For the free movement of people
THE RECENT MOVE BY LABOUR'S FRONT BENCH to look towards an interim arrangement which will be "as short as possible and as long as is necessary", with respect to remaining within the single market and customs union, is a welcome, tentative move to a more rounded Labour Party policy on the EU.
It will prevent economic uncertainty and give greater security for jobs and services. It will also have the effect of creating a clear policy difference between Labour and the Conservatives - and at some point could split the Tories in Parliament.
Amidst all the ballyhoo on Brexit, it is clear business interests are growing increasingly concerned at the government's approach to immigration - with the threat of a shortage of nurses, fruit pickers, care workers and other groups.
The leaked Home Office proposal on newer and ‘redder tape’ on new immigration proposals surely demonstrates ‘race’ by another name will be the dog whistle choice for the right. Why then do we continue with Labour's manifesto pledge “to end free movement of labour"?
A recent YouGov poll found that even Leave voters were evenly split on allowing free movement in exchange for access to the single market. Labour needs clarity on free movement and it also needs courage to call out racism.
The reaction to immigration in the EU referendum and subsequent events was in large part a proxy for anger in those communities left behind by neo-liberalism. It was a cry for an end to austerity and the fall in living standards.
Accepting controls on the free movement of labour concedes to our enemies and panders to racism. It suggests that our enemy is the ‘foreigner’ and not the enemy at home.
The ability of 510 million people to live, move and work in the world’s biggest market, seems to me progressive and something worth defending.