The series of events in Post-referendum Britain will be shifting at a radical pace, once Article 50 is invoked. Britain will be set to negotiate a new deal with the EU, in which it must complete the official terms of its divorce and attain a new agreement with the European Union. Evidently now, with the two sides taking polarized propositions for the deal, complex negotiations could be treated acrimoniously and perilously.
With regards to the British side, which is on the forefront, I find the bespoke deal its leadership wants to achieve being arguably erroneous on two levels. Firstly, the decadence found in their conception that it is fair and moral to propose access on the tariff free-single market while simultaneously taking a hard line on immigration, but also their reasoning behind the stipulation for immigration control.
The contemplation of this proposition is immoral and illegitimate, as it comes to a direct opposition with the very heartbeat of the EU. The Maltese PM Joseph Muscat, chairing the EU's rotating presidency next year, feels that this proposal "is unacceptable to most member states. They want the single market and freedom of movement to be tackled together." And indeed, European Commission public opinion shows "The free movement of people, goods and services within the EU" is the most positive result according to Europeans, still holding a clear lead since 2011.
Indeed, the basis of the Union is rooted on its four fundamental freedoms, contracts between member states shall be entrenched on mutual reciprocity. I trust that under common logic, one cannot simply enjoy the privileges -British access in the single market- without accepting his responsibilities - free movement of people inside Britain- in order to stabilize the equilibrium. These four principles go beyond their direct ambit of operation and color and infiltrate a plethora of EU aspects, deeming their constant application necessary for the preservation of the Union of altruism, firm relationships, common institutions and democracy.
Francois Hollande noted "We need to remain strong. If not, we will threaten the very principles of the European Union." and I indeed stand by his view, and comprehend his reasoning, as a European myself. The latest Eurobarometer detected that two in three Europeans strongly feel as citizens of the EU, a surprising 66% under the current circumstances. As I have previously argued, one can be born Greek, French, German, but still raised European. These two traits are, as the poll indicates, the two most valuable parts of one's identity and augment the feeling of protection under the auspices of the European Union. Just like the British leaders feel the duty to restore faith in politics and follow public wishes by demanding exceptions, the EU leaders shall hold the ship steady, ensuring EU stability.
With regards to the disturbingly strong enthusiasm on restricting immigration, the reasoning behind border control and EU immigration constraint appears to be the fact that EU migrants enjoy welfare benefits and fruits of the system at the expense of UK-born citizens.
The explicit comments of pro-Brexit Boris Johnson and Michael Gove in a joint statement, a quest for the replacement of free movement with a system "fair and humane" determining entrance according to skills and prospects, highlights the overall conception that EU immigrants arriving in Britain do not possess the necessary skills and prospects to secure British jobs. But according to a recent study by UCL, 43% of highly educated immigrants were from the EEA, as opposed to just 24% natives, successfully devaluing their argument and emphasizing EU labor potential.
Furthering to this, PM Theresa May stated at the Conservative Party conference: "when immigration is too high, when the pace of change is too fast, it's impossible to build a cohesive society. It's difficult for schools and hospitals and core infrastructure like housing and transport to cope."
It certainly holds that population increase leads to an increase in the demand for public services. The alleged benefits of restricting EU immigration would be that reduction of immigrants organically decreases demand for public services and benefits, but also equivalently reduces tax receipts. Whether this ultimately leads to an economic gain or loss for Britain depends on the net fiscal contribution of the EU immigrants.
Although Treasury Minister, when asked to reveal this information, simply said that "The information is not available", according to a research by the Centre for Research & Analysis of Migration, the fiscal contribution of recent EU immigrants to Britain has been "consistently positive and remarkably strong".
The authors found that between 2001 and 2011, EEA immigrants contributed to the fiscal system 34% more than they took out, with a net fiscal contribution of 22.1 billion GBP. In contrast, over the same period, the natives' contribution was a net negative of 624.1 billion GBP. This highlights that the fiscal contribution of EU immigrants is far higher than the costs they induce by demanding public services, showing that these alleged "concessions" are actually exceedingly advantageous for the British economy.
As these facts of this complex divorce become straight, it becomes apparent that the terms the British headship is opting for do not hold strong attributes of morality, legitimacy and reasoning. Troubling as the quest for such a special deal has been for the majority of Europeans, the implications of this progression for the practice of democracy and the legitimacy of relations are more worrisome still, deeming it unclear whether a fruitful outcome will be reached in the near future.