My family comes from a line of immigrants Irish, Jewish, Scottish with a splash of French (we think) all ending up in England in a round about fashion. Much of my family is distributed around the globe, to mention those that I know of Germany, USA, Australia and probably Israel considering my Jewish lineage. Gavins family are also immigrants from Scotland and England into Zimbabwe. His family has scattered over time to Australia, South Africa, France and back to Ireland and England.
Now when I move around the globe I do it quite easily with my British/European Union passport, I barely get glanced at especially within Europe where no one looks at a passport anymore. When visiting slightly more complicated destinations visas are required but are usually quite easy to get for me and frequently free or not very expensive.
When Gavin moves around the globe he needs a visa for virtually every country he goes to and usually with a long list of accompanying paperwork and more money. Currently his visa here is covered by the Schengen agreement and the fact that he is married to an EU citizen and he has free access to the schengen states and a full work permit for 10 years easily renewable. For him to work in the UK he has to apply for a visa which costs over a thousand pounds, if he wants to stay for longer than 3 years, and he has to have a sponsor for his job. The fact that he is married to me and has been for nearly 23 years is irrelevant.
Feedom of movement is something that is earnt not something that you have a right to and is directly related to the country in which you have citizenship. Sometimes when a right has been available for a long time one is lulled into a false sense of security and one begins to expect that the right will always be there.
When Zimbabwe left the Commonwealth in 2003. It turned travelling into a sea of confusion, red tape and MONEY. Overnight I needed a visa to go on holiday to Zimbabwe despite being married to a Zimbabwean as did my children who were born there but on British passports. Gavin needed more paperwork and a large amount of pounds just to go on holiday to UK. Not to mention the then subsequent difficulties getting into any other Commonwealth country
Pretty much it turned into a diplomatic game of tit for tat.
Now I am not sure that my compatriots across the water have quite realised the effect on them of diplomatic tit for tat and they would probably think that my example of Zimbabwe and the commonwealth does not apply to them. Nor have they yet realised how many of them, sorry no all of them are actually immigrants. If you go back about 60,000 years we all emmigrated from Africa into the rest of the world.
It may be time to wake up and smell the coffee/roses/tea if you are that way inclined, and stop using immigration as a weapon in a political tussle for power which is quite frankliy all it amounts to and start realising what would be lost by opting out of the European Club. Freedom of movement which is something that is born out of living in a democratic, peaceful, environment and something that should not be given up on someone elses whim.
I am farming sheep and goats on the Dordogne/Gironde border with my husband and our 3 children. We have an on farm butchery and sell our meat direct to the public via the markets and delivery points in our local area