I was in a little pub a while back where I was half involved in a conversation with people I vaguely knew, this being on the basis that I had said hello to them a few times before.
The eldest guy then said…“Well, when it gets to the point you have no control over your own borders, it is time to leave!”.
“We have control of our borders though” said one of the fellow drinkers.
“NO… WE…DO…NOT!” he replied
“He’s right” I piped up, “We didn’t sign up to the Schengen agreement so we still have control of our borders”.
I felt really bad, almost as if though I had said, “Who’s the village idiot then? Oh it’s you, hahahaha!”
That’s the problem with dealing in facts in a world that features Donald Trump and Brexit, if you state them you end up the baddie liberal elitist who just ruined the evening of a ranter down his local boozer.
However, out of all the referendum arguments, the border control one is what annoys me the most, as there is no argument. It is there in black and white as an example of the bullshit arguments that have put Britain at risk economically and with regards to security because of Brexit.
If you are uncertain of our position as nom-Schengen members with the EU, it is pretty simple and works as follows.
The UK government has full control over our borders. Visitors to the UK holding EU passports are not allowed in without their passport or identity checked. Obviously the same rule for visitors from non-EU countries also applies, with the addition of other paperwork.
The UK is entitled to (and does) carry out identity checks at its borders and refuses entry to visitors without valid documents, including visitors from one of the other 26 EU member states (Ireland excluded).
The only benefit EU passport holders have is that they go through customs in a separate EU channel, which, I believe, normally makes entry swifter than those with visas who are travelling from outside the Union. This agreement also applies to members of the EEA (European Economic Area) such as Norway and Iceland.
Non-EU citizens have to adhere to UK’s immigration checks (this also applies if they’re visiting from the EU). They enter in a separate channel from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and will have various checks dependent on the duration and purpose of their visit.
Essentially, if you have an EU Passport you are free to visit after having your passport checked and if you are non-EU it is up to the British government what documents you are required to present.
The Schengen areas are on the map below with the other 26 EU states having free movement without border controls (Ireland are also non-Schengen by the way) presumably for essential trade and tourism purposes, although they will control borders that come up against non EU states, predominantly from the East (I assume this is EU funded?)
Interestingly there are three Schengen areas that are non-EU (Iceland, Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein) and some say this will be the type of agreement the UK may look for, which begs the following question.
Why the hell are we leaving something at a massive cost just re-join without any voting or veto rights?
So, what this say to me is one of two things.
1/ People who never travel (therefore do not see UK borders controls in action) have been grossly misinformed about how the British border control system works.
2/ People do not want anyone coming into the UK, whether they are EU members or not. Basically, they are racist against…well, everyone.
Quite what this would do for tourism (£20 billion a year) or how the economy will survive with such a reduction in industry and the public sector workforce, I just don’t know.
If there is a problem with British border controls, it will be one of funding and staffing, something that has affected other services (such as the Police and the NHS since the 2008 crash) but that’s not the fault of the EU, it comes down to where the British government chooses to invest.
So there you have it, a bullshit argument put to rest. I have found these facts by researching the agreements and non-agreements and have come to the conclusion that, as with the Euro and the Schengen agreement, if you are a member as strong as we are/were, and you don’t like it, you just veto it or negotiate a better solution.
The same would apply to an EU army, another pathetic, bullshit argument that fuckwitts like to get embroiled with.
When we are outside of the union, our nearest trade partners can implement what they like and there is nothing as a little island on our own can do about it except become one of those hated rogue tax haven states that the likes of Jacob Rees Mogg has always wanted.
A land where the super rich are protected from prosecution and everyone else pays the price.
Mad isn’t it?