Thursday 11 May 2023

We are being conned


I voted for Brexit mainly because I realised contrary to the Remain argument that leaving the EU would make Scottish independence all but impossible. EU membership encourages sub-national nationalism by allowing regions to argue that nothing much would change after independence. If the whole of Belgium is in the EU and ruled by Brussels, it matters little if Flanders and Wallonia separate. Who would notice?

I concluded that if the UK stayed in the EU, Scotland would leave the UK knowing that there would be open borders, similar laws and free trade with the former UK. I am satisfied that Brexit has indeed destroyed the SNP argument, for which reason it is now floundering like a beached Sturgeon.

My other reasons for voting for Brexit were to do with parliamentary sovereignty. I did not want UK laws and the UK Parliament to be subordinate to the EU. The USA would not accept being subordinate to the North American Union with a capital in Managua. It would not allow its laws to be subordinate to a court based in Tegucigalpa. Neither would Japan wish to be part of an Asian Union run by Beijing, nor would Australia wish to be part of an Australasian Union run by Jakarta.

The EU wants in time to be a United States of Europe. If you don’t want the UK or Scotland for that matter to be a region of Europe without sovereignty, then you have to vote to Leave.

But in every other respect I can think of Brexit has been a disappointment even a betrayal. We were promised more money for the NHS, but the slogan now looks cynical at best with the NHS collapsing. Someone told me of a man who had badly broken his leg being refused an ambulance because his condition was not life threatening. But it was agonising to get him into a car and take him to the hospital.

I had hoped that the UK would undercut the EU by offering a low tax, low regulation free trade hub that would encourage world business and trade, but we have made limited progress.

Brexit promised us that the UK Government would have control over its borders. It may indeed be in part that it does have such control. But the control that it has used has been to give more visas to those who wish to come than ever before.

Last year net migration was 504,000, this year it is predicted to be 675,000. This may be taking back control, but it is not in the way that most Brexiteers supposed.

There has been a lot of focus on people arriving illegally in small boats from France. There has also been a lot of discussion about sending some of these people to Rwanda. This now looks like distraction. It is a government conjuring trick so that we fail to notice that the vast majority of migrants arrive legally with visas at airports. Get people up in arms about the relatively trivial numbers coming in dinghies. Make it seem as if we are being tough on migration by sending them to Rwanda. Then let in legally more people in one year than in any previous year in our history.

The key to continuing to allow more than a million people every two years into Britain is to make it all but forbidden to criticise it. Anyone who dares to object is immediately called a racist, which is now by far the worst insult in the English language. It is an accusation that can have life changing consequences. So naturally we are all very careful what we say.

I believe in treating everyone in the UK as having the same right to live his life freely and with friendliness and respect from his fellow citizens. It is quite wrong to have enmity towards someone because of his religion or background. But the UK is being transformed in a way that no one voted for. If you had offered voters a referendum in each year since 1945 on whether they wished mass immigration to the UK, there is no doubt whatsoever that in each year they would have voted no.

It could be that the Government has looked at the demographic trends and thinks that the Welfare State, NHS and tax base requires half a million new people every year. There are economic arguments for why open borders are beneficial economically. But new citizens who have the same rights as the rest of us will also require healthcare, schools and pensions and it will be harder for the rest of us to find housing, access to a doctor and any of the other public services which we pay for.

More important than any of this is that a country is not merely a landmass. The UK is not primarily our little island and a chunk of another, it is the people who have been living here since ancient times. If you moved all of the millions of British people to Japan and moved all of the Japanese to Britain, you would not have Britain a few miles from France, you would have Japan.

Scottish Gaelic and Welsh are protected and supported because they were spoken by our ancestors going back thousands of years. But English too although learned now by the whole world, exists in the form that it does because of our history. If Chaucer had not written in the way that he did and if Shakespeare and Jane Austen had not developed our language, we would not speak it as we do now. It is the language of our ancestors in a way that it is not the language of anyone else even if he speaks English fluently.

No doubt there is room in Britain for half a million more people a year to arrive for decades to come, but if you look at pictures of British soldiers in World War One and even in World War Two, if you watch British films from the 1930s to the 1950s, you will discover a Britain that is completely unrecognisable compared with today.

If anyone from the first half of the twentieth century arrived in London or any of the other large cities some of the buildings might be familiar but everything else would come as an enormous shock. Where did all these people come from?

I don’t want to be nasty to anyone who arrives in Britain. Many do vital jobs and will bring with them useful skills which we need. But if we keep adding half a million new Brits every year we are going to quite rapidly get to the stage where we don’t have Britain anymore and the description British will be so contrary to what it meant historically that it will cease to have any meaning at all.

I fear that this is all quite deliberate. It won’t improve if Labour wins the next General Election instead it will get worse. There is no choice. There is nothing that can be done.

It’s not about small boats. It’s not about Rwanda. We are being conned.