The Telegraph has a piece about ‘zero immigration’ where people will be ‘counted in and counted out’ and for every one person allowed in, one has to come out.
This is of course, unworkable, and cannot be done without serious consequences that will end up changing everything about Britain.
Lets look at some scenarios.
Imagine that there is a one in one out (OIOO…its binary…how fitting!) policy. The only way to make it work is to give everyone a number and then identify them uniquely. That means NIR and ID cards. That means watching everyone, forbidding anyone who is in the UK illegally from being able to exist. The NIR has all of this built in, and once you cannot operate a bank account or buy food without an ID card, coming here illegally will be a non starter.
The Telegraph is against ID cards, or so we thought. This OIOO policy is the ultimate means to an end justifying ID cards.
Imagine this also; you live in an OIOO country, and over a period of ten years a new technology emerges that literally changes the whole world – how the world spends money, learns, communicates – EVERYTHING.
Imagine now, that there is a shortage of workers who can operate this new technology, which we will call ‘the internet’ for sake of argument. If there is a OIOO policy in place, and all the workers who know how to work this complex technology live outside the UK, and this new ‘internet’ is crucial to the functioning of all countries, then Britain will be in big trouble, because no one is going to voluntarily leave the UK so that 10,000 people can enter and run the new fantastic tool, brining all the unintended and desired technologies with it and the ancillary jobs that inevitably grow like cultures around any new technology. And if you are going to make exceptions for skilled workers, they will have children and add to the numbers living here.
In the case above, training will not bring your local workers up to speed quickly enough. Only people who know how to work this new magic NOW can bring the benefits NOW and keep Britain in front of the pack for decades to come.
Obviously I am using the internet as a device to illustrate the point, but one thing is for sure, there will be new technologies and unless Britain wants to be left out, it is going to have to make exceptions for highly skilled people that it can no longer produce. OIOO cannot be taken at face value as a ‘final solution to the immigration problem’.
The other crucial flaw in this OIOO idea is that the number of people already in the UK is growing thanks to childbirth. Even if you ‘go OIOO’, Britain will be overpopulated (I mean MORE overpopulated) by virtue of that fact alone.
The logical, inevitable conclusion to this line of thought is to have a number set by government beyond which the population of Britain is not allowed to go, and then to say OIOO, where ‘OIOO’ means for every exit or death in the UK, one person can come in, AFTER licensed births have taken place. Thats right, all birth would be subject to a government issued license, and couples would only be able to have a child if someone died, and then there would be a queue to join…or perhaps, it would be done by lottery, the winning ticked salable on the open market. There would be stiff penalties for those who disobey, just like there are in Fortress. This would mean an end to immigration altogether and the introduction of a nightmare beyond the imagining of most ordinary people. Of course, all rich people, skilled people, people with common sense and intelligence would leave Britain, making life even more intolerable. Of course, these rich, smart people would be welcomed anywhere in the world that they wanted to go, and they would be enticed with licenses for multiple birth (in countries that adopt OIOO) and failing that, they would go to places where there are no restriction on the number of children you can have. Either way, Britain would suffer the ultimate, final brain drain, and the only children left behind would be obese, drooling, cheeseburger chasing monsters with slicked back hair, wearing garish shell suits, writing textlish (text messaging english) and barking with hoarse voices.
Like I said about the fake Romany marriage outrage story, everyone should be VERY careful about stories and measures to fix problems; the solutions can come back to bite you and destroy the very thing you are so eager to protect.
Finally, all of this is moot as long as Britain is in the EU. EU membership means that anyone from the member countries can come and live here permanently and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it. You cannot address this ‘problem of immigration’ without first addressing that.