One of the main reasons people give for being pro-EU is the concept of Freedom Of Movement – which enables you to go and live and work anywhere in the EU area without the need for a visa or work permit. But here are four reasons why it is not the great freedom it first appears;
- The EU is only 28 Countries –
This Freedom of Movement only applies to 56% of the countries in Europe and only 14% of countries globally. There are more than 165 other countries with potential opportunities – it’s a big world out there. True freedom of movement is enjoyed most by those with skills and experience that are in demand – this will allow you to compete for work anywhere.
- It works both ways –
Just as freedom of movement allows you to apply for that job in Spain or France or Germany, so it allows Spanish and French and German citizens to compete equally with you for that job in the UK. You are part of a much bigger pool of people vying for the same job.
- Wages are kept low –
With freedom of movement there is a much greater supply of people for each vacancy. Basic economics tells us that if supply is greater than demand, the price falls. If you do get the job you want, it will be at a lower rate and pay rises will be reduced.
- You can only move if there’s something to move for –
The EU region is stagnating and unemployment is at frightening levels in many countries – 25% in Greece, 22% in Spain, 11% in France. The figures are even worse among younger people. So although you have the freedom to get a job in, say, Portugal there simply aren’t any – again, unless you have sought after skills and experience.
When you weigh this up against what we’re giving away for such ‘freedom’ – sovereignty; control of 65% of our laws and rising; the ultimate power of the supreme court; more than 80% of our fishing assets; £55m per day in cold hard cash; our ability to negotiate trade deals with growing economies like the Commonwealth, India, China; is it really worth it?
I don’t think so.