Freedom of movement in Europe is under attack and not just in the UK. Earlier this year, the Swiss voted to introduce quotas for EU immigration, thus invalidating the Swiss-EU Free Movement of Persons Agreement. The Belgium government has sent thousands of letters (2,712 in 2013) to out-of-work EU immigrants, informing them that they have become an “unreasonable burden” on the state’s benefit system and as such must leave or face deportation. The German government is thinking of following suit, with a proposal to deport EU migrants who have not found work within three months.
Much has been written on what is motivating this wave of anti-immigration politics. Here, let us ask a different question: what motivates those who remain pro-immigration? Why should anyone think that freedom of movement in Europe is something worth defending? Continue reading