There is nothing progressive in a Labour Party that opposes Freedom of Movement, Steve Bullock writes.

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn met for two hours yesterday to discuss Brexit.
• Asked whether retaining Freedom of Movement will be one of Jeremy Corbyn’s demand, his spokesman replied that “Freedom of Movement ends when we leave the EU and we will replace it with fair management of migration.”

Sorry folks, but a progressive, internationalist party that opposes Freedom of Movement is not a progressive, internationalist party.

It is telling everyone, but the rich, who can always buy Freedom of Movement, “That world out there, is not for you. Shut up and be happy with your lot here.”

It is telling kids from poor backgrounds (like I was) that it is not needed as it is not for people like them.

It is horrible and patronising to limit people’s horizons and prospects for a bit of lexity populism.

It is taking away people’s rights for the sole, spiteful reason, that you don’t want foreigners to have the same reciprocal right, under the wholly dishonest cover of it being for their own good.

It is a policy of UKIP, the ERG, and of the most unpleasant, anti-poor, anti-immigrant Home Secretary and Prime Minister the UK has ever had.

And it is spitting in the face of the over three million EU nationals who have made the UK their home, and contribute to society and the economy in millions of ways every day.

Progressive, internationalist parties don’t chase the xenophobes’ vote and promote the far-right’s tropes.

They provide progressive thought leadership, convincing people that a progressive future can be better than a conservative past.

It is not as if Freedom of Movement is even unpopular, once it is understood that it is a reciprocal right, not a special benefit for others.

Surveys carried out by independent polling companies, Nov 2018. / Eurobarometer


You wouldn’t know solidarity if it jumped up and hit you in your dynamic alignment.🔷

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(This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article, with the author’s consent, with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.)

(Cover: Dreamtime/Andrew Bartlett - Jeremy Corbyn in Whitchurch Common, Cardiff, South Wales. | 21 April 2017.)