Harrods and The Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London don’t strike one as natural bedfellows. But they are both up in arms about the government’s immigration policies. Harrods is upset about the government’s plans to charge visitors from India, Nigeria and four other countries a £3,000 bond to come here, warning it will hit the London luxury goods market. While The Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London is threatening legal action over the vans going around various London boroughs warning illegal immigrants they could be deported.
But, as so often, when we discuss immigration in this country we aren’t talking about the elephant in the room: Britain’s EU membership. This means that people from nearly every EU member state have a right to come here to seek work. There are more than three quarters million jobs in this country being actively advertised across the EU by the EURES scheme.
As long as this is the case, all other immigration to Britain is going to be squeezed right down as governments try to show that they are controlling immigration. This is going to lead to counter-productive policies like the tight restrictions that are deterring high spending Chinese tourists from coming here.