America’s part publicly-funded radio broadcaster NPR has declared that “Hundreds of thousands of people whose personal fates could hinge on whether Britain leaves the European Union (EU) won’t even have a vote in next month’s referendum: Polish migrants”.
But the article published Saturday perhaps accidentally reveals some of the major concerns of native Britons when discussing mass European migration into Britain: benefits (welfare) and the repatriation of cash back to migrants’ home countries.
Interviewing Krzystof Przadak, a London plumber “who recently anglicized his name to ‘Chris'”, NPR gives credence to the idea of mass deportations upon Brexit. This assumes the United Kingdom could start kicking out hundreds of thousands of hard-working individuals simply because the country was no longer part of the EU.
To date, no major Brexit campaigners have suggested such a plan, with UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage outwardly rejecting the idea when quizzed on it in November 2014.
NPR reports that Mr. Przadak came “came [to Britain] in September ”, just a few months after Poland’s accession to the EU.
He left his wife and daughter in Poland initially, though they later joined him. Mr. Przadak now employees seven people at his own plumbing company, earning ten times what he did in Poland, and declaring: “[Britons] thinking we are taking their work, but this is not the idea. We want to work for the same money, and all the same rights. That is the idea of the EU.”
But while the trope of “job stealing” is another one that few Brexit campaigners speak of, the idea of wage suppression is both common, and has even been admitted to by Britain’s central bank – a point that isn’t made in NPR’s coverage.
And then NPR reveals, in the final two paragraphs of the article, why Mr. Przadak really fears a Brexit: “If I have to go back to Poland, we’ll see what sort of benefits, what sort of progress, Poland has made just in the 12 years,” he says.
Britain’s bursting welfare state has been pointed to as a “pull factor” by libertarian pro-immigration campaigners, as well as anti-immigration conservatives, for some time.
NPR concludes by revealing: “For these 12 years, Przadak has been sending money home. Such remittances have helped Poland’s economy grow.”
Critics will argue that repatriation of money earned in the United Kingdom is one of the many reasons that people look skeptically upon mass economic migration.