Although the Liberal Democrats managed to stall its publication for months, a report analysing free movement within the EU has finally been released. The report exposes how criminals are using this EU law to “import human trafficking victims, illegal immigrants as well as illicit commodities, including rugs and counterfeit goods”.
Europol argues that “free movement of people and goods across the EU’s internal borders reduces the chance of detection,” but this is only the beginning of the story.
The report confirms many points that Eurosceptics have been making for years – and have been attacked for making. Rather than being a boon to the economy, unrestricted immigration threatens the livelihoods of ordinary Britons, in particular “those employed in low-paid jobs and directly competing with new immigrant workers”.
The report confirms:
- A 10 percent increase in the proportion of migrants doing semi or unskilled work leads to an overall 5 percent reduction in wages.
- The number of immigrants from eastern European countries such as Poland has increased from 125,000 in 2004 to over a million, with those from Bulgaria and Romania jumping from 20,000 to 155,000.
- Sham marriages have soared five-fold between 2008 and 2012, enabling unskilled migrants from outside the EU to settle in Britain.
The supposed positives of free movement are acknowledged as overrated and the report cites research that proved the purported benefits are “negligible”.
Free movement has had a withering impact on specific groups such as young job seekers, graduates and those in low-skilled work “by increasing competition and downward pressure on wages”.
The report proves the pitfalls of uncontrolled immigration – which the public have been all too well aware of for a long time. There is plenty of support for migrants who come to fill existing labour shortages or perform skilled work. But there is dramatically less support when it comes to migrants who will take work away from existing job seekers at a lesser wage, or even worse, do no work, but are happy to leech off our generous welfare system, demanding more benefits than Britons would have ever dreamed of.
The public clearly support a fair, but more controlled immigration system. After all, why should a doctor from India be prevented from coming to Britain to bolster the NHS while a benefit claimant from Romania is waved straight through customs?
Various options have been proposed to fix this mess. Think-tank Demos wants the domestic labour market protected with caveats to free movement, such as a cap on EU entry. Open Europe wants the principle of non-discrimination to be scaled back. Migration Watch wants Britain to opt out of free movement, while retaining the other EU freedoms. But none of these are credible proposals for reform. A cap on EU migration would not be acceptable to the powers-that-be, nor will the EU permit one country to opt out from such a core EU principle. To do so would open the floodgates for other member states to demand concessions and opt-outs.
The only way to get an immigration policy acceptable to the Great British Public is by leaving the EU and severing the shackles of EU treaties holding Britain back. We won’t get a fair and controlled immigration system whilst we remain a member of the EU. It is crucial we Get Britain Out of the EU before even more economic hardship is inflicted on the most vulnerable in our society.
Our campaign is dedicated to this cause.
Alan Murad, Get Britain Out