Tag Archives: european union

EU citizen registration scheme isn’t risking another Windrush scandal – the first one isn’t over!

Bumi Thomas: this jazz musician’s citizenship of the UK is in the balance and the government has already tried to deport her.

EU citizens living in the UK may find themselves the focus of another Windrush-style scandal if they fail to apply for “settled status” – but it seems the first Windrush scandal isn’t over and people are still being deported.

According to The Independent:

EU nationals are in danger of slipping through the cracks of the government’s Brexit registration scheme and turning into another Windrush-style scandal, citizens’ groups have warned.

MPs on the EU future relationship committee were told by community groups that there was simply no way to tell whether how many people had been left out of the scheme because there were no accurate figures for how many were eligible.

EU nationals in the UK have been expected to sign up for “settled status” because of Brexit bringing an end to free movement, but campaigners have complained that the scheme is poorly designed and will leave some people behind.

There are concerns that some EU nationals – particularly vulnerable people – may not realise they need to register, and may find themselves being removed from the UK without understanding why.

This raises uncomfortable parallels with the Windrush scandal, in which documents showing that people had emigrated to the UK and had every right to be here were destroyed by the Conservative government.

The Tories then contacted these people, demanding proof of a right to live in the UK. When they could not produce it, they were deported.

And they still are.

Yes, government representatives have apologised; yes, they said it would not happen again. Either those Tories were mistaken or they were lying.

So we see twin brothers Darren and Darrell Roberts being threatened with deportation to two different countries after completing prison sentences because – despite having been born in the UK – the Tories say they have no legal status here.

Darren, 24, is being sent to Grenada because that’s where his mother was born; brother Darrell will go to the Dominican Republic in one of the errors for which the Home Office under the Tories is justly infamous – he has no family there because his father was born in Dominica, which is a completely different nation.

All children born in the UK are eligible for citizenship but there is an application process with attached costs, which have risen enormously in recent years. Some might argue that this has happened alongside the rise of overt racism in the UK’s government.

The correspondence received by Darrell is certainly racist; it offers him a financial incentive to “return home” – implying that his home must be a foreign country because he is black. This is a young man who was born in London and has lived in the UK for his entire life, remember.

Legally, the government will undoubtedly say it is well within its rights as neither brother has citizenship. But they were still minors when they were imprisoned and their childhood has been described as “traumatic”, so it may be unsurprising that no citizenship applications were completed for them.

Windrush was about sending black people “home” because they couldn’t prove they belonged in the UK. This is no different.

And what about jazz musician Bumi Thomas, who was born in 1983, after the Tory government of Margaret Thatcher passed their British Nationality Act that stripped automatic citizenship from children born to parents from UK colonies?

Despite having been born in Glasgow in 1983 and living in the UK solidly since 2000, she found herself fighting a -crowdfunded – legal battle to remain in the country of her birth.

An immigration tribunal judge has ruled in favour of withdrawing the threat of deportation, but she must wait two years before she can apply for British citizenship. Her status is still at the mercy of a divisive immigration policy – meaning her application may be turned down and she might have to go through this process all over again.

So it seems to This Writer that we should not be discussing the EU nationals’ registration scheme as “another Windrush”. The Windrush scandal is still going on.

EU nationals are merely in danger of joining the Windrush generations as victims of a racist UK government.

Source: Brexit: EU citizen registration scheme risks another Windrush scandal, MPs warned | The Independent

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The UK has recorded more Covid-19 deaths in a single day than the entire EU. How is this success?

Read it and weep.

Yesterday (June 4), the UK recorded more Covid-19-related deaths – in hospital alone – than all 27 EU countries put together.

Yet members of the Conservative government keep claiming that their policies are a huge success!

Are they saying their policy is to kill more of their own population than any other country in the world?

That seems the logical conclusion…

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Don’t blame Tory ventilator failure on Brexit – it was simple incompetence

Sorry if it’s off-message but This Writer is entirely willing to believe the Tory government’s reason for failing to join a European Union scheme to provide ventilators during the coronavirus crisis.

Some have claimed that the failure to join an EU scheme was a result of Brexit-related prejudice, but this doesn’t ring true.

The announcement that the government had decided to pursue its own scheme smacks of an organisation trying to save face after making a serious mistake – and this is borne out by the later admission that emails from the EU about the scheme had been lost in the government’s system.

(I don’t believe the government didn’t get those emails; it’s far more likely that they simply weren’t redirected to the right people.)

A blunder like that would be entirely in line with Tory behaviour with regard to the coronavirus. I’ve spent most of March 27 writing about failures relating to the various schemes dreamed up by the Tories to cope with the virus and its effects on UK society, which has been almost entirely locked down.

But it didn’t help that they tried to save face with rubbish excuses. Consider this:

Pathetic.

A UK government spokesperson later clarified: “Owing to an initial communication problem, the UK did not receive an invitation in time to join in four joint procurements in response to the coronavirus pandemic.”

And he was then put straight on Twitter:

So, once again, this is a tale of Tory ineptitude and failed attempts to hide it. We had to eliminate the lies to arrive at the fact.

And once again, the fact is that the Tories have stupidly thrown away a chance to get badly-needed ventilators into the UK, quickly. Once again, their stupidity has put lives at risk.

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Gove is hiding the harm we’ll all suffer because of Brexit

Could you trust this face? Don’t. Michael Gove is hiding the facts from you.

Here’s a typical double-standard from Michael “Don’t Trust Experts” Gove:

He’s broadcasting the predicted boost to the economy of a future trade deal with the United States – just 0.16 per cent.

But he’s refusing to admit that the loss of the current trade deal with EU countries – gone because of Brexit – means a loss of 5.2 per cent of GDP over 15 years, and that’s if a “typical” free trade agreement is struck.

It’s all part of the Tory Brexiteer bid to make fools of the general public.

They think we’re so stupid that if they don’t tell us about the harm their policies are causing, we won’t notice.

Are they right?

The economic cost of Brexit was laid bare on Wednesday by Britain’s official budget watchdog, which warned that leaving the EU would hit growth, exports and the public finances at a time of rising uncertainty.

Against a backdrop of coronavirus and slowing global growth, the Office for Budget Responsibility modelled for a 5.2 per cent loss of potential GDP over 15 years if a “typical” free trade agreement was struck.

The watchdog said that Britain had already lost 2 per cent of potential output since the 2016 Leave vote with a further 3.2 per cent to come, blaming rising trade friction, restrictions on migration and red tape.

The warning came as Michael Gove, cabinet office minister, revealed that the government would not publish its own economic impact assessment of the Canada-style trade deal that Britain hopes to strike with the EU.

Mr Gove told MPs he was “sceptical” about economic impact assessments, even though the government has just published a detailed 60-page document setting out the possible economic advantages of a trade deal with the US.

“We are taking a different approach with the EU,” Mr Gove told a House of Commons committee examining the Johnson government’s handling of post-Brexit trade negotiations.

The report also warned that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new migration regime, which aims to halt the inflow of low-skilled EU labour, would force up Britain’s borrowing costs by £1bn a year in 2024.

Source: Economic cost of Brexit laid bare in OBR forecasts | Financial Times

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New blue Brexit passports are made in Poland by a French-Dutch firm. Satire is dead

The old-style British passport. The new version is to be made entirely in the European Union by an EU-based company.

What else is there to say?

The iconic blue passport has become a symbol of the UK’s departure from the European Union for many people.

I wonder if these Brexiteers will be proud to brandish their new UK passports, in the knowledge that they have been manufactured entirely in the EU?

That’s Tory privatisation for you! They sold off our national resources, so foreign firms bought them – and will keep them, no matter whether we’re in the EU or not.

Source: Blue Brexit passports, made in Poland, unveiled by UK government – CNN

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Now it is time to ridicule Brexit

The deed is done. The UK is no longer part of the European Union. We are our own country (not that we were ever anything else).

Can you feel the difference?

No?

Well, you shouldn’t – because nothing has materially changed. We are in a transition period in which we will negotiate deals on our future trading relationship with the EU.

The deadline is ridiculously short so any deal is likely to be rubbish – or we may leave with no deal at all, as many believe Boris Johnson is secretly hoping.

The event has, unsurprisingly, led to ridicule on the social media:

Still, we can all rejoice in our refound Britishness and the British things that make our country great – right?

Well…

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Johnson’s trade hopes dented as ‘no deal’ with Brussels will mean no deal with Japan

This is awkward.

It’s a common belief that Boris Johnson is after no trade deal with the EU, because the hedge fund bosses who financed his bid to become Tory leader have bet on an economic downturn post-Brexit – and the boost to their personal finances will be his reward to them for their support.

But now it seems Japan has said it won’t sign the “quick fire” trade deal Johnson wants with that country, unless it knows the UK has signed a deal with the EU first.

That’s really mixed the saki with the sushi!

Boris Johnson’s hopes of securing a “quick fire” trade deal with Japan before the end of the year have been dented as experts warned it will be dependent on the UK clinching a trade agreement with Brussels first.

The UK wants to offer an “EU plus plus” deal to Tokyo, which will go further than Japan’s existing deal with Brussels, in an attempt to reach an agreement quickly.

Anand Menon, director of The UK in a Changing Europe, an academic think-tank, described the move as “sensible” due to the amount of Japanese investment and trade that comes into the UK.

But he warned the chances of the Government agreeing a deal with Tokyo will be entirely reliant on the type of arrangement London agrees with the EU.

“It is possible [to agree a deal within the year] but Japan will need to know what kind of relationship we will have with the EU, as much of the business they do with us is linked to the EU. The difficulty of accessing the EU from the UK will be a key consideration,” Prof Menon said.

“All of these trade deals are interlinked,” he added.

Source: Brexit deal latest: Boris Johnson warned chances of securing Japanese trade deal hangs on Brussels agreement | inews

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If Johnson thinks he can renege on his Brexit deal, he’s about to get a big wake-up call

Thumb up: but if Boris Johnson goes through with his stated intention to renege on his Brexit deal, the EU will probably tell him what to stick his thumb up.

Boris Johnson seems to think he’s the naughty boy of international politics.

You can just hear him: “Bah! I said we’d impose a border in the middle of the Irish Sea – but I didn’t mean it! What a jape! And what are they going to do? Don’t they know we’re British?”

That is precisely the point, of course.

Being British, he is in no position to go disregarding conditions of his Brexit deal.

If he does, he’ll lose something he wants – like… I don’t know… favourable terms on the continent for City financiers?

We were talking about that only last week, when it seemed likely he would sacrifice the UK’s fishing waters for a nibble at EU financial markets.

Now, it seems Johnson will throw the lot up in the air, just to pretend he told the Eurocrats where to go.

Even though he’ll be dumping himself – and all the rest of us – out in the cold.

Of course, there is another aspect to this – that Johnson wants to anger the EU.

Isn’t that the quickest way to the “no deal” Brexit that will (allegedly) pay back certain dodgy funders for their support in getting him installed as Tory leader – and PM?

Source: Brexit: EU threatens Boris Johnson with ‘sanctions’ if he fails to implement controversial Irish sea goods checks | The Independent

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Brexiters betrayed: UK may trade fishing rights for financial services access post-Brexit

Fishing was a huge sticking-point for supporters of Brexit during the run-up to the referendum – and after.

But fishing constitutes a tiny part of the UK economy – around 0.1 per cent – while financial services are huge.

So it’s a no-brainer that the Tories are going to swap fishing rights for access to financial markets – even though it will infuriate the people who supported them.

To Brexiters, all I can say is: it is Brexit, boys and girls. Not the Brexit you wanted; just the Brexit you voted for.

Britain could end up giving EU fishing fleets access to its waters in exchange for favourable terms on the continent for City financiers, the bloc’s trade chief has suggested.

Phil Hogan, the Irish commissioner who will be one of the key figures in the next round of Brexit talks, said there would be “trade-offs” to make in talks with both sides seeking concessions in different areas.

The suggestion is likely to enrage Brexiteers, who see fishing rights as a major part of British sovereignty – despite the industry’s marginal role in the UK economy, accounting for just 0.1 per cent of GDP.

Source: UK could trade its fishing rights for financial services access after Brexit, EU trade chief suggests | The Independent

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War on the vulnerable: Surge in EU citizens unfairly refused access to universal credit

Hostile environment: Nigel Farage had a poster created, stirring up hatred against immigrants. He was only tapping into government policy since 2010, when the current ‘hostile environment’ policy was launched by the Conservatives.

Did you know that 16 million apples have rotted away this year because the migrant workers from the EU who used to come and pick them haven’t bothered to turn up?

The reason? Well, it might be Brexit – but it’s more likely to be because they can’t get Universal Credit because of the Tories’ “hostile environment” policy.

The issue was raised in Prime Minister’s Questions today (October 23) by Labour’s Jonathan Reynolds. He said: “The National Farmers Union reported this week that 16 million apples have rotted away, because the immigrant workers that normally pick them for the country have chosen not to come.

“Immigration was clearly a big part of the EU referendum, and the Prime Minister has promised a points-based system, but that is not going to allow for people coming here to pick fruit. What does he intend to do to stop the scandal of British food rotting away in the fields?”

BoJob blathered some nonsense about there being “more EU nationals living and working in this country than ever before”.

Oh, really?

What about this, then? Read:

EU citizens are being made homeless and destitute after being turned down for universal credit despite having the legal right to reside in the UK, in what critics are calling the benefit system’s very own “hostile environment”.

Ministers are being urged to review “unfair practices” after law centres and welfare advisers reported a surge in cases in which EU nationals without UK citizenship have ended up in debt or sleeping rough because of incorrect decisions to refuse their application for universal credit that cut off their benefits overnight.

Claimants who challenge the decision typically have to wait up to 40 weeks for an appeal hearing. Welfare advisers say they win their the appeal in almost all cases, resulting in back payments of thousands of pounds.

I should remind readers that, by agreement, EU migrants who claim benefits in the UK have them paid by their own government; the UK government charges their country for the cost.

So there is no reason for the UK to deny benefits to these people, if their earnings are so low (Tory policy is to depress wages for the lowest-paid, remember) that they cannot afford to live.

Still, this is the situation: EU migrant workers are being forced into destitution because of Tory government policy not to pay their benefits – on the grounds that they are not habitually resident in the UK.

Is it any wonder they can’t be bothered to pick our rotten apples?

Source: Surge in EU citizens unfairly refused access to universal credit | Society | The Guardian

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