Minister Ordered Rewrite Of Critical Report On EU Benefits Tourism
Britain's Pro-EU Business Secretary, Vince Cable, is under fire for ordering the rewriting of a Whitehall report that is critical of benefits tourism and European migration, according to the Daily Mail. The report, which was published today, was due to come out earlier this year but publication was delayed by senior Liberal Democrats who feared it was too anti-EU.
Despite the major rewrite it still makes clear that EU migration has put strains to services like the NHS and schools. The report also warns that benefits tourism is becoming a major problem for the UK as are sham marriages by people desperate to get EU passports. It warns that EU court rulings have allowed this explosion in illegal activity.
Mr Cable has consistently maintained that migration from the EU is a good thing, and he told the BBC that he forced a rewrite of the report because it was "propagandist". The review, which was written based on submissions from business, found that there is growing opposition to the European Union’s free movement rules.
It is one of a series of reports ordered ahead of David Cameron's planned renegotiations with the EU before the planned 2017 referendum. The suppression of it shows how split the coalition is on the subject of European reform. Cameron favours remaining in the EU but with major changes, whereas the Liberal Democrats have always supported a federal Europe. They also supported the introduction of the Euro in Britain, but this is now so toxic that they have made a tactical decision to play down their support.
The huge influx in Eastern Europeans in the last decade has led to a hardening of attitudes amongst the British population. In 2005, Brits favoured rules on free movement by two to one, but today almost half oppose it, which is partly why UKIP won the European Elections earlier this year.
The report said: "The Government considers that now is an appropriate time to review the EU level rules with a view to modernisation and ensuring they are fit for purpose in the EU of today.
"The rules have evolved beyond the original scope as the EU has evolved…weakening the ability of Member states to determine how their systems operate.
"These problems are magnified by the fact that the EU of today is very different to when the rules were created.
The report goes on to say that "without reform" of welfare rules, "legitimate public concern about how EU migrants access social security…is likely to significantly undermine support for the principle of free movement."
Academics quoted in the report believe there should be a cap of 75,000 a year on the number of EU migrants entering the UK. Others said that migrants should have to work five years before being allowed access to benefits.
Earlier this year Breitbart London reported on a study by MigrationWatch that showed EU migration is likely to run at 130,000 a year for the foreseeable future. This is the equivalent of a city the size of Manchester settling in the UK every four years, something that is widely seen as unsustainable.
The problem the British government faces it that free movement of people is seen in Brussels as absolutely central to the European project. It is therefore highly unlikely that curbs on migration could ever be successfully negotiated with the EU, especially with the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission President. He is widely seen as being fiercely anti-reform.
It is unclear what David Cameron will do if he is forced to go into the 2017 referendum without any concessions on benefits tourism.