Former prime minister concerned about change in UK’s stance – urges implementing immigration policy while remaining in EU.
Britain’s former prime minister, Tony Blair has urged the government to implement the reforms in immigration policy, while still staying on as a part of EU. A staunch Brexit opponent, Mr. Blair suggested that the government should not leave the European Union just to control mass immigration from the EU.
Implementing strict immigration reforms would please the pro-Brexit public, and remaining in the EU would appease to the anti-Brexit campaigners. The advantage would be to stop the economic turmoil that this separation would otherwise cause.
Mr. Blair admitted to the influx of European immigrants as a direct cause of the open door policy initiated in 2004. He also acknowledged the fact that due to an adverse change in socio-economic conditions, some decisions need to be reconsidered to place stringent controls in effect. His statements concede to the unfriendly sentiment among the majority who are concerned about the declining wages, stressed public services and reluctance to inculcate British culture by some communities, particularly the conservative Muslims.
Feeling restricted by the referendum, Mr. Blair proposed an alternative that would respect the local views on immigration while still enjoying the benefits of a single market. According to him, every EU migrant would need to register when they enter the UK borders. If the purpose of visit is employment, they would be required to have a job offer before entering Britain. Otherwise they would be banned from renting a house, opening a bank account or claiming benefits. In his view, these alternatives will lessen the impact on NHS and allow universities in UK to charge appropriate tuition fees to the EU students.
As of yet, it is unclear what the residents in Number 10 think about it. His statements arrive at a time when the parliament gears up to vote on a bill to convert selective EU laws into British law after Brexit.