Is a borderless world inevitable?

In an interview with the Sunday Politics Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has stated that borders between countries will become irrelevant by the end of the century. Furthermore McDonnell went on to say borders will become difficult to maintain and will eventually disappear. This was a theory initially devised by writer Rahil Gupta but has been further fleshed out by McDonnell.

Migration, borders and the free movement of people are very live issues highlighted by the ongoing migration and refugee crisis. They sit right at the top of voter’s concerns both in this country and across the globe and as of yet there does not appear to be a suitable solution to the problem. Therefore would a borderless world solve this dilemma?

This is unlikely to be popular with voters. All polls conducted on this issue strongly suggest that voters are in favour of strong border control and would not welcome open borders. Borders can serve a useful security purpose and are very necessary in certain situations. If and it remains a big if a policy such as this was openly proposed by a major political party, it would be unlikely to garner much support.

The world however is constantly changing. Borders in some parts of the world are becoming increasingly irrelevant. We see that with the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. On top of this there is the estimated 4 million migrants that will arrive in the EU between 2015 and 2017 and who will all be entitled to free movement across EU states. These occurrences would suggest we are moving towards the situation raised by McDonnell.

No-one can truly predict the future and no-one knows what will happen in a few years’ time, let alone 75 years’ time. There would be heavy opposition to any move in this direction but with an issue as major as this it would likely be determined by external events and factors outside of any real control. The current context makes this a relevant discussion and it is right for politicians to be assessing this eventuality. A borderless world is not inevitable but is a possibility and that means this topic will run on and on.

Article by Mike Hough

Photograph – Business Insider


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