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No Brexit deal could solve the UK’s migrant worries, says Oxford expert


Protesters and migrant workers call on the government to guarantee their right to remain in the U.K. after Brexit on Feb. 20, 2017 in London, England.

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Protesters and migrant workers call on the government to guarantee their right to remain in the U.K. after Brexit on Feb. 20, 2017 in London, England.

“Ten years ago, Britain made a huge mistake. It was the one country in the EU that said, ‘We won’t impose a seven-year transition period, we’ll just open up our borders,” Collier said.

The move led to a large influx of people into Britain and there is “no way on Earth that’s going to reverse,” he added.

Some analysts have singled out immigration as a factor leading to the Brexit vote. Anti-immigration sentiment appears to be on the rise not only in Britain, but in other European countries including Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic.

About 3.6 million citizens of other EU countries resided in Britain in 2016, making up about 6 percent of the nation’s population, according to statistics from U.K.-based independent fact-checking organization fullfact.org.

In 2015, refugees in the country numbered at about 123,000, according to fullfact.org.

Nonetheless, solving Europe’s refugee crisis at large remains possible, according to Collier. The method lies in creating jobs for the people in refugee havens like Jordan, said to be especially open and hospitable to immigrants — an effort that European countries have largely neglected, he said.

It must be noted, however, that the situation for Syrian refugees in Jordan has more challenges than just jobs.

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