Post Brexit Immigration Fear For EU Nationals Are Misplaced

Post Brexit Immigration Fear For EU Nationals Are Misplaced

By Sammie Jones-

Post-Brexit Immigration fears for EU nationals were expressed on BBC Newsnight on Wednesday, but are really misplaced.

They have been brought up because of the exposed state of the treatment given to thousands of Windrush migrants who arrived in the UK after World War II. The shambles that followed the destruction of thousands of documents in 2010 by the Home Office has raised concerns that something similar could be the fate of many more thousands of EU nationals post Brexit.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation for St. Kitts and Nevis, Mark Brantley, told BBC Newsnight that this could set a precedent for how immigrants are treated post-Brexit.

Newsnight Presenter Evan Davis said: “What do you think of the implication of the immigration debate in Britain now?

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“I mean, we’re meant to be presenting ourselves as a post-Brexit, global nation.”

The foreign minister said: “Immigration has become a very topical issue, not just here but in the United States, Europe and even the Caribbean
”Countries clearly have the right to determine who they let in and who they don’t let in, this particular generation of people are the exception because they were British nationals at the time of arrival.“But I think the way that the British Government deal with the Windrush generation might have implications post-Brexit.

“In terms of how Europeans live in England are to be treated and vice-versa.” The BBC confirmed that representatives of the British government were invited to the programme but declined the invitation. This should be no surprise, why would the British government send a representative to face the music of a shamble that cannot be explained or justified? There is no saying on who exactly was pulling the strings of the awful decisions that has caused many wind rush immigrants their current plight, but this will not and cannot be repeated to EU nationals post-Brexit.

The rules will be tight and agreed, this is why EU talks with the UK have been very tough and difficult because once various agreements are made and clearly defined, they will become legally binding.

Mr Brantley’s thoughts are not to be dismissed as worries not worthy of consideration. The reality is that the fears raised are not practical ones that can happen post-Brexit. The European Courts and the British judicial system will be too rigid and detailed in instructions for such breach of agreement and understanding to take place.


Mr.Bantley’s comments were echoed by European Parliament Brexit chief Guy Verhofstadt. He expressed similar views that the row surrounding whether Windrush citizens had the right to live in the UK had caused fears for EU citizens in Britain about their rights post-Brexit, and how a new EU immigration system would work.
Mr Verhofstadt commented on the crisis, saying: “This could be worrying for millions of EU citizens in the UK who may fear that they could face similar treatment after Brexit.

“The Home Office has agreed to come to the European Parliament to explain their proposed registration system for EU nationals and I expect MEPs will rightly want safeguards.”

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He expressed fears of EU nationals living in Britain of being deported in a similar way because of the potential registration process suggested by the British Government – which has led to worrying errors in the past.

In 2017, up to 100 EU citizens were wrongly sent deportation letters last year, prompting Mrs May described as an “unfortunate error”.

Anti-Brexit Labour MP Daniel Zeichner added his voice to the concerns expressed.  He said:  “EU nationals all over the country will have already drawn the comparisons for themselves.

“The Home Office cannot make our current immigration system work, so there is no prospect of creating a massively more complicated system for many, many more people, and to have it in place and working anytime soon.

“The treatment of the Windrush generation by Theresa May’s Government has been despicable.

“The only good that can come is if they now acknowledge the harm they have done, fix it, and back off doing the same to yet more people.”

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Theresa May on her inauguration as prime minister spoke against racism and has on a number of occasions expressed strong opposition to racist or discriminating practices in the country. She has some explaining to do, but must be given the benefit of the doubt that the Windrush general shambles was caused by the negligence of other individuals working in her department when she was Home Secretary. EU nationals with the legitimate right to live in Britain must be given their due right and treated fairly. Any amongst them who commits a criminal offence will face the full force of the law in the same way British citizens will be treated by the law whenever caught violating the law.  A repeat of the Windrush generation blunder must not and cannot happen again.

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