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Antony Antoniou – Reform UK Northampton North
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(PPC) 2024 General Election

UK rejects EU offer for free movement of young people

UK rejects EU offer for free movement of young people

EU Proposes Freedom of Movement for Young Europeans

The European Union has made a proposal aimed at appealing to a potential future Labour government in the UK. The youth mobility scheme would allow Europeans aged 18 to 30 to come to Britain for up to four years to work, travel, and study. This could pave the way for thousands of European workers, such as waiters, baristas, and au pairs, to fill gaps in the British workforce.

Under this reciprocal deal, proposed by the European Commission on Thursday, British citizens would also be able to move to the European continent for the same purposes.

Rebuilding Bridges Across the Channel

Maros Sefcovic, the EU’s Brexit negotiator, stated, “The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union has hit young people in the EU and the UK who would like to study, work and live abroad particularly hard. Today, we take the first step towards an ambitious but realistic agreement between the EU and the UK that would fix this issue. Our aim is to rebuild human bridges between young Europeans on both sides of the Channel.”

Appeal to Labour’s Stance

The offer is likely to appeal to Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, who has signalled that he would seek closer ties with the EU if his party wins the upcoming general election.

Existing Youth Mobility Schemes

The Home Office has already engaged in discussions with some EU countries after being asked by Rishi Sunak’s Downing Street to agree on more youth mobility schemes. The UK currently has reciprocal schemes with ten non-EU countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and Iceland.

These schemes allow eligible individuals to travel and work in Britain without needing a sponsor or meeting other requirements, such as salary thresholds, without significantly contributing to net migration.

EU’s First Youth Mobility Treaty with a Third Country

The European Commission stated that it is making the offer of an EU-wide deal because the UK had already spoken with several member states to discuss youth mobility. If a deal is reached, it would be Brussels’ first youth mobility treaty with a third country.

Under the bloc’s offer, Britain would have to agree to equal treatment on tuition and visa fees, as well as healthcare surcharges.

Safeguards and Limitations

In an online Q&A regarding its proposals, the EU made it clear that the scheme would not replace existing paths to obtaining visas and that either side would have the ability to reject applications due to threats to public security and health.

Potential Stumbling Blocks

It is unlikely that negotiations will commence immediately, as the EU’s 27 member states are still required to agree on the Commission’s proposal. The forthcoming European Parliament elections and the general election in the UK are also likely to act as stumbling blocks to the talks beginning.

Calls from Industry Leaders and Remain Campaigners

Industry leaders and Remain campaigners have been pushing for an EU-wide visa scheme to make it easier for young Britons to travel and work in the bloc, and vice-versa.

Naomi Smith, the chief executive of Best for Britain, said, “This landmark intervention is a welcome acknowledgement of the immense impact that Brexit has had, not only on young Brits but young Europeans as well. The UK Government must now respond in kind. Until a reciprocal EU-UK youth mobility scheme is formalised, our young people will continue to be robbed of the irreplaceable formative experiences their parents and older siblings enjoyed, because of a failed Brexit project they did not vote for.”

Charles Owen, of Seasonal Business in Travel, stated, “A reciprocal youth mobility scheme is a win-win for both Europe and the UK, and in particular for struggling businesses suffering from chronic labour shortages, made worse by Brexit. Momentum is building to get this deal done and we implore the prime minister to talk to Industry and prepare for the upcoming negotiations appropriately. This is a serious economic and cultural opportunity for all.”

Labour’s Stance on the Proposal

A Labour spokesperson responded to the EU’s proposal, saying, “This is a proposal from the EU Commission to EU member states, not to the UK. It has come about because the UK government is reportedly approaching other European countries to try to establish mobility arrangements.

“Labour has no plans for a youth mobility scheme. We have already suggested some tangible ways that we would look to improve the relationship and deliver for British businesses and consumers, including seeking a veterinary agreement to tackle trade barriers, mutual recognition of professional qualifications, and improved touring opportunities for artists.

“A Labour Government would seek to improve the UK’s working relationship with the EU within our red lines – no return to the single market, customs union, or free movement.”


Who are they kidding? We now openly know, what we have known privately for a long time, the EU needs us more than we need it, that is official and they have admitted it.

So what is this motive behind this offer?

Firstly the EU is in deep trouble both economically and socially. It has slipped from being 22% of global trade in 2017, to less than 15% last year, with expectations that it will sink to below 10% by the end of the decade. Brexit has been catastrophic for the EU and they are doing their best to sneak us back in, and if we are unfortunate enough to have a Labour government, this deceitful agenda will gain momentum. They do not care about the referendum, the will of the people or what is best for the UK, they care about the egotistical ambitions to be meddling in people’s lives at a higher level, with a bigger salary, it’s quite disgraceful really.

In the immediate future, this offer may seem like a wonderful gesture, with many Gen Z loving the idea of being free to endlessly wander around Europe, but in reality that does not happen anyway, this offer serves several purposes.

  1. Where there is free movement, the years leading up to Brexit confirm that many more young people from the EU move here, rather than the other way round, and with the EU’s economy in crisis, this would be a very sneaky way for them to dump their youth unemployment on the UK.
  2.  This will be the thin end of the wedge, if we were to agree to this, it would only be a matter of time before the age limit were increased, taking us back to square one.
  3.  Immigrants who have been granted citizenship in the EU, who are mainly under 30s, would be free to move here.

Who are they kidding?

We have not even executed Brexit yet, we need strong leadership, a clear agenda and better future for the UK away from this failed experiment, the EU in its current form is on borrowed time and they know it!

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