Austerity, immigration and the EU

As national debts continue to grow across countries in Europe, and various other countries discussing the possibility of leaving the European Union, what is made of the UK’s decision to leave the EU?

Since the UK’s decision to leave the European Union on the 23rd June 2016, net migration from the rest of Europe and further has dropped with the expectation that this will continue to fall as Article 50 is put into place.

This week, Marine Le Pen of the French National Front, failed in her bid to become Prime Minister in France and her campaign to leave the Union

Elsewhere, the likes of Holland, Austria and Poland have all seen increase in support for political parties supporting leaving the Union, with increasing concerns over immigration and the overall cost of membership to their respective taxpayers.

Trevor Swinswood, Project Manager for Corporation Oaks, a young persons’ housing project in Nottingham in the UK, said,

“Britain leaving the EU in 2 years time will be a major distraction in the UK and Europe.

“Government and local authorities will be spending a lot of their time debating and focusing on leaving the EU.”

Various numbers have been suggested with regards to the cost of ‘Brexit’ on the economy of the UK, including a substantial drop in the value of the pound sterling in comparison to foreign currency, and this is something that other countries will need to consider.

Eurostat figures show that the majority of Western Europe, including France, Spain, Portugal and Italy, all have a debt greater than the UK, each over 89% of the national GDP.

Of the impact of the cuts on Corporation Oaks has faced due to government austerity and how “Brexit” may further affect this, Trevor added,

“One of the main areas where these cuts have been implemented has been the funding of non-statutory services across the UK.

“It has negatively affected homelessness support services, supported housing provision, mental health support service, women’s services and young person’s services and many other areas.

“[Brexit] will potentially demand local connections, references and residency which will all have a negative effect on refugees and immigrants with more reliance upon voluntary organisations and refugee forums.”

by Tom McBeth (April 2017)

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