Britain’s “May Plan” targets immigrants, including those from Italy

by Giuseppe Terranova - 2017.06.21
Britain’s “May Plan” targets immigrants, including those from Italy
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While Italy is divided over if and how to grant citizenship to the children of immigrants, England is planning on getting rid of immigrants altogether. This is true for Italians who emigrated to the UK, but also for many other EU citizens. It seems as if this is the enormous price that the perfidious Albion is going to make Italian and other immigrants who reside across The Channel pay as a result of Brexit. This revelation is hot off the press today, in an exclusive piece published in the Financial Times, that features snippets of a top secret dossier that sets out the conditions that Theresa May has outlined for the famous “divorce” that she will present in Brussels next week.

If things will go according to the scenario depicted by the City’s famous daily, major problems for the Europeans who live and work in Her Majesty’s Empire are just around the corner. It appears that the English Premiere, who is just coming off of a major upset in the recent elections, where anti-Brexit sentimients prevailed, is not at all willing to soften her position, in this regard. Made clear by her decision to completely ignore the appeal of EU ambassadors to let national entry and granting of residence visas remain an EU responsibility, as is the case today: in sharp contrast to that appeal, she proposes that these matters be put exclusively in the hands of Britain’s government. A conflict, that despite its outcome, will certainly place three categories of Italians who live across The Channel, in a sort of hideous limbo.

The first is the under five years category. These are the individuals who have not yet obtained British citizenship, because they have lived in the country for less than 5 years. A timeframe which, is, in fact, a European Community regulation conditio sine qua non . When hour “X” arrives and the UK is officially no longer part of the European Union, what will happen to these people? Will their years of residency suddenly count for nothing, only to start again from the first year post-Brexit, or will their previous time in the country count, but with different conditions being applied to their status civitatis?

The second is the student category. Will the European who has decided to study and get his/her undergraduate degree, Masters or Doctorate, be able to stay and find gainful employment. Or, will they be treated like the current non-EU residents? Which means having to leave Britain to apply for a work permit (from outside of the country), and, upon receiving one, being let back in to Her Majesty’s Kingdom.

The third is the unemployed category. The way it has worked up until now, is that, differently than individuals coming from outside of the EU, those from the European union who were not successful at finding employment within the established limit of 3 -6 months, would not be forced to go back to their country of origin. A “privileged” treatment that is certainly destined to change in the near future.

So, it appears that there are tough times ahead for Italians in Britain. But, they might be able to count on the power of the economy to give them a hand. With all of this bureaucratic fine print obstructing the entry and long-term residency of European foreigners, it’s easy to imagine an impressive number of British enterprises who will try to put up a fight when it comes to these new provisions. Not so much because they are worried about the fate of the EU foreigners on their soil, but, rather, because they are staring in the face a real risk that their businesses will not be able to call upon the solid base of immigrant to which they are accustomed, and which they need.

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