Prime Minister Theresa May has finally revealed some crucial details about her position on Brexit, and made it clear that there will be restrictions to EU migration. But this will have consequences. A recent study suggests that fewer immigrants will mean that the government will likely need to raise the state pension age.
Waiting longer for the state pension
In her speech on 17 January, Theresa May said:
The message from the public before and during the referendum campaign was clear: Brexit must mean control of the number of people who come to Britain from Europe. And that is what we will deliver.
The Oxford-based Institute of Population Ageing has published a study into the future of ageing and the state pension age. It found that if there are fewer immigrants in Britain after Brexit, the government will likely raise the state pension age.
Professor Sarah Harper, who headed the study, said:
If all migration into the UK was to be halted, then over the next five years, those coming up to retirement would have to work about one-and-a-half years longer just in order to maintain current output [of GDP].
Government planned the rise two months back
In November 2016, the government indicated that it intended to increase the pension age to 70. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) believes the increases are necessary because people are living longer.
The changes could mean that people born between March 1962 and April 1972 would have a pension age of 68. Those who were born between March 1973 and April 1985 would have a pension age of 69. And anyone born between March 1986 and April 1994 would have a pension age of 70.
Brexit and snooping
But that’s not all.
Andrew Tingley, a leading immigration lawyer, describes a “nightmare” post-Brexit scenario, in which EU immigrants to the UK have their basic rights overturned. Tingley argues that immigrants could see their bank accounts closed, their employment terminated, and their rental agreements revoked.
And The Guardian reports:
He [Tingley] says it has in effect outsourced immigration control to employers, landlords, banks and airlines, allowing them to seek proof of residency and create havoc for people if they do not have documents.
Preparations have begun
Schools already need to list all pupils by nationality and country of birth. Some fear they could then pass that information on to the Department for Education. Liberty has written to all headteachers urging them not to comply.
The government is also considering plans to ask clinicians to check passports of patients, to find out whether they should be paying. And last year, The Canary reported on a pro-Tory thinktank proposal that, after Brexit, would result in us all having identity cards.
Scapegoating refugees and raising the state pension age are just two possible results of the Tories’ approach to Brexit. Theresa May may skirt around these issues, hoping no one will notice. But she’s mistaken.
– Support ‘The 3 million’, which helps EU citizens who could be deported after Brexit.
– Donate to Liberty (human rights NGO).
Featured image via Flickr
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