Monday, February 06, 2017
Live from the House of Commons...
Despite bobbing throughout the whole debate on the EU Nationals amendments to the Brexit Bill, myself and six other SNP colleagues were not called to speak.
I want our EU friends and neighbours in East Renfrewshire to know that I stand with them, so I have recorded my speech anyway.
The UK Govt must see sense, and start treating people as people,mans confirm their right to stay.
I would like to thank my friend, and MP for spending the entire day in the House of Commons today trying to have my case heard and for going to the trouble of recording her speech for everyone to see when she was denied the right to give it in the House because of time constraints.
It is easy for those in charge of the Tory party to sit daily saying we are overreacting and nothing has changed in our situation (as yet anyway). But realistically who sits and wonders without a care in the world when the status of their partner is being changed after what will be 17 years in the country (despite him not having a vote on the matter) from legal EU resident to 'rest of the world immigrant' - a status which usually involves specific earnings thresholds, specific paperwork, visas and all sorts?
I don't realistically believe there will be mass deportations - that would lead to too many bad headlines - well in some of the press at least. Maybe fathers being ripped from the arms of their children and thrown onto a boat or plane would be celebrated by Express readers and similar... But insidious changes are not beyond the likelihood with a government like this. Maybe he'll need to suddenly find hundreds of pounds a month for health insurance but of course as an asthmatic (I think it's called having a pre-existing condition in the US - a lovely euphemism for please empty you bankbook into our account now) maybe he won't even be insurable... Would you live in a country where as a tax-payer you used to get healthcare, but now don't?
We've also heard ideas being flung around like fining companies £1000 for using an EU worker instead of a British one. This is particularly awful for consultants like my husband - he works for many different clients/employers every year, not one, so suddenly will all the work dry up even if he can stay? Like everyone our mortgage is based on two incomes, not just on mine so losing his would leave us homeless. So don't tell us we are worrying unnecessarily and nothing has changed. Everything has changed.
People are already leaving and yes, it'll look great for the government's headline immigration figures but only until we realize we can't attract the right calibre of teachers, lecturers, vets, specialized doctors and so on any more. No one in their right mind who isn't already here and in this mess will apply, and anyone without ties is fleeing already. Interestingly on the EU forum on facebook many, many people who are trapped here because their kids are at the wrong point in their education to change language are all planning an exodus to Dublin. If I was the Irish government I'd actually be beginning to worry about the size of the possible influx they could see over the next couple of years.
The government actually believes that letting in the right kind of people will work. Imagine I'm a Belgian vet (90% of abattoir vets in the UK are EU nationals and the entire meat industry relies on them certifying meat hygiene.) From now on if I apply to work here I am not sure my status will be guaranteed, I am not sure my partner will be able to join me or allowed to work, I am not sure if the people of the UK will be racist towards me, I can see from the drop in the exchange rate that what I would earn would be 20% lower when converted back into my national currency than it would have been last May. You as the UK government are going to have to offer me 30-40% more than I would earn in Germany, France or the Netherlands to have any chance of me even considering applying. Is May really planning that kind of financial incentives? on what budget?
It's an absolute bloody mess.