IMMIGRATION was and is a big issue in the Leave campaign.
I have been reminding everyone for a long time that even within existing EU rules the UK has powers to limit immigration which the Government has simply not used. So don't blame the EU, blame the Government.
This blog on Brexit853 summarises it. Worth reading if you interested in FACTS. https://brexit853.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/powers-that-the-uk-has-failed-to-use-to-control-eu-freedom-of-movement-directive/
THE FoM (Freedom of Movement) directive allows for the "old" countries to restrict the rights of migrants from "new" countries for up to 7 years. The powers vary from stopping migration completely or allowing only for selected categories of work on a work permit basis. In 2004 the UK choose not to use this option at all, when the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia joined. The UK was one of only 3 of the original EU members (UK, Sweden and Eire) to choose not to apply transitional restrictions on these eight countries.
EU CITIZENS MUST BE SELF-SUPPORTING. After 3 months in the UK EU migrants need to be either working, have a member of the family working or have sufficient funds to live (and have full sickness insurance). If not then they can be returned to their home country.
The UK does not register migrants as they arrive and as such has no way of knowing how long they have been in the UK. There are no efforts to track or control this movement. This once more allows the EU-skeptics to portray the FoM as "uncontrolled migration".
In contrast Belgium requires all migrants to register at their Town Hall within 3 months of entering the country and if they intend to work their claim will be assessed and will be processed within 6 months.
The EU gave further confirmation of existing rights to limit free movement in the package given to D. Cameron in February 2016: 'Whereas the free movement of workers under Article 45 TFEU entails the abolition of any discrimination based on nationality as regards employment, remuneration and other conditions of work and employment, this right may be subject to limitations on grounds of public policy, public security or public health. In addition, if overriding reasons of public interest make it necessary, free movement of workers may be restricted by measures proportionate to the legitimate aim pursued.'
Why the HELL did Cameron not make more of all this in the campaign? So now we are possibly exiting the EU due to basic ignorance and failures by the Government. Is this a comedy or a tragedy? Should we take note that Theresa May was the Home Secretary dealing with Immigration since 2010?