Walking away from the EU without paying a ‘divorce bill’ – or only a small one – would have major consequences for the remaining member states, because they would be forced to make up the shortfall for EU projects until 2021. That would leave the UK short of goodwill, writes Michiel Scheffer, a regional minister in the Netherlands, and would probably sour the prospects of future trade deals.
One of the most contentious elements of Brexit is what has been branded the ‘divorce bill’. It is sometimes regarded as a punishment, but it can also be seen as the consequence of the EU’s budgeting. Unlike Member States, the EU has a multi-annual financial framework (MFF) with programmes of the same duration – from 2014-2021.
Discussing the implications of this in July at the Lords select committee on the EU, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said:
“There are thousands of town halls, municipalities, businesses and universities that have undertaken projects on the basis of those undertakings and commitments. If we are to cut 15 per cent or whatever – that is the UK share – there will be an explosion everywhere across the board… There are literally thousands of programmes all over Europe – under the CAP, Erasmus, universities – that have been committed to and to which we have said we are going to pay this much money or that much money. And if the British share of that commitment were to go missing, thousands of programmes would have to be interrupted. That is why I am saying that that is the main risk of failure that we run.”
I am one of those town hall politicians. As regional minister of the Dutch province of Gelderland (our capital is Arnhem – the ‘bridge too far’ in 1944), I share responsibilities for a regional operational programme for innovation and energy transition (part of the European Regional Development Fund), a cross-border programme, Interreg Germany-Netherlands (also part of ERDF) and a rural development programme (part of the Common Agricultural Policy). We are also involved in Interreg B and C projects and Horizon 2020, as well as a regional strategy to maximise the use of EU funds by universities and SMEs. Our target is to obtain a total of €2bn in project funding for the 2014-2021 period.
What does Brexit and the divorce bill mean for us? Firstly, the Netherlands is a trading nation, so a substantial part of our industrial output is exported to the UK. The best-known product we supply to the UK is Heinz HP sauce, which is made near Arnhem. We also export carpets, machinery, flowers and fruit to the UK. Brexit will certainly cause disruption, but it may lead to opportunities: it is too soon to say. We regret Brexit, because it will distract the EU from tackling issues such as climate change. But we have a reputation for commercial astuteness and our products are much in demand.
Now to the divorce bill. As good housekeepers, our strategy is to allocate funds swiftly and efficiently to the best possible projects, and to ensure they have meaningful results in terms of innovation and social impact. In practical terms, this means that by the end of 2017 90% of our funds are linked to projects lasting on average three years. This means that at the moment of Brexit in March 2019, a substantial amount still has to be paid out to projects and their partners – to pay for real costs such as wages and equipment. For our programmes, this may amount to several hundred million euros – and that is only for a province with two million inhabitants and an annual budget of €1bn.
So what will happen if the divorce bill isn’t settled? European projects are funded from several sources: the EU, national funds, regional funds and cash and payments in kind from project partners. In the worst case scenario, the EU loses 15% of its budget. The MFF’s rule is that if EU revenues decline, the size of the MFF declines accordingly. The EU cannot foot the bill. The first fallback is that member states cover the difference. The second is that regions cover it. If neither of those happens, the funds will be cut. Our programmes would lose between €50m-100m.
I will not speculate about how the shortfall will be made up, since that is a political process that has yet to happen. Each programme has its own funding rules and political dynamics. One solution, however, should be excluded on principle. Cutting university and business funding would be politically unacceptable because it would mean those who benefit from EU membership would bear the cost of Brexit. Some may say that savings can be made by better management and control of funds, but Dutch management is already excellent: 98% of project funding is well-attributed, managed and controlled. The result, therefore, is that national and regional budgets will be called on to make up the shortfall.
Michel Barnier is right. National, regional and local governments will be forced to cover the cover the cost if Britain defaults on its divorce bill. We will have less money to fund better social services, education, infrastructure and speed up the transition to renewable energy. The political price will be hefty because local and regional politicians influence their national governments and their stance towards post-Brexit relations between the EU and the UK. A favourable divorce settlement for the UK – or none at all – may come at a high price for the UK in the long run.
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Note: This article originally appeared at our sister site, LSE Brexit. It gives the views of the author, not the position of EUROPP – European Politics and Policy or the London School of Economics.
About the author
Michiel Scheffer (@MichielScheffer) is a regional minister in Gelderland in the Netherlands, a member of the EU Committee of the Regions and an LSE alumnus.
1) It appears to me that you have been given a 2 year window to rebudget from 2019 onwards, that seems like a reasonable warning period to give that payments will be reduced.
2) I don’t comprehend the moral obligation for the UK to expend monies on regional development in the Netherlands – if it were commitment to funds to redevelop Romania for instance, I might understand the imperative.
3) Quid pro quo, if the UK is going to continue to fund up until the next budgetary cycle for pre-budgeted EU expenses in the 2019-2021 period, and this is the explanation – then the UK should receive EU benefits in this timeframe from the EU budget also.
4) The entire effect is to push the economic divorce out to harmonise with the EU budgetary cycle. The EU can’t have it’s cake and eat it, either we are told we must exit in 2019, or we must exit in 2021.
Hang on. Turn the argument around and then see if you still agree
If it was The Netherlands that was leaving, wouldn’t you still argue that they must pay their share for existing EU-wide funded projects that have been established while they were a member state?
And don’t forget the UK has benefitted from similar projects, funded by EU nember states. The Heads of the Valley road scheme in Wales is one example – and oddly the majority of Welsh referendum voters chose to reject.
“Turn the argument around and then see if you still agree ”
Of course I still agree with BC.
It makes no sense for Netherlands’ taxpayers to subsidise a UK project – from money routed via the EU.
That is one of the problems with the EU. It is redistributionist – and uses such projects to justify the size of its bureaucracy.
As for your Welsh scheme …..
Once the UK stops sending £18 billion (or whatever) to the EU, it will have the resources to fund such schemes directly – and under the scrutiny of UK elected MPs..
Headlining with “The” Divorce bill – assumes that;
a) there is a legal basis for such,
b) the the British people accept the principle.
On the contrary, legal advice says that there is no such obligation – and some economists calculate that the UK is owed a proportion of the EU’s assets.
But thank you for giving us the first hint as to what might justify a “divorce bill”
This sums up one of the main problems with the EU:>
“thousands of town halls, municipalities, businesses and universities that have undertaken projects on the basis of those undertakings and commitments. “
What on earth are foreign taxpayers doing subsidising local projects ?
Then we read:
“Cutting university and business funding would be politically unacceptable because it would mean those who benefit from EU membership would bear the cost of Brexit “
Oh dear …. those receiving freebies from foreign taxpayers might get upset …..
Are the HP factory workers going to want their jobs put at risk from an EU “punishment” of the UK?
So … please…
i) …don’t talk about “defaulting” on a “divorce bill” until it is proved that the UK owes more to the EU than the EU owes to the UK.
ii) … remember that the Netherlands exports more to the UK than it imports.
iii) … remember that the UK routes large % of its RoW exports through Rotterdam
“don’t talk about “defaulting” on a “divorce bill” until it is proved that the UK owes more to the EU than the EU owes to the UK.”
You’ve largely missed the point here. The problem is that the EU uses multiannual financial frameworks and the UK has already committed to funding projects that run until 2021. The most sensible solution would be for the UK to still participate in these projects (which means UK individuals/organisations that have funding continue to receive it as well) until the end of the MFF. You seem to be suggesting here that we’re going to get into some kind of tit for tat argument where the EU should be paying the UK money – there’s no point in making this argument beyond appealing to rhetoric. The situation is what it is and it’s going to take a mature approach in the negotiations to settle on what the UK will contribute.
Your second point is about trade deficits, which is the old red herring that a trade deficit somehow gives you influence in a negotiation. It’s a muddled line that’s been debunked hundreds of times so I’ve no idea what raising it here is supposed to prove. Likewise the Rotterdam effect is a standard line that you’ll hear pushed out by Eurosceptics on a constant basis to try and downplay the amount of trade that goes to the EU rather than the rest of the world (nobody has ever properly measured the size of this effect). Absolutely no point in raising it in the context of this article beyond another appeal to rhetoric. This should be a serious discussion, not a slagging match, and these points really don’t have much place in a mature negotiation – and let’s be clear, I know you *think* this is a convincing argument, but it goes in one ear and out the other for people who have real involvement in this process. You’re effectively bringing Twitter-calibre debating tactics and soundbites to a serious debate about what the UK owes. Nobody is going to find that convincing.
It’s a refreshing change to read subtle(?) put-downs of the Eurosceptic case.
“a trade deficit somehow gives you influence … is a muddled line that’s been debunked hundreds of times”.
Debunked by who? Or more accurately “dismissed by those who disagree with the conclusion”.
Surely it is self-evident that a country that exports loads (e.g. Germany) has more to lose from trade barriers ?
(Unless one argues that Germany is SO efficient at re-designing for dozens of different markets)
” there’s no point in making (a tit for tat) argument beyond appealing to rhetoric.”
Have you never negotiated?
One ALWAYS presents one’s best case. Proper “negotiations” test the merits of that case.
It may turn out that an objective examination DOES conclude that the UK is owed something – or it may not.
Until recently we had no idea of the basis for the EU’s claims on the UK.
Now we hear it is for multi-year commitments. Maybe there’s a case …….
“any serious study of the costs/benefits on that comes out with us doing far more damage to our economy by inhibiting trade than we “gain” from not paying into the budget”.
Please cite such a study.
For decades Eurosceptics have been asking for such studies – but EU fans have been reluctant.
So Prof Tim Congdon (former B of E rate-setter) has calculated (and updated) the cost of the EU – which is currently around £190 billion per year.
Even if some of Congdon’s assuptions are halved – that’s still a HUGE cost of EU membership.
Sadly I’ve used more words than a Tweet !
Jules, some of these comments are not actually mine, but from another commenter. I’m not sure why you’ve addressed them to me. The trade deficit argument has been discussed hundreds of times before given its frequent use by Eurosceptics, but here are just three problems with it:
1. The underlying assumption that imports are simply “lost money” is something that’s been addressed for decades going back to Milton Friedman. To give one example of the flaw in this argument, EU imports are fundamental to the operations of many UK companies. If you put tariffs on these imports then exporters will simply raise prices which will have a knock-on effect on British businesses and drive up their own costs. Alternatively, it will put up costs for consumers, further exacerbating the problem we already have with inflation caused by the low value of the pound. Doing something that would very likely hurt you more than your partners isn’t a credible threat hence nobody takes it seriously.
2. Talking about trade deficits, without talking about volume of trade, doesn’t make any sense at the best of times. If we took your principle at face value then a tiny island that exports nothing and relies entirely on the United States to survive due to an unbalanced economy should be dictating terms to Washington because of its trade deficit. If you think that sounds ridiculous then it’s because it is. We do a far higher proportion of our trade with the EU than they do with us (and we’re negotiating with the whole of the EU here, not just the Netherlands). Again, doing something that would very likely hurt you more than your partners isn’t a credible threat.
3. Finally, this argument is really besides the point in any case. It was a claim that was made by campaigners during the referendum to try and argue (to other British citizens, not to EU governments) that the UK would be able to have a large amount of influence over the EU in the negotiations. Whether that occurs or not will be shown by the outcome of the negotiations (at present, there’s no sign at all that the EU are interested in giving us large concessions, while the UK has already given in on some key areas like the timetable).
We’ll see the outcome of that in due course, but every other EU state is already aware of the impact a “no deal” scenario would have on their economy. Bringing up trade deficits isn’t going to achieve anything as part of a negotiating strategy, hence as I said above it’s little more than rhetoric designed to appeal to a domestic audience.
Sorry for mis-attributing any remarks.
1. “Doing something that would very likely hurt you more than your partners isn’t a credible threat …..”
But WTO tariffs would NOT hurt the UK more.
Estimates sugegst that, on current trade, the UK would be a net receiver of ~£7 billion. (I believe the head of the WTO said “at least £5 billion”)
From memory, (I’d have to check) German exporters could pay over £2 billion.
It continues to be reported that German Car companies are quietly lobbying their Govt. to lobby the EU to be sensible.
Despite this apparent money gain, the UK (and esp. Leavers) have always said that the aim is to continue tariff free, frictionless trade.
Any hurdles would be of the EU’s making.
“nobody takes it seriously”.
Only people not “taking that seriously” are hard-line Remainers – and EU officials protecting their jobs over those of German car workers (etc) !
2. Comparing the UK with ….
“a tiny island that exports nothing and relies entirely on the United States to survive”
… is the old debating trick “argument by extreme” (which “nobody can take seriously” 😉
With it’s historic and continuing world trade & connections, the idea that the UK as a whole is “dependent” on the EU (repeat EU) is … (insert critical adjective).
3. “It was a claim that was made by (Leavers) ….that the UK would be able to have a large amount of influence over the EU in the negotiations.”
No it was not the UK that would have “influence over the EU”. It is national Governments.
(Sorry, but this sounds like yet another mis-representation (misunderstanding ?) of the Leave case.)
German, French, Dutch politicans won’t want millions of jobs “dependent” (to use the Remainer’s word) on the UK to be at risk.
tim congdon, the “economist” proselytizing for UKIP ? that party of “nutjobs, crackpots and fascists” ?
if that’s your reference for your fantasy figures and make-believe theories, well, that certainly helps to explain a lot about your mumbo-jumbo propaganda
for example, that 2013 entry by a eurosceptic blog is very interesting for the fact that the fallacies spouted (and repeated ad nauseam) by Jules and his ilk haven’t changed one iota, even after the crashing reality of the current omnishamble that the UK government is currently engaged in its negotiation with the EU over Brexit
I think it’s time to try something revolutionary something like living within your means & not over extending the lines of credit. The Canadians don’t contribute to the EU budget nor does Singapore, South Korea or the many most favored nations so to expect the UK to do so is a total Non Starter & something they have to get used to. They have had 3 years to set their table from the decision to going through the exit door so there is no excuse.
“The Canadians don’t contribute to the EU budget nor does Singapore, South Korea or the many most favored nations so to expect the UK to do so is a total Non Starter”
They don’t contribute to the EU budget because they don’t have the same level of free trade that we have as EU members or that Norway has with its arrangement. We’re perfectly entitled to have worse access for the sake of avoiding budget contributions, but any serious study of the costs/benefits on that comes out with us doing far more damage to our economy by inhibiting trade than we “gain” from not paying into the budget. It’s the equivalent of quitting your job to save the £5 you pay at the office car park every day and then expecting to come out richer at the end of it – i.e., completely illogical and little more than cutting your nose to spite your face.
The vast majority of Eurosceptics are simply incapable of being honest about this. If we become like Canada then we have worse trading access. If we want the same level of trading access then we’ll still have to pay into the budget. Pick one of these models and argue for it if you like, but you cannot advocate not paying into the budget yet having the same level of trade that we currently have. It’s one or the other and it’s utterly infuriating seeing Eurosceptics consistently ignore this basic statement of reality in these exchanges.
“because they don’t have the same level of free trade that we have as EU members or that Norway has with its arrangement”.
“It’s the equivalent of quitting your job to save the £5 you pay at the office car park every day and then expecting to come out richer”
On one hand this is an “argument by extremes”
On the other … in what (reasonable) universe do staff pay £1,300+ p.a. for parking at work?
Is this a London / BIg City thing ? (where most Remainers are)
Or an NHS thing – where lower paid staff have been charged – and QUITE RIGHTLY question whether they should quit their job ?
Upon reflection … this “save £5 per day is nonsense” argument sums up one of the Leave/Remain divides.
Well off professionals experiencing no adverse impact from the EU (mass migration, cost of red tape) versus millions of ordinary people chasing higher cost housing, scarce school places – or paying the price of over-regulation.
I am surprised at your assertion that EU membership is a one way loss of migration and red-tape. The single market is good ( of not why not have seperate markets for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?) and could not function without harmonisation of supposed ” red tape “…I disagreed with the previous Labour government allowing freedom of movement to the Poles and Baltics before Germany and France. For freedom of movement to work it must be universe in the EU.(Imagine if FOM in the UK for the Scots or Irish was limited to Yorkshire?)..Nevertheless the UK has benefitted from the EU migration…We needed more plumbers and builders and most certainly continue to need EU doctors and nurses. I accept that there is some evidence of wage depression for unskilled or semi skilled workers. However the depression is slight and more than made up by the larger economic cake that exisits..A bus driver in Newcastle might earn less than otherwise if there were no Polish bus drivers in Newcastle but he can get a cheaper plumber and an appointment at the hospital..In respect to Iow skilled jobs, I note the UK government has mentioned creating ” Barrista ” visas for EU citizens! We obviously must need EU migrants and the real argument appears to be about national ” control” and passport stamps. ..However, I note that a thrid of EU migrants are Irish and Brexits appear to not regard the continuation of FOM with Ireland as an insult to national sovereignty.
I am surprised at Jule’s assertion that the EU is a one way loss for the poor of the UK due to migration and red tape. The single market is great ( if not why not have seperate markets for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?) and could only come about by harmonisation of ” red tape “. Other ” red tape” has simply saved us the bother of making our own laws on such things as clean beaches. One presumes that Brexits don’t want to go back to 1970’s when we had human excrement on our beaches..That is why all current EU ” red tape ” is being incorporated into UK law pending Brexit.
In respect to migration, we needed Polish plumbers and builders and most certainly need EU doctors and nurses. I note that the UK government has even stated it is considering ” Barista ” visas for EU citizens…Under such circumstances the idea of the UK poor and unskilled being elbowed out of wealth by EU migrants is not realistic..There is some evidence of ( slight) wage depression caused by migration but everybody benefits by a bigger economic cake. If a bus driver earns less as a result of Polish bus drivers, he can also get a reasonable priced plumber and an appointment at his hospital.
I note that a third of EU migrants are Irish and that FOM is set to continue between Ireland and the UK. In respect to the nationalistic desire by Brexits for the red tape of visas and passport stamps for the sake of “control ” , will continuing FOM with Ireland be an affront to their sense of ” independence ” and control?
I never said “one way loss”.
(Why DO Remainers put words into our mouths – other than to create a straw man ….??)
Sadly you are mistaken with this ….:>
“The single market ….. could not function without harmonisation of supposed ” red tape “… “
The Single Market has caused 22,000 EU laws. Over 70% have little or nothing to do with cross-border trade.
Put another way …
Norway adopts over 95% of ….. trade-related laws – because it is convenient so to do.
According to Norway, that is around 6,000 EU laws adopted, 16,000 NOT adopted.
I have no idea what Norway does about clean beaches.
It is entirely possible that blue flags fly where Norway’s standards are similar to EU standards.
I would hope the UK Govt would maintain similar beach standards.
We don’t need to be subject to an EU law or the ECJ – and any dirty beaches would be whistle-blown by visitors and journalists.
I don’t believe that the UK has 800,000 Polish plumbers !
Of the 5 Poles on next door’s building site, only one is a plumber…..
……AND any cost savings have been off-set by higher cost of comply with proscriptive red tape (and we’re not talking Grenfill Tower safety stuff)
You dismiss wage depression as “slight” – as if you have no idea what difference £1 an hour makes to the low paid.
Everybody does NOT “benefit by a bigger economic cake “ if costs are higher,
Mass migration impacts include:
– cost of housing#
– shortage of school places
– waiting for a Doctor
– overcrowded transport
– loss of green spaces
#over 24 years, house inflation in the South East is nearly 2 1/2 times RPI
“The Single Market has caused 22,000 EU laws. Over 70% have little or nothing to do with cross-border trade.”
I think one of the problems in your comments, Jules, is you seem to take the approach of just spamming soundbites you’ve read on some Eurosceptic campaigning site but without developing a proper understanding of the underlying issues.
The purpose in the “single market” is to harmonise regulations/legislation so that businesses don’t encounter non-tariff barriers. You’ve quoted a figure here without giving any source and we’re left completely clueless as to what your standard of “little or nothing to do with cross-border trade” actually is. What you’ve written is more or less meaningless unless you either provide further information or at the very least the source you’ve taken it from.
Second, on Norway, you’ve said they adopt “over 95% of ….. trade-related laws – because it is convenient so to do”. In fact there is no hard figure on the percentage of EU laws that Norway adopts and there’s a long running debate on that subject within Norway between those who favour EU membership and those who don’t. I’d be absolutely fascinated to learn how you’ve arrived at this figure and how you modified the numbers to account for whether a piece of legislation was “trade related” or not (and the standard you used to come to this calculation).
The reality in Norway is that they participate in the single market because they realise there is no possible benefit to having substantive tariff/non-tariff barriers between Norway and the EU. That means accepting EU legislation in almost all areas (beyond a few they’ve negotiated their way out of). It works for Norway albeit at the cost of having to implement large amounts of legislation they have little influence over (i.e. a major loss of sovereignty and democratic representation). It’s significantly worse than the relationship we have as EU members, where we have a far greater ability to determine the nature of the EU legislation we implement and where our citizens are represented in the process.
Do you think abusing posters you disagree with is mature?
“you seem to take the approach of just spamming soundbites you’ve read on some Eurosceptic campaigning site but without developing a proper understanding of the underlying issues. ”
Some of us have researched these things for years – and only cite stuff that is supported by triangulation – i.e. combining facts.
The Norway “6,000/22,000 EU laws” came from Norwegian sources.
They may indeed be “eurosceptic” but that doesn’t change facts.
“little or nothing to do with cross-border trade” means any EU origin red tape that the local hairdresser (or whoever) has to spend time and money on.
It would be a waste of time debating with you where exactly that “line” is drawn – but that 6,000/22,000 split seems a useful starting point.
i.e. the Norwegians do NOT implement over 70% of EU laws – presumably because they have little or no impact on cross-border trade so the EU doesn’t care so much.
“there is no hard figure on the percentage of EU laws that Norway adopts”
Oh ….. so you didn’t approve of / agree with the claim by a Norwegian EU fan that Norway suffers from “fax democracy” (his claimed 95% adoption of EU laws)
“That means accepting EU legislation in almost all areas”
“legislation they have little influence over”
Burns. You are just wrong.
See the Youtube video with Minister Anna Tvinnereim (sp?)
She explains how the Norwegian Brussels Office often gets early sight of new EU laws – and makes suggestions.
Sometimes they are accepted.
If the final law doesn’t suit – Norway doesn’t adopt.
Is the Minister lying ?
Your claims about EU laws are nonsense and Burns has pointed that out. You talk about ” strawman” and then as firstname.lastname@example.org thst I said we have 800,000 Polish plumbers…
I migration is not a one way loss. We have had substantial Irish immigration since 1921 ( and before) and it has helped the UK. The vast majority of EU migrants work. With unemployment in the UK currently so low, where is there evidence of an army of UK unemployed? Our building industry is highly dependent on EU Workers ( who build houses aswell as other infrastructure that boosts the economic cake) and we continue to need EU nurses and doctors…There is clearly a continuing need for low skilled EU workers for agriculture and “barristating” and the UK governtment is already planning easy access visas..
You confuse the ( pathethic) lack of a government plan to divert population growth away from the South East of England with South East housing costs and commuting overcrowding. The green belt causes the major part of the high cost of housing in the South East. A serve failure to invest in both transport and housing over decades , does not help. I am of the opinion that continuing to pack more people into the South East is ultimately unsustainable. Even if the green belt is built over, one eventually ends up pulling down schools, hospitals, stations to build houses and then pulling down houses to build more schools, hospitals, stations etc…
I’m sorry that this point wasn’t clear:
“I don’t believe that the UK has 800,000 Polish plumbers !
Of the 5 Poles on next door’s building site, only one is a plumber…..”
But you had said:
“we needed Polish plumbers” .. without going on to say whether we “need” the other 795,000 (or whatever) Poles.
Remainers typically imply that the vast majority of migrants are skilled (“NHS “depends” etc”).
I was simply pointing out, with a real-life example (that is representative) that the majority of migrants are lower paid.
So no “straw man” there
“Immigration is not a one way loss”
But it can be a NET loss -and the cost of housing and other negative impacts is considered by very many people to be a real “loss”.
“The vast majority of EU migrants work.”
Yes they do.
But they live in houses, send children to schools, use transport, occasionally visit the doctor ….
…..and very, very many pay little or no tax – quite legally because they are low paid.
(Visit Peterborough and the surrounding area if you don’t believe me).
“we continue to need EU nurses and doctors”
Around 9,000 EU doctors are in the NHS – most from Italy, Greece (… and I forget the next one)
Over 35,000 NHS Doctors come from India and Pakistan.
Context for “need” perhaps?
“There is clearly a continuing need for low skilled EU workers for agriculture and “barristating””
This is where we REALLY part company.
There is no way that the country should allow the re-allocation of resources to house (and infrastructure support) thousands of low-paid, low-skilled staff …
…. not to mention the impact on Quality of Life with increased housing density, and/or loss of green spaces – leading to general overcrowding which often contributes anti-social behaviour (from all directions).
The Planning system sucks …. (reasonable discussion elsewhere perhaps…??_
…. but ANY changes would still have to cope with the impacts of millions of recent migrants.
My understanding of EU NHS staff is a considerably higher number than 9,000. Could you quote your source?
In respect to the long term presence of Indian and Pakistani doctors, we could recruit more, presumably with the red tape and visas that Brexits appear to crave. However, you have not addressed whether Irish medical staff should be subject to such ” control”. I agree with immigration controls as there are literally billions of third world unskilled poor that want to come to the West ( and who can blame them?) I don’t agree with immigration control on Ireland and the rest of the EU, and see no need.
The surge in migration from Poland and the Baltic states was caused by the UK VOLUNTARILY allowing the them Poles and Baltics access to the UK when France and Germany did not. When a poorer country joins the EU, inevitably there will be a surge of migrants as people take advantage of new opportunities. This happened with Spain, but many Spanish went to France and Germany. We hardly noticed ( bar some Daily Mail hysteria) and FOM with Spain is not an issue of major importance. Indeed, there has been some government talk of retaining FOM with Western Europe but not Eastern!
You point out that migrants consume resources. But I have pointed out they also produce them, this includes not only skilled engineers building houses but also unskilled ones also building houses. Most EU migrants are young, so those working in the NHS will make less demands than the British born elderly. The elderly are the major reason for our current NHS crisis.. I note sure where is your evidence of most EU workers paying no tax. There are unskilled agricultural workers who visit for a few months a year and therefore can claim the full 11,500 tax personal allowances. This won’t apply to coffee shop workers, whose minimum wage for 52 weeks will exceed 11,500.
I repeat my skepticism that low skilled jobs, in catering are excluding British born workers. Unemployment in the UK is very low and most non willfully unemployed ( outside a few black spots that EU migrants won’t be attracted to) are likely to be people that employers don’t want. This could include lack of basic literacy, a criminal record, mental health issues, drug and alcohol issues, physical disability..I have to be frank and say that there are also people who would rather the dole than work on a farm or in a coffee shop.
I note your previous claim that I don’t understand the difference a pound an hour makes to a person’s income. A pound an hour is over £140 a month to me and not a sum I would dismiss as insignificant. Nevertheless, an extra £1500 a year can be eaten up by my paying higher costs for everthing from plumbers, to meat killed in abbatoirs ( staffed by Poles). There is a case for protecting the unskilled but a minimum wage, when we have effectively full employment, is the right way. Let me put it this way…..
We could ban all unskilled migration, but our economic cake would be smaller. ( Less fruit and veg for a start, as it would rot in the fields). A smaller economic cake means less money for Schools, hospitals, NHS, roads etc.
Any anti migrants are on stronger ground by arguing for ” limits to growth”. As I pointed out, I do beleive we have reached the limits in the South East. The more housing that is built in the South East, the more migration to the South East is encouraged. Which then causes yet more demands for housing..
Nevertheless, we should not be relying solely on the Green Belt to contain population growth in the South East. As I previously stated, we need a national plan to encourage and develop growth in our northern regions…
Finally, can I point out that Irish navies may have depressed wages for English navies during the nineteenth century. However we needed Irish navies and they built our railway infrastructure. That railway infrastructure helped to make the country rich.
I’m never quite sure whether people are lazy when reading – or clever enough to twist words……
1. I said “9,000 EU Doctors” not “NHS staff”.
As it happens I should apologise …. I omitted 4,000 Irish Doctors ( but given that RoI has had Special Status since 1920, they’re sort of “family” anyway.)
2. I did NOT say “most EU workers paying no tax “
“very, very many pay little or no tax – quite legally because they are low paid.”
How much are field workers and cafe staff paid (outside London)?
Minimum Wage perhaps – so minimal tax ?
Those who are seasonal may earn less than the Personal Allowance – so no tax.
London-based Remainers from the professional and political classes seem to think “most” EU migrant are well paid bankers, doctors or lawyers.
Are they ?
3. “We could ban all unskilled migration, but our economic cake would be smaller. “
Yes – but GDP Per Head would be larger.
There would be less pressure on housing and infrastructure that is unsupported by higher wages.
This obsession with “growth” without qualification seems a damning inditement of education in statistics and economics !
4. Don’t let Burns see your Irish “navies” – thrice ..;-)
The source of the 9,000 (excluding RoI) was the Guardian … so it must be true 😉
(The Doctors trained side of the graphic)
1. There isn’t a single statement in that entire comment that “abused you”. If you want to engage in this tired routine every time somebody disagrees with you (complaining about non-existent personal abuse rather than arguing about the substance of the issue) then I really have zero interest in that. Save yourself the effort and get to the point next time.
2. You still haven’t provided the source for your claim that over 70% of laws related to the single market have nothing to do with cross-border trade. You’ve claimed that “it would be a waste of time debating with you where exactly that “line” is drawn” because, to the surprise of absolutely nobody, you don’t know where that line is drawn. You’ve simply copy and pasted something you’ve read (who knows where) and thrown it out into a discussion without having the slightest idea how the figure was arrived at. You won’t find your “70% of single market legislation has nothing to do with cross-border trade” figure in any peer-reviewed study or reputable source. And I won’t even get started on your utterly baseless contention that Norway only implements laws that have something to do with cross-border trade/discards all those laws that have nothing to do with trade.
I mean honestly, you do realise this is an academic site and that many people far smarter than me have studied these topics for decades. Do you actually think you’re convincing people by copy and pasting random soundbites, from unnamed sources, that literally nobody working in this field would accept as valid, and without even attempting to define your terms?
3. On the percentage of EU laws that Norway adopts, you’ve somewhat laughably managed to undermine your own argument. You originally claimed that Norway adopts ““over 95% of ….. trade-related laws”, now you’re quoting an (unnamed source) that states Norway adopts 95% of all EU laws. Which is it? Do you even know what you’re trying to argue for at this point? The percentage of laws Norway adopts isn’t a hard figure and Eurosceptics/pro-EU politicians in Norway have been arguing about it for decades.