London, May 16 : Illegal immigration to the United Kingdom will spike after Brexit puts an end to EU freedom of movement, which the United Kingdom is, for the time being, still a party to, a report by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) think tank showed on Thursday.
"The Social Market Foundation said that ending free movement will lead more people to enter and remain in the UK illegally, ultimately increasing public concern about immigration issues," the study said, adding that Brexit and restricting EU nationals’ right to enter and stay in the United Kingdom for work would only worsen the already dire situation.
According to the author of the study, Jonathan Thomas, the politicians advocating for Brexit should be honest about its potential negative impact on immigration.
"People who want to end free movement should be honest with the electorate about the possibility that it will create significant new challenges relating to illegal immigration. And people who support a liberal approach to immigration should engage constructively with the perfectly legitimate view that illegal immigration is a problem that policymakers should address," Thomas said.
In order to illustrate these possible negative repercussions, the study drew the reader’s attention to historic examples such as the United Kingdom’s suspension of the unrestricted entry of Commonwealth subjects in the 1960s, Germany’s experience with admitting temporary "guest workers" from the 1960s and the US closure of its labor program for Mexican workers in 1965. According to the report, London should avoid making the same mistakes.
Immigration has been at the core of Brexit from the very beginning. The recent rise in immigration served as the main argument of UK anti-globalists, euro-skeptics and nationalists for leaving the European Union. According to the latest report from the UK Office for National Statistics, non-EU net migration to the United Kingdom, including for reasons of work and study, reached its highest point since 2004 in the year ending September 2018.Incoming EU citizens also continued to add to the population, but the report showed that immigration for work had dropped to its lowest level since 2014. (UNI)