Paul Mason’s demand

Brexit should be the moment that anomaly is ended. On top of the right to settle, claim benefits and access the NHS, those who choose to stay after Britain leaves the EU should be offered full citizenship and, en route to that, be given the right to vote in Westminster elections.

Err, Paul matey. We have rules about who gets to be a citizen. And if you follow them then you get the vote. It’s rather what it means in fact.

35 comments on “Paul Mason’s demand

  1. Giving taxpaying EU nationals the vote in the UK could save us from a Chavista type government of nationalisations, price controls and emigration.
    War excepted, there’s only been a few times when a country has gone from prosperity to penury, and it was socialist policies every time. And it is more important that the UK avoids this path than sticking to some rule that you cough up £1k to vote in a GE, but nowt to vote for your councillor or Mayor.
    Non-residents must lose their votes – this means Spanish pensioners who will vote self-interestedly. Part of what makes the Conservatives unpopular was all the free stuff they give to this age group, which makes the young ‘uns think they can have some too.

  2. Only slightly off-topic, but living in CH (Schengen, so applying EU rules) I applied for “settled status” (“Niederlassungsbewilligung” – settlement permit) last year. I believe equivalents are present in most EU countries.

    Imagine my surprise over the last few days to see pro-EU types decrying the UK government for wanting to put exactly that kind of arrangement into UK law, and how it’s the End Times and the most unfair thing since Corbyn won fewer seats and fewer votes but wasn’t made PM.

    Seriously, do these people know nothing of how life works outside the UK? Do they presume that In Foreign everything’s done like in the UK except they talk funny and have better food?

  3. Now if (chance would be a fine thing!) UK became a freewheelin freetradin low regs country after brexit, then we should expect an even larger number of immigrants escaping EU customes union, cartelism, national champions (Danone, ffs!) and all the othe BS. To the extent that EU emigrants, educated at public expense, will be required to pay for exit visas.
    I trust our musical economist thinks that will be a good thing.

  4. Are there any stats on how Poles etc would vote? I tend to assume that eastern europeans don’t have the anti-markets/capitalism bias, having actually experienced the alternative. Admiration for Mrs Thatcher etc. I’m sure if this was the case Paul would change his mind.

  5. Can’t they get citizenship anyway, if they’ve met residency and other requirements (eg clean criminal records)?

    I’d have thought plenty would be eligible – the arguments are 1) whether it is a requirement to stay 2) whether they have to give up their other citizenship (UK doesn’t require it, their home country might) 3) the cost – currently about £1200 – steep.

    Once you have it, you have full rights like any other UK citizen – right to stay for life, use NHS, vote, stand for Parliament etc.

  6. A couple of my colleagues have gone through / are going through the citizenship process. Five years’ continuous residency, during which you must have either been working or been covered by private health insurance. There’s the £1,200 fee, a language test, and a Britishness test (e.g. How many wives did Henry VIII have?).

    One bloke’s wife isn’t eligible because she took time off to be a housewife, and (like 99% of housewives in the UK) didn’t take out private health insurance. The five-year clock will start again when she returns to work.

  7. No migrant regardless of origin should have citizenship and esp not voting rights for 100 years after arrival.

    Long enough to see what we have let in before letting them have any influence.

  8. @Andrew M – trust the British government to come up with rules and then apply them stupidly.

  9. However, it does seem that a lot of the stupid rules stem from a) british welfare policy, b) EU free movement rules.

    e.g. The UK insists on an insane system of in-work benefits. EU law means EU citizens must be treated the same as UK citizens, so UK puts in place minimum income requirement for bringing your family to stop people coming to milk the system.

  10. abacab / Andrew M

    trust the British government to come up with rules and then apply them stupidly.

    I know some going through this same process; it’s embarrassing (for me) to hear it recounted, but I guess bureaucratic imbeciles abound all over.

  11. @abacab

    “However, it does seem that a lot of the stupid rules stem from a) british welfare policy, b) EU free movement rules.

    e.g. The UK insists on an insane system of in-work benefits.”
    Yes giving EU citizens free housing in London whilst British people have a housing crisis always seemed to me to either cause our benefit system to be changed or us to leave the EU. I would have preferred the former.

  12. Ecks

    regardless of origin

    I don’t agree. Perhaps we need to start getting a lot more savvy?

    Highly energetic, “want to and can” work, educated “Europeans” (for example), who share our values (and some), and who are trying to escape exactly the kind of illiberal or bureaucratic crap that our European friends increasingly want to pursue, are good news? Add in UK fertility. Add in the kind of alternatives that we frequently and vibrantly discuss on here..

    And Anglosphere with shared values especially? Show us the dosh (or ability and skill to work), and it should be little more than a nod (our ancestors are the same in any case)?

    All within reasonable number limits etc.

  13. Err.. we *do* offer foreigners citizenship, via fairly clearly established rules, and *WHEN* you become a citizen, *THEN* you have the citizen’s right to vote in Westminster elections. Would he ever go to China and insist on the right to vote as a non-citizen “‘cos I live here!!!!!!”

    I was shouting all through a TV programme last night about the “”audacity”” of foreigners here having to apply, APPLY I tell you, to be British.

    “But I’ve lived here for ages, why can’t I have a British passport?” ‘COS YOU’RE NOT BRITISH.
    “But I was born here, why can’t I have a British passport?” “‘COS YOU’RE NOT BRITISH!”
    “But I’ve lived here all my life, why can’t I have a British passport?” “‘COS YOU’RE NOT BRITISH!”

    Sheesh. There really is something about certain people where there seems to be something missing from their brain.

  14. Andrew M,

    “One bloke’s wife isn’t eligible because she took time off to be a housewife, and (like 99% of housewives in the UK) didn’t take out private health insurance. The five-year clock will start again when she returns to work.”

    If her children were born here doesn’t she qualify? If not I’ll bet some human rights lawyer would be interested if she ever wanted to make a fuss.

    Our immigration laws are insane. Devils Kitchen’s wife (I assume they are still together) is an American with a history degree and teaching qualification. She’s a lovely lass who would have contributed greatly to society but they had to jump through hoops and even getting married didn’t make it any easier. ISTR he has to be working and earning a certain amount for her to stay.

    Meanwhile any old illiterate and innumerate cousin in Pakistan gets to come here through arranged marriage and then brings their own illiterate extended family.

  15. @BiND – a few years back I looked into maybe moving back (things weren’t good with my then-employer since they’d over-hired, I was last in, and the only non-native). My wife is also non-Commonwealth, and just the list of documents they wanted to bring her into the UK was insane – complete financial records for the entire length of the relationship (of course they’re thinking about arranged marriages, but a decade of bank statements is not something I have), and so on.

    Not that I’d ever want to go back, but it’s so significantly difficult that it’s put completely out of mind.

  16. @jgh
    What programme was that?

    @Andrew M
    They just say if you speak the language, pass the test, have a clean criminal record and have paid £x in tax you get it.

  17. PF–All the hard workers and high fliers and hard workers won’t be stopped from prospering themselves and the rest of us.

    But 100 years gives a chance to see what poisons lurk in the background. An assessment of 3 generations should tell if they are worth having onside or not

  18. I know a Czech guy who is going through the citizenship malarkey – could not go to his father’s funeral because it cut into his five years. Nice guy, runs his own little business. Hates the EU. *Really* hates leftists, communists and SJWs. Very sound. He’ll be an asset.

  19. Citzenship is a nightmare. I am English (thanks Scotch and Welsh, I used to think of myself as British but you bigoted cunts have cured me of that).

    I happened to be born in Australia and I don’t have a UK birth certificate. I’ve held UK passports since about 1965. My most recently expired passports state “Citizen of the UK” or words to that effect. Last time I renewed my passport I had to provide father’s birth certificate (b1907), mother’s birth certificate (b1917) and marriage certificate (m1936). All UK.

    I’m expecting to be stateless at next passport renewal time. Old white male etc.

  20. It depends what is more important to you – if it’s being British then accept two dependency parties just garnered 80+% of the votes cast and will keep doing so.
    If avoiding socialism is your priority, and for me it is, then give the vote to any taxpaying EU national here.
    Don’t stiff them £1200 for the privilege of having some representation for their taxation, because then they’ll expect entitlements in due course over and above the natives.

  21. BiND / abacab,

    It’s more a case of the UK diligently following EU/EEA rules to the letter. Other countries have insurance-based healthcare systems; the common Freedom of Movement rules say you have to have “comprehensive sickness insurance” in order to qualify for permanent residence after five years. EU citizens living in the UK are covered by the NHS, so it never even occurs to them to purchase private cover. But the Home Office decided to apply the letter of the law.

    abacab,

    > minimum income requirement for bringing your family

    This only applies to non-EU migrants. Timmy’s nuclear powered girls from Czech are welcome to move here any time, and they can bring all their cousins. Until Brexit, of course.

    BiND,

    > If her children were born here doesn’t she qualify?

    Not that I can see, from a quick trawl through Google.

    anon,

    > They just say if you speak the language, pass the test, have a clean criminal record and have paid £x in tax you get it.

    Yep, I get that. It’s just that the requirement to have private health insurance while not working catches a lot of people by surprise, because it’s counter-intuitive. Most EU citizens in the UK never even bothered looking into the rules, because they never thought they’d need to apply for permanent residence or citizenship.

  22. When my wife came from Hong Kong it took her seven years instead of five to get fully settled status and UK Citizenship (which had been stolen from her 15 years before, but that’s another story), as she had to work out her contract in Hong Kong and popped back at short notice for her mother’s funeral (youngest daughter) and we spent money like water flying over to spend all her leave in the UK to keep her “no more than two years absence” minimised. Luckily, she worked in a school, so every school holiday was spent over here.

  23. > If her children were born here doesn’t she qualify?
    You get British citizenship by having a British parent, not by being born here. And you can’t inherit it backwards from your children, only forwards from your parents.

  24. jgh,

    Interesting Dispatches link. Seems to be a lot of fuss about nothing.

    > there are 65,000 young people born in the UK with no legal residence

    Ok, not ideal.

    Helen was brought to the UK from West Africa illegally by her grandparents when she was 2 months old. Because Helen’s not British, neither is her daughter Maya, so the cycle repeats itself.

    Most inconvenient for Helen; although my sympathy is limited by her illegal status.

    You can also get one [a British passport] if you are born in the UK and stay until the age of ten.

    Problem solved. Admittedly you won’t be able to take the whole family to Disneyland until your youngest is ten years old, but that’s very much a first world problem.

  25. For my kids to pass on British nationality they’ll have to show that they were born In Foreign while I was working under “qualified foreign service” (I believe I’ve got the term right), which I was.

    Shouldn’t be an issue since in 5 years we’ll apply for CH nationality for the family and won’t have to worry so much about things like that any more.

  26. I know a Czech guy who is going through the citizenship malarkey – could not go to his father’s funeral because it cut into his five years.

    Eh? You’re allowed to leave for short trips, even long ones I think.

  27. Oh, and when I applied for French residency for my wife under EU rules the people in the prefecture basically refused to grant it because they didn’t know about the law. It took the intervention of the EU ombudsman and a minister to get them to apply EU laws. Great.

  28. @Tim N,

    In CH the municipalities just gather the papers and ship them off to the cantonal migration office, who know their stuff (unlike the embassy in NL, who cost me money and stress),

  29. @jgh
    “And you can’t inherit it backwards from your children, only forwards from your parents.”
    I knew someone who got residency because allegedly their child could not be treated in South America and then got a British passport after a few years. She then sent her child back to South America to be treated!!!

  30. @anon – like that great trick of claiming asylum from country X, then as soon as residency is granted, going there on holiday.

    Or claiming to be a gay Iranian/Saudi/whatever then after getting residency having an arranged marriage with a lady from the home country.

    This kind of pisstaking should be given short shrift.

    Oh, and I asked the immigration people back in the day whether if something happened to me, my wife could get permission to take my UK citizen children to the UK and care for them there. Answer: no. Possibly it was “no” because I asked the question rather than her just doing it illegally and claiming Uman Roits.

  31. “You get British citizenship by having a British parent, not by being born here. And you can’t inherit it backwards from your children, only forwards from your parents.”

    I suspected as much, hence my comment about a human rights lawyer.

  32. Almost back on topic, EU citizens do get to vote in local and European elections (moot for Europeans in the UK post-Brexit). Expect to see that come up as a negotiating demand.

    The comprehensive sickness cover thing is the shoddiest excuse of a loophole I have ever seen (that said, now it’s becoming widespread knowledge, where can I get shares in Bupa?). It’s almost as if Britain wants to replace its European migration with more illiterates from Goatfuckistan.

  33. “Citizens” – bah humbug!
    *We* are subjects of her Britannic Majesty – long may she reign!
    Citizens of the City of London are those to whom it has been awarded, usually as a result of their qualifying through membership of their guild which has tested their competence and behaviour, but including some residents of good character that has been attested by two, not just one, members of the Court of Common Council.
    Citizenship has to be earned.
    Now I do know (slightly directly and rather more indirectly) a nice couple, originally from Colombia, who are applying for citizenship and, from all that I know, have earned it, so I am not in the least objecting to granting it to those who earn it – just saying that its benefits should not be handed out will-nilly to those who have not.

  34. Tim: last I checked it was: no more than two years’ continuous absence, or two years’ cummulative absence in five (or seven depending on category) years. So unless you’ve been taking the piss and have been spending you maximum allowed time out of the country, you *can* pop out for a couple of weeks to arrange a funeral.

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