Brexit must mean an end to uncontrolled EU immigration

Brexit must mean an end to uncontrolled EU immigration

On 23rd June, the people of Britain voted against the status quo. They voted against handing billions to Brussels every year – against a bloated bureaucracy Britons felt was remote, overbearing and unaccountable. But more than anything, the British people voted to end uncontrolled EU immigration.

Indeed, ask someone from Dover what they want the Government to do now we’ve voted to leave the EU and they will tell you straight. End uncontrolled EU immigration and stop paying billions to Brussels. It’s the same in the towns and regions across England and Wales.

That is why, if Brexit is indeed to mean Brexit, we cannot give way on freedom of movement. Three-quarters of those who voted to Leave say ending uncontrolled EU immigration must be the Government’s top Brexit priority. It’s clear Britons will not accept any form of Brexit deal which fails to take back control of our borders.

I have long felt that the EU is a toxic, out of touch clique. I backed Remain as I was concerned by the risk of the French scrapping the Le Touquet Treaty and returning British border controls from Calais to Dover. Ahead of the referendum, French politicians warned they would tear the up the deal if Britain left the EU. Nicolas Sarkozy – who signed the treaty when Interior Minister in 2003 – is even now talking about dumping it as he bids to become the next French President.

Yet the decision of the British people is clear. So I am working to make a success of Brexit for my community. I’ve been holding talks with the French to ensure the Treaty is kept and I’m making the case for Britain and France to build a new and stronger cross-Channel pact for the border security of both our nations. We have to make sure tourists, truckers and trade are protected against people traffickers. These modern slavers – armed with petrol bombs and chainsaws – go to extreme lengths to stop traffic at Calais port, so migrants can clamber on board lorries to break into Britain. Britain and France must focus on the causes of the Calais crisis. That means dismantling the Jungle camp, home to 10,000 migrants, and smashing these people-trafficking gangs to end their evil trade of modern slavery.

The British public are rightly concerned about immigration and the effect it has on public services. It’s clear a major reason they voted to leave the European Union was because they have had enough of uncontrolled EU immigration. They’ve been promised net migration will be reduced to the tens of thousands. Yet it remains at a sky-high 330,000. As a result of uncontrolled EU immigration, British workers are £450 worse off a year, according to a report by the left-leaning Resolution Foundation. Indeed, despite what big business might say, there is no evidence mass immigration brings any real economic benefit to the British people. It’s clear there is not just a mandate to take back control of our borders and end uncontrolled EU immigration – there is an instruction.

If the referendum revolt requires an end to EU free movement and no more money for Europe, what then is the deal to be done? Membership of the EU Single Market requires free movement and billions for Brussels. So it is hard to see how we can honour the referendum and remain in the Single Market. That then takes you to a trade deal. If Britain is to agree a trade deal, then it must be one where we are not restricted from any other deals across the globe. The EU Single Market is important – yet the World Market is larger and our destiny must now be global. Britain has been a great global trading nation for centuries – as we were, so we can yet be again.

Yet trade deals are just part of the story. Post-Brexit Britain must answer the other unspoken half of the referendum question. Britain works for the 10% of the big cities, the big business and metropolitan elite. Yet revolt was rumbling amongst the 90% in the towns and regions, who don’t feel Britain works for them. We must galvanise the 90%. They revolted against the status quo on 23rd June and made a demand to lead the future – we must respect that. Britain for too long has been about the capital. It must now be about the districts and the 90% who hail from places like Dover and Deal.

The Government was given the mandate of the masses on 23rd June to leave the EU, take back control of our borders, end uncontrolled EU immigration and bring to an end the billions we pay to Brussels. We must focus on building a post-Brexit Britain that looks outward to all the great markets of the world – and galvanises our towns and regions to drive the future we will build. The sooner this starts the better – to give us the security, stability and certainty we need to succeed and build a global future for our nation.