Cameron has finally proposed how he intends to try and reform EU immigration. He is tinkering with the principle of free movement of people in an attempt to make it as close to “free movement of workers” as he can. By doing so, ‘Cast-iron’ Dave has shown yet again he is completely out of touch with the needs of the Great British public.
First, it is an established fact most EU migrants are not attracted to Britain by the “pull-factor” of benefits, with the overwhelming majority of them coming here to work. Therefore, these reforms are frankly irrelevant. Whether or not they are eligible to claim in-work benefits or access social housing will only marginally affect the number of EU migrants settling in Britain each year.
The changes surrounding these benefits will be both difficult and time consuming. For example, the EU social security co-coordination took 12 years to agree and a further 6 years to implement the rules. If Cameron truly meant business about cutting immigration, he should be using his valuable time on reforms that would actually curb migration, rather than pretending curtailing migrants’ benefits will achieve anything.
The sad fact remains the Prime Minister does not really understand why the public are completely fed up with this issue. He clearly does not mean business about cutting immigration, or reforming our relationship with the EU in any meaningful way. He realises his hands are tied by Brussels and as he really wants Britain to part of the EU, he knows he will not be able to do anything realistic.
Bounced into attempting renegotiation the promise of an In/Out referendum by his backbenchers and UKIP, Cameron has been forced to appear to sound tough, with talk of introducing reforms which he believes will secure the support of the other EU national leaders. Once these “reforms” have been agreed, Cameron will claim all our problems with the EU have been rectified, before leading the campaign to stay In.
We must remember our problems with the EU are not solely to do with immigration. Over recent years, cutting immigration and leaving the EU have been synonymous with each other, at least in the minds of those living in the Westminster Bubble. By focusing on EU immigration, Cameron is ignoring the far more pressing problems surrounding our relationship with the EU.
If we leave the EU we will be able to negotiate free trade agreements with the rest of the world, instead of being shackled to the economic corpse of the Eurozone. Outside the EU we will be able to free businesses from excessive regulation, boosting jobs and employment.
Whilst Cameron rightly claimed “people want government to have control over the numbers”, it is more important for the British people to have an independent Britain where our elected representatives are able to make British laws instead of unelected foreign bureaucrats.
Rather than playing Cameron’s game by banging on about immigration, Eurosceptics need to focus on the huge benefits Britain can enjoy when we leave the EU. Once the electorate have voted to Get Britain Out of the EU in 2017, we can decide what kind of immigration policy we should have, as well as what is best for the Great British public.
Luke Stanley, Get Britain Out