expressed by people who wish to leave because they fear a federalised United States of Europe are just fear-mongering and there is no substance to it. What few federalists exist, they argue, they have little voice and […]

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Specific Things I Don’t Like About The European Union

June 27, 2016

Originally posted to Facebook, 26th June, 2016. Edited for clarity. I was asked: “What are examples of things that the EU have control over that you don’t like? When you say, “we get considerable sovereignty back over stuff that I think is important”, do you have examples of things ? Like, I don’t think I […]

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Lexit: The Case for the European Economic Area

June 26, 2016

Posted to Facebook on the 26th June, 2016 as two separate responses to a comment on this post. Edited for clarity. What Is the European Economic Area? Here’s exactly how the EEA works: http://www.efta.int/eea/eea-agreement/eea-basic-features Essentially, we retain access to the common market, and in return we have to provide the Four Freedoms, “the free movement […]

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Lexit: A response to this weekend.

June 26, 2016

Posted to Facebook 25th June, 2016. Edited for clarity. So, it’s been a couple of days since we decided to leave the European Union. Many people have had extreme feels on the result, but I think the shock is wearing off. So some thoughts on what people have been saying: 1. Democracy doesn’t start or […]

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Lexit: The Morning After

June 26, 2016

Posted to Facebook 24th June 2016. Some edits for clarity. Today was always going to be a day of recriminations and backlash for millions of people, whatever the outcome. Maybe you just weren’t expecting you would be one of them. But I was one of the most prominent people advocating a Leave vote that many […]

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The EU Referendum: Do you REALLY want to vote with [person I hate]?

June 22, 2016

I had a much, much longer blogpost that was going to rebut the main arguments of both the Leave and Remain campaigns and make my own case for why we should vote Leave on grounds of democracy, but technical problems got in the way and it was never finished to the standard that would have […]

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