I was disappointed to read in The Observer newspaper that Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell has joined with some of the Labour Party’s ‘usual suspects’ in calling for a future Labour government to restrict free movement of labour within the European Union.
We are an ageing nation with a birth rate that is at best stagnating and at worse failing, so we will need younger people to come to the UK to work, and the emphasis is on work, and pay their taxes which in turn will fund services such as health and education, and perhaps more importantly, pay for our pensions.
When Poland joined the EU in 2004, certainly a lot came to the UK, but it was to work, as plumbers, electricians and other such trades.
If a future Labour government is to fulfil its promise of building thousands of new homes a year, it may well be that we will again need European workers to help meet the demand.
I am sure many readers will remember the endearing comedy dram which started in the 1980s, Auf Weidersehen Pet. It may have lessened the drama somewhat, but imagine how much easier it would have been if the Geordie brickies at the centre of the story could have just gone to Germany without a complicated permit system. It should also be remembered that many British chose to work or live abroad, and if the UK was to impose restrictions there will be ramifications for them as well.
I want the Labour Party and its MPs to beat UKIP by reason and the force of their argument, and not by aping them and pandering to the lowest common denominator of fear.