The study encourages politicians to be honest about the outcome if free movement ends, or we could be at risk of creating similar conditions in the UK that enabled Trump to become President.
Once Britain leaves the EU and freedom of movement ends, Illegal Immigration will probably increase, according to a new study.
The Social Market Foundations’ report said shutting legal migration routes following Brexit, would encourage more people to try to enter and stay illegally.
Politicians who are convinced that Brexit will solve public anxiety over immigration, should be transparent about the real consequences.
When voters realise that leaving the EU has not appeased their concerns and now risk the creation of a situation that had aided Trump becoming President. A very real backlash could be the result.
Past cases were analysed, when immigration was limited and entry requirements were stricter. This included Britain putting an end to unrestricted migration from Commonwealth countries in the 60s.
Due to the fact that people who could previously travel back and forth easily instead of choosing to stay, the study found that tighter policies on immigration often led to an increase in the total number. Since people who would have in the past, entered the country legally, instead do so through other routes.
The SMF made a prediction that the amount of people living in the UK illegally would increase after Brexit, since EU nationals who have not been given the right to stay, decided to stay without permission anyway. They asked that the government ‘come clean’ regarding the complex results of the immigration policy and about the limitations to the control it has.
Migration researcher, Jonathan Thomas, at the SMF and report author, said history implies that people will be disappointed if they expect that an end to free movement will eliminate their concerns about immigration. Although Illegal immigration has not recently, been formally discussed, it soon could be.
Adding that, those wanting an end to free movement should be transparent with the public about the very real possibility that it will create pressing, new challenges and that people supporting a more liberal policy, should understand that illegal immigration is a key problem.
James Kirkup, the think-tank’s director, said, that there are too many people in UK politics who believe in a more open approach to immigration, but do not actually manage to speak to voters transparently. They should consider the potential consequences.
A major immigration shake-up when Britain leaves the EU, has already been announced by the government. A new route for temporary workers will be designed and work visa annual caps will be disposed of.
A spokeswoman for the Home Office said, that future immigration system will make sure the UK can continue to attract skilled workers and also bring free movement to an end. She added that the integral policies that Immigration Enforcement has in place to stop illegal immigration, will not change after Brexit.
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