What are the implications of Brexit for workers’ rights? Gracie Mae Bradley examines how state power creates a paradigm of juridified dispossession where government immigration law and policy tacitly sanction the exploitation of migrant workers, while at the same time encouraging a ‘hostile environment’ extending into the fabric of daily life. Brexit’s legal challenges threaten the rights of migrant workers further, but where there is fragmentation and change, new possibilities for solidarity and resistance can emerge.
Gracie Mae Bradley is a human rights worker and sometime writer. She is a Project Manager at the Migrants' Rights Network and also helps coordinate the Against Borders for Children campaign.
When we talk about workers’ rights, which workers and which rights do we really mean? Legal rights are only one component of justice and the good life, and the law itself does not contain all that is meaningful about rights. But Brexit has pitched workers into a battle with the UK government to prevent it from rolling back long-held employment rights once Britain leaves the EU, and resistance must take into account the law as much as government policy, politics, or what is happening in the streets.
Theresa May has vowed to end the European Court of Justice’s (CJEU) jurisdiction in the UK: the Great Repeal Bill (GRB) is an historic proposal to end the authority of EU law and ‘take back control’. On ‘Brexit day’, EU law will be absorbed into UK law “wherever practical.” Of course, what is practical for the government is not necessarily practical for workers.
Heaven Crawley responds to the eviction of 'The Jungle' camp at Calais, arguing that it is largely a symbolic attempt by the British government to reassert 'control' over borders in the context of Europe's political crisis. The eviction, and the reinforcement of the wall alongside the port of Calais, does not address the refugee crisis and the diverse reasons for why people move. Professor Heaven Crawley leads research on migration and human security at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University. She specialises in aspects of international migration, including policy, public attitudes and the experience of refugees and asylum-seekers.
Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move, Reece Jones' exploration of the refugee crisis, focusing on how borders are formed and policed, is 40% off until Sunday, 30th of October at midnight (UTC).
Yesterday, the UNHCR announced 2016 has become the deadliest year on record for people trying to cross the Mediterranean seas to Italy and Greece, with more than 3,800 men, women and children died or were reported missing. Borders kill, of that there can be no doubt.
The violent borders of which Reece Jones speaks so powerfully in his excellent book are now so much a feature of our everyday lives that it’s difficult to be shocked by what we see and hear. Images of bodies washing up on European beaches would engender a sense of horror and outrage a year ago, yet they now pass us by. Today we see desperate people waiting to be rescued in rubber dinghies that have taken in water, creating an oily chemical sludge, in which some of their fellow travellers lie lifeless. A human soup of bodies rotting in the heat of the sun. Still no one seems to care, much less do anything.
Reece Jones is the author of Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move — a major new exploration of the refugee crisis, focusing on how borders are formed and policed. This book is 40% off until Sunday, 30th of October at midnight (UTC).
Here he argues that "what both sides of the debate miss is that it is not simply a migration crisis in Europe, but also a crisis created by Europe".
This week, the French authorities began their operation to dismantle the migrant camp in the east of Calais. On the first day, a steady flow of buses transported some 3,000 adults and children, away from the site in preparation for the demolition. The Guardian reports that the aim is to relocate up to 10,000 inhabitants of the camp to one of 164 specialist centres for registration and processing, but the queues of people waiting to board these buses have no idea were they are to be taken.
Kate Evans, creator of the smash-hit Red Rosa, is currently completing Threads: From the Refugee Crisis, a heartbreaking, full-colour graphic novel of the refugee crisis that we are publishing next year. Combining the techniques of eyewitness reportage with the medium of comic-book storytelling, Evans addresses one of the most pressing issues of modern times – the compassionate treatment of refugees and the free movement of people.
Reece Jones, author of Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move, selects five essential books about the changing role of borders in how we consider freedom of movement, globalization, and humanitarian crises across the world.
Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move is 40% off until Sunday October 30th at midnight (UTC). Includes free shipping (worldwide) and bundled ebook.