Sometimes I’m a bit slow. I have a friend who lives in Ireland quite close to the Northern Ireland border. She has friends in the North and often crosses over to see them. She also takes advantage of the differences in taxation on some items and shops there sometimes. People have been moving freely between Ireland and the UK for a long, long time.
But, after Brexit, Ireland will still be in the EU and subject to the ‘free movement’ rules. That implies that a person who is not Irish could freely travel to Ireland. If the border between Ireland and the North remains open, what is to stop that person crossing into the North and then into England or Wales?
But wait. Ireland is not in Schenegen, which means that people have to have passports and show them when they enter Ireland, but does that alter my argument? What is to stop a Bulgarian from entering Ireland with his EU passport and then moving on into the UK? But I must admit that I do not know what the rules are for people travelling from Ireland to the UK exactly. Here is something that I have found:
The Common Travel Area means that there are no passport controls in operation for Irish and UK citizens travelling between the 2 countries. You do not need to have a passport in order to enter the other country. However, all air and sea carriers require some form of identification and some regard a passport as the only valid identification. Immigration authorities may also require you to have valid official photo-identification which shows your nationality. As you are being asked to prove that you are an Irish or UK citizen who is entitled to avail of the Common Travel Area arrangements, it is advisable to travel with your passport.
The common travel area was established in 1920, but has changed over the years. I suppose that originally, there was no question of foreign jihadis infiltrating, or economic migrants.
I suspect that we are, again, being misled by the powers-that-be. There has always been a form of ‘free movement’ – holiday makers. People from all over the world come to the UK as tourists. Does anyone want to halt tourism? So it isn’t really about ‘free movement’. It is about being able to support yourself. I go to Spain on holiday quite frequently. In what circumstances might I have to throw myself on the mercies of the Spanish State? I suppose that, if all my possessions were stolen, including my debit/credit cards and passport, and I was penniless in a Spanish hotel, I would have to ask for help from someone or other. Perhaps the hotel would help by allowing me to eat and drink for a few days, and even fund a trip to wherever to see the British Consul. But that is just a simple example. A far more serious situation would arise if you were accused of a criminal offence and arrested. In those circumstances, you would be better off in jail, where you get fed and sheltered, than being released on bail – for the time being, at any rate.
The real problem with free movement is people who move to the UK and then claim benefits. Tales of foreigners scrounging in the streets of London are not that important, provided that they support themselves. Cameron tried to get the EU laws about benefits altered, but he failed. Question: How did those laws get passed in the first place? Who was asleep on the job in the Foreign Office?
You see, all this stuff about the EU should be Foreign Office. Perhaps it is, but there seem to be all sorts of UK ‘officials’ who seem to be disconnected from the Foreign Office. EG, Soubry and the Tobacco Products Directive. Soubry was in Health, and not the Foreign Office. She did not know the terms of the TPD when she signed the UK up for it.
And there has been the rub. For some reason that I do not understand, all things EU have been dispersed, rather than being handled in the same place by the same department. Now, we are in a total mess because of that. No one knows what to do. I hope that Boris Johnson demands control of all things EU and liaises closely with David Davies over Brexit.
So what is the answer to the problem of immigrants? Look at it from a different point of view. Assume that a person enters the UK as a tourist. There are millions of them every year. Some of them are not able to support themselves for more than a few days, and then claim benefits. Erm… No. They will be repatriated and incur a debt – the cost of shelter and transport. But, inevitably, it is hardly likely that that person would pay the debt. But the important thing is that failure to be able to support yourself would result in repatriation. That is the important thing.
There is an implication there there would also need to be some sort of accommodation. I remember going on holiday when I was single and about 19 to Butlins. The chalets were very simple being just bedrooms, essentially. I’m not even sure that they had showers and toilets. But, at the time, that was not important. We were there for fun and, if possible, sex. You dined on the slop which was provided. But the slop was edible if not what you might call cuisine. It would not be difficult to provide such ‘camps’. Would there need to be barbed wire fences to keep the inmates inside? No! Because there would be no point in them leaving. They would still not get any benefits.
But what about political asylum seekers? Erm… What are the practicalities of a person seeking asylum in the UK? Why the UK? How does that person get from his place of residence to the UK? It strikes me that one of the attractions of the UK, in the distant past, was the separation of the UK from the continent by the English Channel. Also, such claimants were likely to be opponents of a regime which our Government abhorred. Thus, those people would be given privileged treatment. They might also be supported financially.
What does that do to the people who are camped out across the channel and who are trying to get into lorries etc? Well, we ask again, what are they doing there in the first place? Why is France not good enough for them? Where was the first place that they landed and how did they get to Calais? Did they land in Greece and walk from Greece to Calais? Do they incur a debt to be transported to Calais which becomes enforceable if they actually get into the UK, and do the financiers have heavy mobs in England to enforce payment of those debts? We do not know and our Government wants it all to be secret.
So we come back to Ireland. I wonder why the hopefuls in Calais have not been transported to Ireland and availed themselves of the lack of border guards and fences between Northern Ireland and Ireland? How would the Irish Government deal with an influx of unidentifiable people from Calais?
As usual, it is a question of ‘follow the money’.
So the answer is to make the UK not such a sucker. Brexit will give our Government, and particularly the Foreign Office, authority to deny any sort of benefits. At best, a smuggled in person can expect simple life support prior to repatriation.
And so the situation resolves itself quite simply. Persons who want to enter the UK have to have credible identification. If they have such identification, then they can enter. But if they are not UK citizens, then the only ‘benefit’ that they can claim is repatriation and temporary shelter while they await repatriation. And they must pay for the repatriation. If they do not, then their country of origin must pay – or else…
Open borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland can be retained, if those communities want them to be retained. Passage to the UK is different. Identification is imperative.
Brexit has buggered up a lot of money-making and semi-criminal activities. I hope that our new Government buggers up all of them, especially the academic control of Government.
We shall have to wait and see what Theresa May accomplishes. But I doubt that she will stop the persecution of smokers. I doubt that she will recognise that there is such persecution.It is a bit like the slave trade – that trade was so profitable that it was very difficult to stop. The persecution of smokers is also very difficult to stop. The persecution of smokers is very profitable.
I’d bet a pound to a penny that she would recognise immediately the persecution of homosexuals.