The following is an excerpt of our fifth issue’s cover article by Tobais Soar for the Views on the Left section. The issue will be available from the 15th September.
Find out how to get your own copy of the issue here.
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To put it simply, the current state of affairs with Brexit is ‘messed up beyond repair’. Boris Johnson’s government has a kamikaze-style plan for a no-deal Brexit which would cause shortages of food and medicine, customs nightmares, and disruption to trans-port. It’s what Remainers have been saying all along – at least now the imminent chaos has finally been confirmed by the government.
Of all the recent news, I was particularly drawn to two events involving Home Secretary Priti Patel. Firstly, the proposal to raise the minimum salary threshold for immigrants by £6,000, from £30,000 to £36,700 per year; this standard is wholly unrealistic, not just for immigrants, but for British citizens as a whole. And, secondly, Patel’s pledge to end free movement for EU citizens on the day of Brexit.
Despite my British passport, I consider myself a hybrid local-immigrant due to being born and living abroad for eighteen years. When I read the proposal that had been made by Patel, I was appalled; that is an incredibly high standard to which to hold immigrants when a large number of the British population dreams of earning £36,000 a year, and students in particular.
Consider this: my background can be considered middle class, I study at one of the top universities in the country, I have a wide range of transferable skills that would be useful in most workplaces, and I have a part-time job as a waiter. Yet, despite all this, I’ll be extremely lucky if I manage to land a graduate job which pays £20,000 a year. As for earning £36,000 a year, that’s a goal for more than a couple of years from now. This isn’t just my personal anecdote, the majority of my friends at university have the same concerns as I do; the job market is hostile and our odds are slim.
The second bit of news that concerns me is the promise of ending the free movement of EU citizens on B-day. Experts have said it’s unrealistic, as is expected, with it being impossible to distinguish between recently settled EU citizens and long-term workers. Incorrect and immoral deportations are bad enough in America, it’d be best to avoid a sequel to Windrush.
Now, with the uncertainty of finding a graduate job, the possibility of having a bread-based diet, and the worry of family and friends being stuck in legal limbo or, worse, being deported, what are we to do in the face of the seemingly impenetrable armour of the Brexit machine?
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Read the rest of this article in the print issue, information on which can be found HERE.