Reckless Immigration Behind Brexit – Signals for Singapore

Prime Minister David Cameron may have erred in calling for the referendum that ended yesterday in Britain’s narrow vote for an exit from the European Union.

But he deserves credit for honouring the promise he made to the British electorate – that he will hold a referendum if elected.

If the issue of reckless immigration had been addressed, Brexit may have been avoided. In 2015 alone, 630,000 new immigrants moved to the United Kingdom, affecting job prospects for the British and dragging salaries lower.

This lent ammunition to the pro-exit campaigners who also saw it as one of the factors suffocating sovereignty and called for freedom and self-determination.

Out of a population of 65 million in the UK, only around 14% of them are foreigners. Still the resentment was deep enough to trigger an exit from the EU.

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More than 40% Foreigners in Singapore: In contrast, foreigners in Singapore are believed to make up around 40-50% of the population of 5.5 million. That is too huge an intake of foreigners. Singaporeans have proved to be a generous, welcoming lot. So foreigners find it easy in the country.

It may not last long as unemployment among locals is a growing menace even as foreign mediocrity is being brought into the country in the name of talent. 

Even mere engineering diploma holders from countries like India are finding easy employment in Singapore. The local universities, where admissions are stringent for locals, also offer a backdoor entry for foreigners.

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Unless the government tightens immigration and takes effort to reduce population density in the country, the status quo of friendliness towards foreigners may come under threat.

Foreigners, including PRs, should form no more than 15% of the total population. Every effort must be made to trim the population to around 4.5 million. The economy will still be fine and the quality of life for residents better.

Back to the Referendum: The Brexit referendum results show “a wide gulf between a liberal metropolitan class and working class people.”

The City of London, for instance, was overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the EU with a vote of 75.3% with the North of England holding the maximum Eurosceptics and tilting the balance in favour of Brexit. Clear tensions over mindless immigration have triggered the exit.

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G Joslin Vethakumar

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