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30 June 2016

The EU says that if Britain wants to keep access to the single market, it must accept EU migrant workers. Photo: AP

EU to Britain: No Access to Single Market Without Migration

European Union leaders spelled out stark conditions for a new relationship with a departing Britain on Wednesday, warning that if British business wants to keep access to Europe's single market, the country must accept European workers too, write Angela Charlton and Lorne Cook for Associated Press.

The leaders produced no clear overhaul for their shaken union after an unusual and emotionally charged summit, but agreed they must make it more relevant to citizens and keep it from disintegrating after Britain’s unprecedented vote to leave. The 27 remaining presidents, chancellors and prime ministers said they’re “absolutely determined to remain united,” EU Council President Donald Tusk said.

They met without British Prime Minister David Cameron, who left Brussels on Tuesday night without any clear divorce plan, fending off pressure for a quick exit and punting the complex departure negotiations to his successor. In Britain, nominations opened Wednesday for a new Conservative leader to replace him after his devastating political miscalculation in calling last week’s referendum.

Other EU leaders warned the U.K. that if it wants to continue to enjoy the seamless single market after its departure, it would also have to accept that EU citizens can continue to enter Britain. That’s the crux of the current tensions: Britain’s “leave” vote hinged on concerns about migration from poorer EU countries.

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For refugees and migrants arriving in Italy by sea, opportunities to work and contribute to the economy and society have been few and far between. Photo: Ilaria Vechi / IPS

Let There Be Work: Italian Ministry of the Interior Announces Initiative on Employment of Refugees

Italy - Thus far, 2016 has proved fatal for the thousands of migrants crossing the Mediterranean in a bid to find safety in Italy. Alarmingly, between January and March, a spiralling death toll was recorded among refugees and migrants attempting to reach Italy by boat from North Africa, writes Rose Delaney for Inter Press Service. According to William Spindler of UNHCR: “Some 2,510 lives have been lost so far, compared to 1,855 in the same period in 2015 and 57 in the first five months of 2014.”

Ironically, many migrants would regard risking their lives on the exceptionally treacherous sea route as the easiest part of their journey to Italy. Upon arrival, they are, in most cases made subject to unemployment, homelessness, legal disenfranchisement, arrest, and detention in Centers for Identification and Expulsion (CIE). In many ways, life appears bleak and opportunities limited for the thousands of displaced people willing to stop at nothing in their search for a peaceful home that will grant them the fundamental human right to safety and security.

Fortunately, after years of dispute over the rights of refugees and migrants in Italy, the Italian Ministry of the Interior has drawn attention to the importance of providing migrants with sustainable, productive livelihoods by agreeing to an employment initiative for refugees, in conjunction with the General Confederation of Italian Industry (Cofindustria).

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Migration in the News

  • Slovakia’s Pravda, MZV, Prezident and TASR reported on IOM Director General William Lacy Swing’s visit to Bratislava, where he met Slovak President Andrej Kiska and Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák to discuss migration and the country’s forthcoming presidency in the European Union Council.

  • Voice of America, Al Jazeera, The Times and Sky News  reported that Italy has raised a boat from the Mediterranean seabed that sank in April 2015 with an estimated 700 migrants on board.

  • DW reported on a disillusioned Senegalese migrant who returned home from Europe after realizing that it was not paradise.

  • IRIN reported that migrant smuggling and trafficking routes through the western Balkans that went dormant during period of open borders in 2015 and early 2016 have re-opened following the border closures of four months ago.

  • DW reported on the negative impact on wildlife of hundreds of kilometers of new border fences erected in Eastern Europe to keep out migrants.

  • Kathmandu Post reported that 7 of 16 smuggled Nepali migrants detained by the authorities in the Federated States of Micronesia 18 months ago have returned home. The remaining 9 have sought asylum.

Trending on the Internet

  •  The Telegraph reported that thousands of people are responding to a UK social media campaign to fight racism and show solidarity with immigrants following “Brexit” by wearing safety pins.

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