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Immigration, the EU and Climate Change

June 11, 2016 10:32 PM

Steve BolterA greener world, a stronger economy and a fairer society.

Only a green, environmentally sustainable, economy can be a strong economy in the long term, and thus be fair to following generations. Only in a world at peace can economic strength be harnessed to maximise human happiness.

We believe that our membership of the European Union is vital to combating rapid climate change, conserving resources, and bringing peace and stability to Europe and the wider world

Immigration, the EU and Climate Change

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One cannot solve the world's problems by moving the entire populations of war-torn or famine-ravaged regions to the UK, or to other prosperous, but already densely populated, countries of north-western Europe.

True: but leaving the EU neither stops the pressure for immigration, nor makes it easier to control. Because English is a World language, in or out of the EU, the UK will remain a special target.

If we were to leave the EU and introduce a points system, we would still need people to take the posts currently taken by nationals of other EU countries. Many applicants from the EU would qualify; so we would still have many legal immigrants from the EU. Those from the EU, that we turn down, would simply add to the immigrants trying to get in illegally. Fewer UK citizens would go to work or retire in mainland Europe. Hence in the short term net immigration would fall very little, unless the economic downturn after Exit were to bring real wages in the UK down to the level of those in eastern Europe.

What would the Brexiteers do to stop illegal immigrants landing on our coasts? What would they do with those who do manage to get in? They have not said.

The UK was an enthusiastic supporter of the admission of poorer areas of eastern and south-eastern Europe to the EU. Now the Brexiteers want to tell the other EU nations, that this Nation has changed its mind and wants to walk away, leaving the wealthier of the mainland nations to absorb more less qualified migrants, while we cream off the best . Will that make the remaining EU nations want to help stop illegals setting off for England? Will that make them want to give the UK a trade deal that gives all the advantages of EU membership, without any of the responsibilities?

We expect there will be a very large increase in migration world-wide, wit increased flows of people trying to get to Europe. Without the work of the EU, that flow would be greater.

Much of the migration has been prompted by directly by climate change and by war, and many of the wars have been triggered by climate and resource issues. We have been both a large per-capita contributor to global warming and a major exploiter of resources. We have some responsibility for the conditions that stimulate migration.

In the EU, the UK has taken its place in the fight on climate change, to an extent it could not on its own. We have contributed to research, EU legislation and example setting to the outside world. The EU has led on energy saving, with high thermal standards for buildings, and challenging efficiency standards for plant vehicles and appliances. It has promoted renewable energy and resource efficiency; and it has fought against the pollution of land water and air.

The EU has funded work in less developed regions, to help people to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to use resources better; to help them to cope better with the effects of climate change; and to stimulate local economies, thus reducing the pressure for emigration. Yet the Brexiteers resent payments to the EU that do not come back to the UK (and many resent UK overseas aid too).

Without the EU's continued internal and world stage action to slow climate change, the rate of desertion of land because it has become too hot and dry to grow crops, and the rate of land loss due to rising sea levels would both increase.

If rising sea level cause the low lands of Bangladesh and India to be inundated, or high temperatures and drought cause mass crop failure in Africa there will be millions more trying to land on the English coast; and peasant farmers, will far outnumber plumbers, nurses, doctors and computer scientists, trying to come in.

To maintain our quality of life we need to remain in the EU and use its Council and Parliament to ensure that protecting environment and reducing the vast gap between the haves and have-nots, remain high on its agenda.

Steve Bolter, an English European 12 June 2016

Steve Bolter

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