If we want to persist with leaving the EU, we can choose between keeping full, tariff-free, access to the EU Single Market or controlling the movement of EU citizens to work & study in the UK.
Any politician who tries to claim that we can have both is ether deluded or lying.
What does losing full access to the EU Single market mean? For companies that trade with the Single Market (export or import) it will mean that they will have to pay tariffs on any goods brought in from or sent to the Single Market and that shipments to and from the Single Market will accompanied by Customs forms and permits as well as having to be inspected by Customs as they cross into the Single Market.
This will add costs and bureaucracy causing prices to rise. Some companies will find that their markets in the EU will disappear as they become uncompetitive against rivals still based inside the Single Market, causing these companies to either shrink or cease trading entirely, meaning job losses to UK workers. Even taking goods into the Single Market for personal use or for
At the same time, the costs of our imports from the EU, much of the food we eat & the raw materials used by manufacturers, causing price rises here in shops.
So, against this what do we have to gain from controlling the movement of EU citizens to work & study in the UK?
The simple answer is very little.
EU citizens working in the UK pay more in taxes than they take out through benefits or services. Many important parts of our care system (including hospitals & care homes) will struggle to find the workers they need. Our Universities need EU students & lecturers both to survive economically and, just as importantly, to proper academically. The economic activity generated by EU citizens living in the UK creates work rather than taking jobs.
Many of the problems in society that get blamed on EU workers in the UK are really the fault of our own Governments. Low wages are cause by exploitative employers using practices that have been allowed by British Governments. Blocking EU workers won’t increase wages the exploiters will simply find another source of cheap Labour. The crises in Housing, Education & the NHS are not caused by the “influx” of EU citizens to work & study here but by successive UK Governments over decades failing to invest in building homes, training Doctors & Nurses and creating new schools where they are needed.
Scapegoating EU workers and blocking their right to come here won’t cure these problems (indeed, the fall in economic activity & taxes caused by getting rid of them will actually make these problems worse), it is just a way of deflecting the blame from where it belongs.
Leaving the Single Market will be an unmitigated disaster to British Industry and it will take decades to recover from and build up alternative markets for British goods. Controlling the movement of EU citizens to work & study in the UK will hurt not help in any attempt to rebuild after such a disaster. Those that will suffer the most will be those in the very areas that have already suffered from Government neglect while the rich will get richer in a low tax, low wage, low rights economy.
Whether we are in the EU or not (and we should be in to increase our influence), having full tariff & customs free access to Single Market is vital for our future
It is time we had politicians brave enough to stand up for the truth, to base policy on evidence not prejudice, to lead not follow, to see beyond the hysteria whipped up rich people wanting to protect their riches.