So what's the Conservative message at the start of this election week?
EU migrants have been able to “treat the UK as if it’s part of their own country” for too long, Boris Johnson said yesterday as he reprised the core message of Vote Leave’s 2016 EU referendum campaign. - from the Times.
This is basically a dogwhistle for xenophobic voters. The message is, vote for me, vote for Brexit, to get rid of foreigners.
But let's dig down a little and see what that means.
The other side of the coin is that UK migrants and visitors have been able to "treat the EU as if it's part of their own country". If you've ever had ...
a job in the EU,
or a holiday in Spain or Portugal or France or Croatia or Malta or Italy or Poland or the Netherlands
or done a booze cruise,
or gone to a football match abroad,
or had or stayed in a second home abroad
or even made a longhaul flight connection in the EU,
you've been "treating the EU as if it's part of your own country." EU visitors get one country. In return we get 30.
The third side of the coin is, I know those EU migrants. They are people I like and value as people. They are Ana, and Ewelina, and Jose, and Katarzyna, and Stefania, and Marina, and Rubio, and Aleksandra, and Aleksandra, and Jana, and Lluis, Heidi, Aneta, Vibeke and Henrik. They are work colleagues, the people in the supermarket and the cafe, people I play Pokemon with, people in church. The list could go on, sorry if I've missed you out, friends. What is exactly the problem with them treating the UK as if it's part of their own country? If they came to my house, I'd be happy with them treating my house as if it's part of their own house.
And given that Sharon and Rob, Diane and Andrew, Alan and Jane, Alan and Jackie have made other countries their home because of freedom of movement - it's been a two way process - I just don't see what the problem is.
Johnson, in these words, is saying because of this vague, xenophobic idea that "EU migrants feel at home here", as though that's a bad thing, all this should end.
If you vote for the tories, you're voting to end this.
You're voting to get rid of my friends and colleagues.
Deliberately. That's what Johnson is telling you it's for.
You're voting to take their freedom away.
And you're voting to take my freedom away.
And you're voting to take your own freedom away.