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EU Referendum and impact on travel


EU Referendum and impact on travel

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berlum1
berlum1
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Been thinking about the forthcoming referendum. Can't decide how to vote. Don't care about the economics as no one really seems to have a clue. I do care though about how my family and I will be affected due to my conviction. As I see it, very simply, opting out may affect freedom to travel but may also mean travelling in Europe without the sharing of info that would mean my record would be available to authorities throuout the EU. Remaining in would allow me to travel and live freely within Europe but with the "one police force" worry. Perhaps I am way off beam here and wrong in my assumptions. I'm fairly sure that this referendum will have an impact of some sort on people with convictions but not sure exactly how. Any thoughts?
berlum1
berlum1
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Couldnt agree more with you runningman. It would be good if this topic could be very seriously addressed by unlock. It is probably the most important factor affecting people with convictions who should consider ignoring everything else about this referendum and basing their vote on this alone. I don't know how many members there are here but all votes count. I worry that the problems getting on in life with a conviction could result in some inward directed anger which might feed into the Brexit philosophy. Like competition for jobs, houses etc and the need to curb immigration. However, most people end up voting for the most important factor that affects them and their families and I believe that the consequences of legislation following the referendum will trump everything else for us all. I'm sure unlock will not want to take a political stance on this but given the fact that in a few weeks time something is going to happen that will affect all our lives more than anything that's ever happened before could this be examined? I am googling madly but struggling to get the info I need. I am certain that remaining in the EU is our best option. We are already so restricted in our travel options but to add Europe to the list is a very scary thought. Confined to England for life. And an England without European influence on human rights? But is this correct? Am I wrong? Could I be making a huge mistake? Could exiting the EU have benefits that I've missed completely. I would really value as much info as possible on this. I think we should drop everything for this one.
Mirrorman
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Huge risk, better to get out while you still can!
CC
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I feel the lack of Brussels influence on the Human Rights Act is by far the most important issue if the UK does leave the EU. Politicians have been itching to get at it ever since it proved so difficult to oust Abu Hamsa.

If you recall the issue of prisoners right to vote was put forward by the EU, HRA and MR Cameron said "Over my dead body" if I recall correctly. The right to come off the SOR after 15 years was also down to the EU and the HRA .

Im pretty sure that if we do pull out it wont go well for anyone with a criminal offence no matter how old it is.
RunningMan
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Some important points have been raised in this thread that all of us with a criminal record should consider. Much of the debate around the economic impact of leaving the EU is pure speculation. Politicians and those advocating we leave should simply come clean about this: we just don't know what the economic landscape would look like if we do vote to leave. However, what we do know for sure is that a withdrawal would render our right to free movement through all 28 EU states obsolete. Border controls would return and anyone wanting to travel would require a Visa. This would result in the possible requirement that any/all convictions - spent or otherwise- would now become relevant. The consequences of this could be severe.

Personally speaking, had I not got a criminal record, I would vote to leave. However, my deep concern is that any future travel would become much more difficult if we were outside the EU and, a past I should be able to forget about, would constantly resurface and cause major problems for me and/or my family. Yes, the EU is far from perfect. However, it does give us a guaranteed, Visa-free right to free movement through all 28 countries. Plus, the incorporation of the European Convention of Human Rights into UK law, delivers a set of robust, (mostly) helpful and, most importantly, enforceable rights that define clearly what can and cannot be done to citizens including those with a criminal past. It keeps the State accountable and protects against the abuse of the awesome power invested in institutions like the Police and Courts.

We should not be in a rush to leave when potentially, we could lose so much.
Yankee
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Regardless of what you think about Britain's membership of the EU (good, bad or indifferent), one implicit benefit for anyone with convictions is the freedom to travel (and live) in any EU country.

Given all the political noise (and Daily Mail articles) about wanting to turn back foreign criminals and not let them into Britain, I'm sure if the referendum votes to leave the EU we will see a quid pro quo and travel restrictions getting much tighter for ex-offenders.
BenS
BenS
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Yes, I too believe that is a risk. I live in another EU country and am anxiously waiting to see what would happen, whether the EU would take "revenge" on the UK by enforcing stricter limits (like it did with Switzerland when it voted to opt out of the previously agreed freedom of movement with the EU - the EU immediately withdrew several other EU rights which Switzerland had previously enjoyed despite not being in the EU).

On the other hand, and despite Switzerland above, several non-EU countries also enjoy the unlimited right to live anywhere in the EU - natives of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, etc. all currently have this right. So maybe this would be the case with the UK if there is a Brexit.

Post Edited (BenS) : 16/12/2015 15:46:46 (GMT+1)


BenS
BenS
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While resisting myself from being too political (as it is up to the administrators/governors of Unlock to decide their stance, if any), obviously the Human Rights Act is the major concern that Brexit could have for ex-offenders, as has already been said.

While the HRA is not connected to the EU (it's from the European Convention of Human Rights, which comes from the European Court of Human Rights, which has nothing to do with the EU), it would probably nevertheless be easier for the government to flout or revoke the HRA if we were not in the EU, as EU members have to abide by certain human rights principles as a condition of membership and so we would no longer have this obligation.

As well as human rights, which obviously would affect ex-offenders specifically, the EU is also to thank for labour rights such as maternity/parental leave, employees' right to a minimum number of days' paid holiday, the right not to be sacked for being pregnant, the right to lunch breaks, a maximum number of hours on shift, etc. I can't see any Conservative government (especially this one) voluntarily introducing such rights for ordinary low- or mid-income working people.
JohnL
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Very well said, BenS. I've been meaning to reply to this thread for some time, but low and behold the polls open in only a few hours!

I'll be voting remain. My reasons for this are two fold:

1) The UK government has said that it wants to remove the existing legislation in terms of the human rights act and rewrite it in their own words. I can't see how this will be anything but a bad thing for those with a criminal record.
2) Right now, we can all up sticks and travel or move to 27 other countries throughout the EU without having to even apply for a visa. If we leave, we may (and most probably will) have to apply for visas to live in EU countries which will be made a lot harder, and for some impossible, due to having a record. Travel for pleasure and work may also become harder.

There's lots of other reasons why I'm voting to remain, but those are my main two when I'm considering my record.
Tom77
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Hello all.

I've read this discussion with interest.
In my opinion I really don't think the travel rules for UK citizens with criminal records will change much. If at all.

If Boris or Gove had become PM, then they may have applied the strict border controls for citizens entering the Uk, prompting other EU countries to do the same out of spite.
As our new PM is likely to be from the "remain" camp, I really can't see the same strict enforcement applied to our borders and therefore other EU countries may not be as strict with us.

I had also read somewhere prior to the referendum that most EU countries are only interested in unspent convictions but whether this is still the case, I'm not sure.

In my own case I have a caution nearly 10 years old and am not panicking as much as I was when we first voted to leave, as I really don't think EU border controls will be that much tighter ( if at all) but this situation is changing all the time, so until we know who our new PM is and what deal they negotiate with the EU now, then we'll just have to see.

Hope this helps?
GO


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