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Why it’s Time to Lower Immigration from non-Commonwealth Nations

by John Brian Shannon

Well, ‘Brexit is Brexit’ as they say, and it looks like it’s going to take a while to finalize details between the UK and the EU. But no need to panic. Brexit will happen and the two sides will be legally divorced within 12-months.

It might turn out to be a good agreement, it might turn out to be a bad agreement, or negotiations might go so awry that the UK leaves without any agreement; In which case WTO rules would automatically apply until superceded by bilateral agreement.

Which wouldn’t be too bad actually, because with no time constraints to worry about post-Brexit, and with no concern about loss of face for politicians (on account of missing the Brexit deadline) powerful industries on both sides of the English Channel could then push their respective governments to create a number of à la carte bilateral agreements pursuant to their sector. Secondary and tertiary industries would then follow the lead of the powerful primary industries.

Eventually, every CEO would be heard by their respective government, and elected representatives on both sides would be compelled by their own political self-interest to present their case to the other side — a very pure way of streamlining trade between Europe’s (by then) newly divorced economies.

Whichever way it goes, in approximately 12-months Britain will be alone in the world save for its Commonwealth partners which it hasn’t cherished enough over the past 86-years, but it’s not to late to change that.

In fact, now is the time for the UK to take huge strides forward with its Commonwealth partners and begin to deliberately favour them over non-Commonwealth nations, especially in regards to trade and immigration.

“The latest net migration statistics show that in the year ending December 2016, net migration to the UK was 248,000.” — Migration Watch UK

The majority of immigrants to the UK since 1999 came from eastern Europe and the benefit for British employers is that these workers accept low-paying jobs and (although it is unethical and in some cases illegal; regardless, it still happens) that a farm or factory could replace all UK-born workers and on the next week hire immigrants who work for far lower wages. This can save companies significant amounts of money especially in the case where the UK-born employees have years of seniority and full benefit plans.

(Want to save 25% on your annual labour expenditure? Fire everyone below the level of General Manager and fill those positions with immigrant workers. Sure, it may be hairy for a while until the newcomers learn their jobs, but think of the money you’ll save! Even with having to pay significant severance pay to UK-born workers that have seniority, and maybe a bit of ‘hush money’ — over time the company will show better profits. If you think this hasn’t been done, you’re naive in the extreme. Whether it’s legal or not, whether it’s ethical or not, or whether it’s the ‘right thing’ for Britons to do to their own countrymen and countrywomen is a completely different matter)

In the end it hurts the UK economy, although it helps UK businesses to earn higher profit, but much of the money earned by the immigrants is sent to their families in eastern Europe or wherever they migrated from.

The name for these kinds of transactions is ‘foreign remittances’ and billions of pounds sterling leave the UK economy for foreign nations every year. That money is gone and is never returning.

The amount of wealth leaving the UK every year via foreign remittances is astonishing and may total as much as £20 billion annually (or more) and as the accounting is imprecise it’s almost always found (years later) that the estimates were extremely low.

The UK is one of the Top-Ten foreign remitting countries in the world

UK - Remittance flows from Britain 2015 - Pew Research
Although foreign remittances are only estimates, at least $24,878,000,000 in remittances were sent from the UK to other countries in 2015. Image courtesy of Pew Research.

In some countries with heavy remittances from the UK, the amounts are so large that certain developing nations receive up to 6% of their GDP via foreign remittances, and the UK is one of the top-ten foreign remitting countries in the world.

Think how much money Britain’s governments (Labour and Conservative) have allowed to leave the UK via foreign remittances over the past quarter century…

Wouldn’t it be smarter to lower immigration from non-Commonwealth nations?

Why, yes it would. It would be much smarter.

Commonwealth nations have historic links with Britain and it looks better when former colonies (and new Commonwealth members that were never colonies of Britain) are faring well thanks to British largesse.

Following is a short list of UK benefits if immigration from non-Commonwealth nations is replaced by Commonwealth nation immigrants:

  • Tens of billions of pounds sterling will no longer leave Britain annually to be used by non-Commonwealth countries
  • Foreign remittances from the UK would go to Commonwealth nations instead of non-Commonwealth nations
  • Commonwealth nations might choose to source more military equipment, machinery, etc. from the UK
  • Commonwealth nations with boosted foreign remittances are more likely to stay within the Commonwealth
  • Immigrants to the UK from Commonwealth nations are more likely to understand the British worldview
  • Commonwealth immigrants are more likely to integrate well into British society
  • Commonwealth nation citizens will have a better opinion of the UK and of Britons
  • Commonwealth nation economies will see a corresponding economic benefit
  • UK GDP would increase, as would GDP in the other Commonwealth nations
  • Commonwealth nations would become politically strengthened
  • Commonwealth links between businesses are likely to increase
  • Links between Commonwealth citizens are certain to increase

And that’s just the short list.

Yes, billions of pounds sterling will still leave the UK but at least it will be going to Commonwealth member nations that have a similar worldview to Britons and are nations that are more likely to support British policies instead of opposing them.

If the money is going to leave anyway, the smart money would arrange to keep it ‘in the family’ with countries that don’t have adversarial relations with the UK.

Why should the UK be adding to the GDP of non-Commonwealth nations, when it could be adding to Commonwealth nations GDP?

The UK is a member of that august organization and membership itself implies that each member should favour other members.

Commonwealth governments, big business and consumers should always try to shop at Commonwealth businesses first, before trying anywhere else. If something can’t be found for sale in your own nation, then try to purchase it in another Commonwealth nation. If it can’t be found at all, then maybe it’s time for another Commonwealth member nation businesses to pool their resources and build/sell that product.

The UK should cut immigration from non-Commonwealth nations and simultaneously make it one order of magnitude easier for Commonwealth nation citizens to immigrate to Britain.

While the total immigration levels might stay the same, the definite bias should move quickly towards Commonwealth nations and NAFTA countries.

Commonwealth citizens should have UK visas fast-tracked after Brexit, MPs argue (The Telegraph)

Up to 200,000 immigration applications from Commonwealth and NAFTA nations should be accepted each year via a simple online form, a successful criminal records background check, and payment of an immigration fee of £100 per year.

One for all, and all for one!

Instead of strengthening people and nations that have no interest for or against the UK, Britain should quickly move to support Commonwealth members and NAFTA countries.

In this way, countries that are pulling for the Britain’s success will be rewarded by Britain — and vice versa.

The UK should respectfully request NAFTA associate membership the moment Britain formally leaves the EU. And within 5-years, all other Commonwealth nations should make the same request of NAFTA.

That’s how you Build a Better Britain, Build a Better Commonwealth and Build a Better NAFTA!

Should Theresa May Guarantee the ‘Rights’ of EU Citizens Living in Britain?

by John Brian Shannon | March 6, 2017

Many of Britain’s finest newspaper columnists, editors of some of Britain’s most prestigious publications, and even some British MP’s are calling for Prime Minister Theresa May to ‘guarantee’ the so-called ‘rights’ of EU citizens who live, work and play in the United Kingdom.

This might seem a noble idea at first — however, there is no ‘right’ for anyone to live or work in Britain — other than the rights that have been earned by British citizens. It was Britons who built the great nation we see today and they did it through hard work, determination and innovation. And older British citizens suffered through WWI, WWII, the Cold War, and various social upheavals and recessions to build the modern Britain. Well done, lads and ladies!

Why should similar ‘rights’ be conferred upon the citizens of other countries simply because they work, study or retire in Britain?

Do Britons have those ‘rights’ in the EU or in other countries? Why not?

The answer is; British expats will never be granted similar ‘rights’ to citizens in other countries no matter how long Britons live there. So why does this question keep coming up?

“It would be convenient for EU citizens and companies that EU citizens should be granted similar ‘rights’ to British citizens.”

Well yes, of course it would. And I view statements like that in the same context as;

I would like a free Aston Martin delivered to my door today — and fresh-baked French bread delivered each morning.”

Righto. Allow me to get right on that.

Britain - EU expats

Why not just give EU citizens who live in Britain a free Aston Martin instead of free virtual citizenship and be done with it? It’d be cheaper in the long run.

How many other countries offer such ‘rights’ to the expats in their nations — as is being proposed by some in the UK?

Tourists are a completely different matter of course, and they are welcome anytime for stays up to 90 days. (This should be a standard rule in every country)

Britain’s tourism industry is a thriving enterprise — but it isn’t doing half as well as it might simply because Britons don’t see the attraction of Britain through the lens of foreigners. It’s a truly magnificent country that ranks first on practically every traveler’s bucket list.

Britain rank - 'The World's Most Visited Cities in 2016'

The World’s Most Visited Cities in 2016

Britain’s population of 65 million pales in comparison to Europe’s 439 million (for a pan-European total of 504 million in 2016) and it isn’t like continental Europe is running short of land, unlike the island nation of Britain. So why is London such a draw for EU citizens? Why do so many Europeans want to live in the UK?

Are there really 8 million foreigners in Britain?

According to widely circulated media reports there are 3.3 million EU citizens living in the UK, mostly in London, and without a firm border there’s likely to be double that amount by 2025 if Britain decides to award free (virtual) citizenship to EU citizens. There are many more non-EU nationals living in the United Kingdom but no UK government department knows that number.

Our Government has absolutely no idea how many EU citizens live in the UK but The Migration Observatory reckons it will take 140 years to process the 3.5 million EU citizens presently in the UK who may seek permanent residence.

It’s a privilege, not a right

It’s a privilege for anyone to visit, work, or to retire in Britain — not a right.

If some EU citizens are miffed at that statement, they should know that many Britons will rejoice when they return to their former neighbourhoods (which are presently overpriced because 3.3 million high-spending EU nationals live in London) and return to their former jobs when those EU citizens leave the UK.

Britain - The Most Expensive Places to Buy a House in London 2016

The Most Expensive Places to Buy a House in London 2016

I sincerely and respectfully urge Prime Minister Theresa May to give careful consideration to granting the citizens of any country any special ‘rights’ unless identical rights are legislated in those other countries for Britons. Although it seems reasonable to me that a slightly more favourable visa regime could be passed by the UK House of Commons for the citizens of Commonwealth nations.

But for nationals of any other bloc or nation, a yearly and easily renewable worker or consultant visa, student visa, retiree visa, family or medical reasons visa, or academic visa should be requiritur per UK imperium for those who plan to stay in the UK for longer than 90 days (e.g. ‘not a tourist or diplomat, but an expat’) and it should be available online for £100 annually at GOV.UK.

Do the math: Assuming 8 million expats x £100 annually = £800,000,000 in annual government revenue. Which would almost cover the costs of monitoring and protecting those 8 million foreign nationals, and covering their share of infrastructure costs.

Millions of Britons lived (and many died in combat) to build a better Britain, let’s not give it away for the sake of corporate convenience to those who won’t ever fight for Britain.

“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone; They paved paradise and put up a parking lot!” — Joni Mitchell

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What should Britain’s post-Brexit Immigration policy look like?

by John Brian Shannon | February 27, 2017

One of the main drivers for the 17+ million Britons who voted to Brexit was that they felt overwhelmed by the large numbers of refugees and economic immigrants in the UK — all of which are additional to the outsized share of EU citizens who live, work and play in Britain.

Two things can’t be stressed enough when it comes to immigration policy; Immigration is always a good thing for an economy, and when immigration loads become too high social unrest occurs.

Therefore, immigration policy is a balancing-act for governments caught between economists and voters

Britain Infographic: Which countries host and send the most migrants? | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

As per the chart above, Britain has invited a grand total of 8.5 million immigrants into the country (half of which are permanently unemployed) while 4.9 million Britons live and work in other countries.

Certainly the economic case for immigration for countries like Britain is recognized by economists who stress that immigration is a positive, as refugees and economic immigrants typically accept any job offered to them — even the low-paying jobs.

Which isn’t the case with those born in the UK who prefer higher status or higher paying jobs — with the notable exception of young Britons just entering the workforce, or young people working to pay for a university education, or older workers with limited skills.

Britain Infographic: Where Foreign-born Workers Are Employed in the UK | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

Economists agree; Too much immigration can be detrimental

It can be a life-changing experience for a young person to get ‘beat-out’ on their first attempt at employment by 500 other applicants for that one available job in their hometown, it’s especially troubling for them to imagine (whether true or not) that if the government hadn’t allowed such high levels of immigration, that he or she would’ve otherwise gotten their first job, straightaway.

The seeds of anger, anti-immigration, and possibly of racism, are thereby set early in life.

Britain - Of the 31.5 million workers in the UK, about 10% are immigrants.

Or put another way — “10% of UK jobs are taken by immigrants instead of Britons who wanted those jobs.”

Another item of concern arises when large numbers of immigrants live in one neighbourhood due to the low rents found there, and a process of ghettoization can begin. These become areas of high crime, with certain elements within the group asserting control over their own ethnic or social group. This can be done using peer pressure, ultra-strict interpretations of religious code, by threats or intimidation, or by those working as supervisors at the local factory or farm who can ‘control’ via employee schedule modifications, how many hours per week each worker is allotted.

In early 20th-century America this was a full-blown industry among the Irish, Italians, and later, the Polish immigrants to the United States, which later morphed into each ethnic group having its own ‘mafioso’ to ‘police’ its own nationality.

Britain’s government must play close attention to hitting the sweet spot which occurs between keeping the economists happy (importing plenty of low-wage labour) and keeping the citizens happy, which surely can’t be an easy task.

Who Should Stay and Who Should Go?

Not only should Britain allow fewer immigrants post-Brexit than it does today, it must deter those who would move to the UK hoping to further their criminal career. (‘Richer’ pockets to pick in the UK than in their home country)

Britain can deter such opportunists by maintaining a high deportation rate (much higher than at present) for those convicted of crimes. For economic migrants and refugees, to be caught and convicted of any crime more serious than jaywalking should mean automatic deportation from the UK. (A fair trial on Friday, followed by a deportation on Monday)

A bright spot in all of this is that Britain is better than many countries at ‘weeding-out’ those that engage in crime, and it successfully deports them to their place of origin. Many other countries aren’t faring as well as Britain.

To do it right takes a lot of effort, plenty of police assets and time, and a robust ‘tipster’ system, where those living under duress feel they can safely and anonymously report abusers and other criminal behaviors in their communities to the government. Fortunately, the UK government seems to have a good, if not perfect handle on the deportation aspect of British immigration policy.

Britain tag | Infographic: Which EU Countries Deport The Most People? | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

And, bonus! Pound for pound, deporting ‘problems’ is the most efficient way to lower the overall crime rate, to lower property damage and property insurance costs, and to lower policing and court costs. Not to mention slashing the astronomical costs of incarceration.

In the UK it is estimated that each new prison place costs £119,000 and that the *annual average cost per prisoner* exceeds £40,000.” — Kevin Marsh: The real cost of prison – The Guardian

Britain tag | Infographic: The EU's highest incarceration rates | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

It’s always a noble thing to accept refugees into a country, and economic migrants can make a better life for themselves and simultaneously help the host economy to thrive — but each level of government must always pay close attention to the total number of migrants in the UK, in each particular county, and in each city and town.

Far too often only the total numbers across the entire country are examined, with practically zero attention paid to small cities, towns and rural counties. It’s important that each jurisdiction doesn’t end up with a total immigration load of more than 6.5% of that jurisdiction’s population.

Each county, town, or city must have the authority to limit the maximum number of refugees, economic migrants, and normal émigrés within their boundaries to 6.5% of that jurisdiction’s total population.

Immigrants as a percentage of the total population

Many political scientists argue for a minimum of 4.5% to an absolute maximum of 6.5% immigrants-to-natives mix. Ghettoization in the community, and a much higher crime rate in nearby communities, begins to occur at 6.5% of the total population along with other serious social ills.

According to the world’s best political scientists, Britain, with a total population of 65 million calls for a maximum of 4,225,000 migrants of all kinds (refugees + economic migrants + normal émigrés) — instead of the 8.5 million that were in the country in 2015. Almost certainly that number surpasses 9 million now, in February of 2017.

It’s all about Balance!

Overly generous Britain needs to act decisively to lower total immigration loads by half in the immediate post-Brexit timeframe — or Britons need to double their extremely low fertility rate (presently set at 1.88 births per woman) for about 20-years, which seems unlikely.

All the economic and social good that occurs via immigration for the United Kingdom, for the migrants themselves, and for international goodwill, will eventually become undone if Britain continues to carry twice as many migrants as is advised by the world’s expert political scientists and demographers.