Bringing Welsh back home

Members of the Chicago Tafia Welsh Society

[This article originally appeared on our Facebook page]

A NEW points-based migration system is now being introduced here in the UK.

Although GWLAD were neutral on the Brexit issue itself, we have always taken a pragmatic stance on this matter, mindful of the democratic importance to ‘respect the vote’.

We also foresaw some positive implications for Wales post-Brexit despite all the doom and gloom peddlers within the national movement.

That in bringing a ‘national’ dimension back into UK politics, away from the globalist leanings of the EU, Welsh nationhood would also come into much sharper focus.

We would argue that is exactly what has happened here these past couple of years.

As part of the new UK migration rules, 10 points will now be awarded for potential newcomers with English language skills.These points will count towards a ‘migration skills’ threshold for entry.

Again, we don’t see this as a particularly oppressive and tyrannical system as some would make out here, especially as it is a policy that people have voted for in a referendum, an European Election and two consecutive UK elections.

This ‘skills based’ points system is already operated successfully in Australia for a number of years by now.

And every nation needs a sensible migration system, which is both transparent and understandable as far as the general public is concerned.

So, why not ‘use’ the logic of Brexit again to suit Wales’s unique circumstances?

And coalesce to argue that here in Wales, 10 points should be awarded to potential newcomers with Welsh language skills?

Encouragingly, this is precisely the point now being made to the Home Office by Welsh Language Commissioner, Aled Roberts.

The commissioner argues that this could be a way to encourage some dynamic and enterprising members of the Welsh diaspora to come home to Wales to set up new businesses etc.

Sometimes in politics, you have to think laterally, and use the language of your greatest adversary for your own purposes.

So, when Home Secretaty Priti Patel says she’s now ‘opening Britain up to the world’ – that can potentially work in Wales’s interests.

After all, it’s estimated that we have ‘another Wales’ out there in the world, with an estimated 3 million plus Welsh people part of the world wide diaspora.

That would mean several hundred thousand Welsh speakers in their midst. Who might well be looking for an opportunity to come back home.

In 2015, the Welsh Government actually commissioned a report, called ‘Diaspora Engagement’.

Which argued that Wales should make much more of its worldwide diaspora, and encourage this community to consider themselves still part of the Welsh nation, and able to make a contribution wherever they were in the world.

Sadly, that report, as is the case with so many government commissioned reports, has been buried and forgotten. But the central premise is still a good one.

Home is where the heart is, and there are so many ways in which Wales could avail itself of this deeply felt sentiment amongst its exiles all over the world.

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