Thursday, October 6, 2016

An End To "The Big O.E."?

For many New Zealanders, "the Big OE" was their young adult initiation into the big wide world. Their "Overseas Experience" consisted of a few years in the land of their ancestors, gaining working visa entry to Britain through parental or grand-parental links...
But, in the post-Brexit anti-immigrant panic, Britain is slamming the door on international students and foreign workers. A harsh new policy will stop overseas workers from "taking jobs British people could do", in moves that could affect kiwis and aussies wanting to live, work and study there.
Students and skilled workers from countries including NZ and OZ, foreign cab-drivers and Europeans convicted of minor crimes will all be targeted, as part of a tough stance aimed at reducing migrants to just "tens of thousands" (down from 300,000 this year).
UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd: "There's no question that recent immigration levels motivated a large part of the Brexit vote." Net migration from EU countries is 184,000, just short of the 188,000 from non-EU countries combined. Rudd says it will not be possible to reach the much lower target by curbing EU migration alone: "We have to look at all sources of immigration if we mean business."
Rudd describes as "generous" the current rules allowing working rights to the families of international students, and bemoans that foreign students studying English language degrees "don't even have to be proficient in speaking English." NZ and OZ skilled workers and uni students are in the firing line too, with the UK
considering tightening rules for companies recruiting from abroad.
Well, so much for historical ties between the Home Country and its Colonies! Obviously our loyal support in so many areas counts for naught.
But two can play. Hasn't the old battler Winston Peters – NZ First politican - constantly advocated jobs for kiwis ahead of migrants? So let's consider tightening our rules too. Maybe NZ should no longer accept Englanders as a matter of course simply because they're English, or because they cross a financial threshold. Let's face it: so many of them come here, and then moan about it being too hot, or the beer being too cold, or "Eh, by goom, it weren't like this Back Home, like…!" Ok, then maybe consider staying back home.
Britain's for the British? Have it your way - you voted for it. But forget emigrating to our beautiful land then…

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