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How Does Brexit Roil the Migration Waters?

Immigration was the thunder that drove majority of British voters to choose Leave instead of Remaining in the European Union.

Jennifer ArandaOriginally posted on July 4, 2016; updated July 4, 2016

How Does Brexit Roil the Migration Waters?

The word "facts" may be ahead of "fear" alphabetically, and "reality" may be a few pages after the word "perception" in the everyday dictionary, but both fear and perception overcome facts and reality in a global economy sharing a common umbilical world-wide-web cord.

The belief that Britain has lost control of its borders and that the millions of refugees and migrants in the UK - as well as those at knocking at the UK border - are taking more from the system than contributing to it, provided the strong tailwinds to the UKIP sails reaching the neighborhoods of those who felt left out by the establishment faster than the Remainers. 

Freedom of movement, predicated on the surge of migrants from Syria and poorer EU members must be controlled.  With the UK out of the EU, nationals of the EU countries must apply for permission for leave to enter. Once inside the EU, they must then apply for permission to remain – in direct contrast to what is currently in place – a borderless Europe allowing travel in and out of EU member countries without the need for a visa. That would be then.

What has become cruelly apparent to supporters of the Leave Campaign is that the leaders of the movement to separate UK from the EU have no plan at all.   Spooked by the absence of specifics, and the Leavers stalling for time to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty of Union and start the two year countdown of the UK-EU divorce, more than £2 trillion in global market shares evaporated and the British currency took a pounding, down to its lowest level in 31 years.  Economists predict a British recession.

Those are the broad strokes. 

In the coming months, experts will be assessing the impacts of BREXIT on migration but no one knows what kind of relationship will replace EU membership.  It could still go either way: either a new association agreement will have to be forged with the EU or; withdrawal could spell the reintroduction of admission requirements for EU Citizens.

In the latter scenario, closing of the borders would lessen competition from student applicants of European countries. Workers from poorer EU members would then have to compete for limited Tier 2 work visa sponsorships – not a bad development for non-EU workers and professionals.

Other pathways for residency would include qualifying for work or family unification.  If the UK decides to reintroduce admission requirements,  EU citizens facing the same immigration rules as non-EU citizens.  This of course would benefit non-EU citizens who have been had to face more stringent requirements for both work-related and family migration.  

The details have yet to emerge from what has been a devil-of-a-week. The only certain is uncertainty. Amidst this ocean of migration turbulence, the calm seas of Canada, New Zealand and Australia beckon for international students and temporary workers.

Authors & Contributors

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer S. Aranda is the COO of IVC Immigrant Visa Center, Inc.

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