Visa-free travel will end if Britain leaves the European Union

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 March, 2016, 5:23pm
UPDATED : Monday, 07 March, 2016, 5:22pm

As a member of the British Labour Party, I would like to respond to Jerry Wraith’s letter (“Register so you can vote for British EU exit”, February 27), I was shocked by his opinion, even though he is a member of the UK Independence Party.

Mr Wraith claimed that the decision to stay in the EU will harm the independence of the UK as a country in the international community, as well as the status quo of entry to the UK among BNO holders. It may be true that staying in the EU may mean that more immigrants from other European countries come to live in Britain and enjoy the benefits and welfare from the government. However, instead of focusing on these issues, it doesn’t mean that we should neglect the advantages that Britons are enjoying.

Economically, most British enterprises and entrepreneurs trade with other European countries with different agreements and with low tax rates. That will change if the UK decides to leave the EU.

Many of these agreements and low-tax deals will be cancelled or have to be renegotiated. These changes will deal a fatal blow to the UK economy.

Some Britons who will vote to leave the EU have said that staying in could lead to more refugees and illegal immigrants coming in, similar to the influx of asylum seekers who have flooded Germany.

However, the UK government already has enough independence and a high degree of autonomy on how many refugees it will allow in. Therefore it does not need to leave the EU over this issue.

Thanks to the Schengen Agreement, British citizens do not need to apply for visas when visiting other EU states.

Once Britain is out of the EU, that freedom of movement will end.

Regarding the BNO passport, Hong Kong is no longer a member of the Commonwealth and so entry to the UK will be unaffected by Britain staying in the EU or leaving.

Britain needs to stay in the EU, in a Europe where the aim is sustainable growth.

Oscar Yeung, Ma On Shan