Sunday, October 16, 2016

Freedom of Movement within the EU is not "immigration"

Freedom of Movement within the EU is not "immigration". The myth that it is heavily influenced the outcome of the EU Referendum and is still being circulated by those opposed to the UK remaining a signatory to free trade in Europe. 

The core principle of economic alliances is the free movement of the factors of production - including labour. You can't pick and choose. If you want free movement of (say) capital free movement of labour comes with it. And free trade, the removal of barriers to the movement of goods also demands open borders - open to goods, capital, enterprise and people. 

Freedom of Movement of labour in the EU means that job seeking and employment has no national boundaries. It is, however, subject to the normal economic forces of supply and demand. If there is demand there will be supply. And the intersection of the supply and demand curves will give you the price. That price in the U.K. is regulated by minimum wage legislation. The legal employment of non British EU nationals is subject to the same laws as the employment of Brits is. There is no "cheap labour from Europe". (That there is illegal employment is a matter for the Police and is irrelevant to this discussion). 

Those EU nationals working here have not, in the main, migrated. They are Guest Workers doing a job, paying their taxes, consuming goods and services etc. Their net contribution to the economy is heavily positive. In time most of them will move on - back to their home country or elsewhere. The laws of supply and demand apply. Our economy relies on the availability (supply) of labour, capital and enterprise. The wider the source of all of these the better. The lower the costs and the higher the quality and the greater the choice.


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