Belfast Telegraph

Immigration: what divides the camps on this key issue

With ten days to go to the EU Referendum, here is what both sides have been saying about the key issue of immigration.


:: If Britain withdrew from the EU, but stayed in the single market as some in the Leave camp want, the UK would still have to accept the free movement of labour, like Norway does.

:: If the UK was not in the single market, immigration would still occur, and it could potentially be made worse by border controls shifting from France to Dover, as the French have warned current agreements may not stand.

:: Withdrawal would have a negative blow-back against Britons on the Continent, with UK citizens abroad losing access to free emergency healthcare in Europe.

:: EU membership means UK police can use law enforcement intelligence from 27 EU countries, and will have access to fingerprint and DNA information.

:: New EU migrants will not have full access to certain benefits until they have worked here for up to four years under the new arrangements negotiated by Prime Minister David Cameron.

:: The PM has stressed that Britain has a veto on Turkey joining the EU, and he does not expect that country to be in a position to apply for membership for decades, if at all.

:: Immigrants contribute far more to the British economy via taxes than they receive in benefits, and are essential to maintain the running of key services, such as the NHS.


:: Being in the EU, and the single market, means that Britain has hardly any control over who enters the country, on what terms, and who can be removed.

:: Turkey could be a member by 2020, and if no transitional restrictions were put on migration from that country, the population of the UK could swell by 5.3 million - the equivalent of Scotland - by 2030.

:: Immigrants from the EU place more pressure on already strained public services like health and education, and potentially worsen the A&E crisis.

:: Voting to Remain would mean losing more control of our borders to the EU and European Court.

:: The pressure that large inward-migration from the EU puts on schools and hospitals means the UK is forced to block people from non-European countries who could contribute to the country from entering.

:: EU membership means that it is hard for Britain to prevent foreign criminals from entering the country.

:: All EU migrants already here will be entitled to stay in the UK.