There are many advantages to the UK if it maintains freedom of movement. However, many UK residents fear that unemployment in the UK is due to unemployed EU workers taking jobs from the British. This is not a very logical argument when there is over-employment in the UK. By that, I mean, there are more jobs than there are people to do them. If the UK lost freedom of movement and the 3 million EU workers left, there would be plenty of jobs, but there is not a queue of unemployed UK citizens ready to take up the slack. Or they would take up more of the thousands of jobs advertised.
Unskilled labour is not a key economic factor. It may seem that way to the unemployed in the areas of the UK that suffers from chronic unemployment in much the same way that parts of Europe may be afflicted with – but this is not due to the rationing of employment, it is due to a reliance on a core industry that no longer functions, either due to economic obsolescence (e.g. the coal industry) or a lack of public funding (i.e. austerity). The answer is not market restriction and protectionism. That just causes more business failure and austerity!
“Europe” is not exporting unemployment, it does have people who find work when it is available that suits their skills. Some countries do better than others. Of course.
Yes, you can isolate Britain into a bubble. It will not help employ people if companies also isolate Britain because the market momentum ceases to provide a heartbeat and blood pressure that manifests economic growth.
If you want to prefer Brits for UK employment, I have no objection (if they are the best people for the job); but, freedom of movement is also a right and a privilege. Life is not 100% economics. I love being able to work in many countries. I love Europe and do not want to lose my privileges when the UK has far more jobs than people. And wages are stagnant in the UK with price inflation. And the life is pretty awful for Southern Rail passengers, the sick, the old and students. And commuters. I say the British are going to lose out with Brexit, lower their horizons.
Markets are fluid. Look at why the USA is successful – it is a union of 50 states, with full freedom of movement. It has its failures as well as huge successes. The EU provides a similar market potential.
If the Brexit talks veer into protectionism, how is it going to work for Britain? Britain will need its EU market connections more than ever. It should embrace being in the EEA if the EU is not accepted by the British Electorate. But the 2015 referendum should not be relied upon. It was so full of lies and assumptions since that are false. Another referendum is due before the terms of Brexit are accepted as law.
The best option is to stay in the EU. Or at least preserve the EEA for the good of all. Including Freedom of Movement. It is our right, already earned. A government that restricts the rights of people is regressive.