OPINION

Brexit deal welcome – but it’s still a poor second to being a member of the EU

Posted On 24 Dec 2020 at 1:31 pm

We welcome the announcement of an imminent Brexit deal and that pragmatism has prevailed over populist clamour.

Nevertheless, no Brexit deal, however good the terms and conditions, can ever be as beneficial as membership of the European Union.

So it still represents a hit on the economy which under the Conservatives will see the most marginalised hit hardest.

We are hugely frustrated that it took till the eleventh hour for a Brexit deal to be confirmed.

The noise and bluster from the Prime Minister has seen many anxious, needlessly, about their future.

The uncertainties of not knowing the outcome of the negotiations were particularly challenging and damaging for our local businesses.

Free movement of people, goods and services will end and there will be changes to the border operations and procedures.

Businesses reliant on overseas workers, especially in the care sector and the hospitality and construction industries, will struggle to recruit much-needed staff from abroad under the new points-based system.

Many of our nurses from EU countries fled after the referendum – their absence has of course been felt sharply during the covid-19 pandemic.

We are also deeply disappointed at how EU Citizens were treated by the UK government in the past four and a half years.

Left with uncertainty over a long period of time, the government eventually decided that all EU citizens had to apply for the right to remain in the country they call home.

While we do not feel it should be necessary for EU citizens to go through this application process at all, we know that it is the only way of securing EU citizens’ right to stay in the UK.

Therefore, if you haven’t done so yet, we urge you to please apply for EU “settled status” as soon as possible.

And please encourage fellow EU Citizens to apply if you know of someone who hasn’t applied yet.

Marianna Ebel is a Green councillor and chairs Brighton and Hove City Council’s Brexit Working Group.

  1. Rostrum Reply

    Britain is a trading nation. The removal of the EU restrictions will enable us to rebuild our manufacturing and trading sectors to the benefit of the British people. The removal of the ‘contributions’ to the EU will allow the British governments to invest in our own people. People who wish to immigrate and work and be part of British society will be welcome. These are the facts the rest is hokum….

    • PGalore Reply

      Could you please elaborate on which specific ‘EU restrictions’ prevented the British people from rebuilding their manufacturing and trading sectors? And how the ‘contributions’ to the EU made it impossible for the government to invest in the people? Don’t you think that the problem of UK becoming a poorer country and a less significant power stems from poor decisions of the British government over the past years? I’m genuinely curious.

      • Rolivan Reply

        Poland have received about €100b from the E.U coffers and used it to rebuild their infrastructure and now large International Companies like Cadbury which is part of Mondalez and Nestle have built huge factories there and produce the majority of the Chocolate consumed in Europe there.Now lots of the millions of Polish that came here to work have returned home with tha ability to buy their own housing.Perhaps we need a new Chocolate manufacturer to start up in the UK.Next time you go into a shop pick up any bar of chocolate that is not produced by Mars and you will see by the barcode starting with a 7 that it was produced in Poland and that is just for starters.The UK has become a massive Service Industry and need to get back to producing products.

        • Local Person Reply

          Labour costs in Poland are cheaper than UK. We stopped manufacturing because making stuff in China is cheaper than paying UK wages. Globalisation and cheap delivery costs are more at play here than a few EU rules.

        • PGalore Reply

          Rolivan, I see where you are coming from, but I don’t think you have answered my questions at all. I agree with Local Person though. If you are disappointed with goods being shipped to UK from countries where they are cheaper to produce, or if you wish UK companies employed British people instead of cheap immigrant workforce, then what you really should have a problem with is unregulated capitalism. If anything, EU trying to regulate capitalist tendencies is actually a blessing. That is how I view it, at least. I would be happy to hear your side though.

          • Rolivan

            What I do not agree with is that the UK was having to contribute billions more than it received from the E.U.Then as I said that money was being used to fund the rebuilding of other Countries to their benefit.
            Surely their should be standardisation across all E.U countries with the same minimum wage in all.I thought that was the idea of a Union.

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