Thursday, September 22, 2016

Free Movement of People

Liberal cosmopolitans, amongst whose number I suppose I should include myself, tend to warm to the idea of free movement. People should be permitted to live and work where they choose, shouldn't they? If I thought anything different I'd be open to the charge of humungous hypocrisy.

However...in the context of the EU, the theory faces some of the same headwinds in practice as the single currency. If the situation on the ground - opportunity, growth, working conditions, benefits etc. - varies between member states, and there is only a semblance of central control, then some sort of political backlash from the 'natives' (in GB's case largely former Labour voters) is almost inevitable. 


2 comments:

norm said...

As long as goods and capital are free to move about at will, upwardly mobile workers are going to want the same privilege. No doubt that really really pisses off the workers who would just as soon stay put. The free flow of capital and goods is a factor in the west's system of commerce that is here to stay. Getting the free flow of workers is not going to be popular. The people who hire labor are better served by closed borders by being able to play one polity off another. Workers in high wage areas surely do not want their labor market flooded with cheap labor from a low wage neighboring nation. The arguments for free trade are the same for free movement of labor, much higher productivity all around.

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