Freedom of Movement

On the subject of freedom of movement, one of the mantras of those campaigning to leave the EU was to "take back control". The question they were not asked was: "Take back control from whom?" And because that question was not asked, people were left with the impression that bureaucrats in Brussels were in control.

In fact neither bureaucrats in Brussels nor politicians in any member state of the EU are in control. We as EU citizens, at least for now, are the ones in control of our own choices about where we live and work. We can work in Berlin, retire to Spain, or bum around in Greece as we want, and no government anywhere in the EU can deny us that freedom.

If the UK leaves the EU without signing up to the four freedoms of movement (with a similar status to countries like Norway) control will be taken away from us as individuals and handed to governments instead.

We can decide for ourselves whether this is a good or bad thing. However I find it odd that those on the right of the political spectrum, who in all other circumstances think that government control over citizens is a bad thing, are the ones who think that taking this freedom from us as individuals and putting politicians in control is a now good thing.

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Anonymous said...

The thing I find odd is that here in Wales we Welsh expect to have control over where we live and work. Be it Berlin, Spain or Greece. And yet when others decide to move into our communities we use 'the language' to keep them out. Be it by preventing new housing developments from being built or by burning down the properties these 'incomers' have chosen to inhabit.

Isn't it time this freedom was taken away from us? Or am I missing something?

MH said...

Yes, you're missing something, 17:00. The obvious thing you missed is that you describe yourself as "we Welsh" and expect people to believe you.

I don't know anyone who tries to prevent people moving into their communities using "the language" to keep them out. I would characterize the most common attitude of people everywhere as one of welcoming immigrants who try to fit into and want to be a part of the community in which they have chosen to live.

When it comes to language, that applies as much to people in an English or French community when they expect an immigrant to learn English or French as it does to a Welsh community. Your problem is that you don't look at Welsh in the same way as you look at other languages.

Anonymous said...

In the Sunday Express today, a story about a nationalist party that ACTUALLY DOES want to use "the language" as a way of keeping immigrants out - the Conservative Party.

"Europeans wanting to move to Britain after Brexit would have to prove they have a skilled job lined up in the UK and can speak fluent English by submitting evidence online before being considered for the next stage of the process."

Anonymous said...

MH 21:16

In North Wales in places like Bangor lots of housing development projects are deemed unacceptable because of a potential impact upon 'the language'.

As for immigrants having to 'fit in' and 'want to be a part of the community in which they have chosen to live', I'm speechless. You can live anyway you want anywhere in this country just so long as you obey the law. Forget the nonsense of 'fitting in', life is too short to pander to the whims of others!

When Welsh people move to Spain very few of them try and learn Spanish. Why should they? They aren't there to live off the Spanish state. And they aren't there there to absorb Spanish culture. They're there to enjoy the weather. And a bilingual accountant or solicitor can handle any necessary 'local' interaction.

I think it's time you got out more, there's a big world out there to enjoy (just as long as you can afford to enjoy it with your own money and not someone else's).

MH said...

As always, 19:32, if "the language" is English, then the bigots don't see it as discrimination. But if "the language" happens to be Welsh, they're up in arms at being discriminated against. Double standards.


If you'll take my advice, 23:00, I think you'd enjoy the "big world out there" a lot more if you took the trouble to interact with the different people and cultures that live in it. If your idea of seeing the world is to try to create, how shall I put it, an "Anglophone bubble, but with warmer weather", you aren't really experiencing the richness of what our big wide world has to offer at all.

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