David Cameron Can Only Blame Himself: His Xenophobia Spurred Brexit

While the world may be “shocked” at the UK’s Brexit vote, it hardly is surprising considering that the referendum was founded on David Cameron's own xenophobia.

The European Union referendum was peddled by Cameron, who is known for clamping down on all forms of immigration during his six years as prime minister, from legal migrants, to refugees, to undocumented workers.

When Cameron initiated the EU referendum in 2013, he turned his back on millions of EU migrants and refugees, some of whom are displaced as direct result of British foreign policy.

If he truly was allied with the “remain” camp, he could have overturned the Brexit decision to vote again within the sovereign Parliament, but he quietly resigned himself from office this morning.

As result, Britain, who invaded and colonized nearly 90 percent of the world, voted for economic suicide and independence from the consequences of their imperialism.

According to studies at Oxford, it is unclear what policies will apply to new migrants entering the UK until after the Brexit dust settles.

But, we do know that Europe is facing the largest refugee crisis since World War II. Last year, 1.25 million people applied to the EU for refugee status – more than double the previous year- and only a mere 300,000 were successful under Cameron’s policies.

Despite UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage’s xenophobic fear-mongering, the UK under Cameron supported only a fraction of refugees compared to its EU counterparts.

In 2015, Britain received 60 asylum applications per every 100,000 citizens, a number which pales in comparison to the 260 average asylum requests per 100,000 in Europe.  

After World War II, European countries, EU or non-EU, signed a 1951 UN refugee convention to allow provisions for refugee settlement in their countries.

In fact, deportation of undocumented refugees may become even more difficult after Brexit. Moreover, as an island only 350 miles away from the European continent, they will certainly continue to receive migrants. 

Now that the UK has promised to leave the EU, they are no longer able to use the European Commission’s Dublin regulation which allowed them to deport undocumented migrants to the country in which they first entered the EU.

The UK has deported over 12,000 people under the Dublin regulation since 2003. They would now be legally bound by the UN to host illegal migrants from war-torn nations who enter the UK from the EU, for example.

Prior to the launch of the EU in 1993, a relatively small number of about 100,000 migrants came to the UK annually. Between 1993 and 2014, the number of foreign citizens more than doubled, increasing from nearly 2 million to more than 5 million.

In a preliminary Oxford report which speculated Britain’s departure from the EU, it was determined that the sector to be impacted the most was hospitality, agriculture, and retail. In 2015, an estimated 4% to 6% of workers in these industries were British. The majority of workers were from the EU.

Despite Prime Minister David Cameron’s stance to "remain" in the EU, he has always been staunchly anti-immigrant, tightening the borders even for skilled and educated migrants. Last year, the number of non-EU migrants who were granted legal status was the lowest number on record since 1999 under Tony Blair.


Photo credit: Reuters

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