Nigel Farage: ‘Ban terminally-ill migrants’

Jon Danzig |


My response:

Turning away people with terminal illnesses? People with cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, lung disease, multiple sclerosis, liver cirrhosis, pituitary disease, mental illness… old age? All these conditions and more are potentially terminal.

Nigel Farage’s vision for Britain will be a society that’s nasty, selfish, judgmental, restrictive and mean-spirited.

He doesn’t want people from Europe coming here to pick our strawberries. He doesn’t want seriously ill people coming here. He wants to restrict free movement across Europe – our continent, our Europe – making it as difficult for us to live and work in other European countries as it would be for citizens from other parts of Europe to come here.

And why? Because EU migrants here are a burden? Hardly. The vast majority of EU migrants here are in gainful employment, contributing taxes, buying our goods and services, and setting up businesses that employ and serve us. Only a small minority of EU migrants here are on benefits, and then not for long. Most of them are young, fit, enthusiastic and working hard, helping our country to thrive.

No migrants can come here and start claiming benefits immediately, and there is no evidence that any come here just for benefits. They come here to work; they contribute much more than they take, and their contribution is helping to pay off our national debt. Many British businesses would close without EU migrants here – businesses that employ them, and many businesses that were started and are run by them.

What’s the problem about ‘free movement’ of people across our continent? Would we want to restrict movement in our own country, between London and Leeds; Watford and Warrington; Birmingham and Brighton? No? So by the same logic, why does it make sense to restrict movement between London or Leeds and Bonn, or Paris, or Warsaw, or Copenhagen?

We should be making it simpler, not harder, for people and businesses to freely and easily explore and expand and thrive across all of Europe. That means it works both ways. We can go there, they can come here. And actually, the numbers are well balanced. About the same number of Britons now live in the rest of Europe as the number of citizens from the rest of Europe who now live in Britain. Why would we want to end such an arrangement, that gives all of us as European citizens the right to live, work, study, retire or do business in any other EU member state?

Where is UKIP’s close-minded, restrictive policies going to end up? What’s going to happen to migrants who are diagnosed with a terminal illness after they’ve arrived here and started work? A country that closes the door on ill people could become a country that shows the door to ill people too.

UKIP doesn’t want people here who might die soon? Does that include the elderly? Many British people have retired to Spain thanks to the direct benefits of EU ‘free movement’. British citizens living in Spain cost the Spanish health service £249 million each year. How would British people feel if Spain closed the door on British pensioners retiring there? Before Spain joined the EU few foreigners went to live there – then only 0.5% of the Spanish population was foreign born. Now it’s 10%.

UKIP’s vision for Britain and Europe is not my idea of a modern, forward-thinking, dynamic future for our country and continent. I want to see Europe and Europeans working and living closer together, not further apart and estranged from each other.

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