Migration and welfare

Who you let into your country is a fundamental power of a sovereign people and government. Making decisions about who can come and who can work is best done fairly, with the same criteria for people from anywhere in the world. Membership of the EU prevents a country exercising that right, or being fair to applicants.

Deciding how much money to raise in taxes and how much to give out in welfare benefits is also a fundamental power of a sovereign people and Parliament. When Mr Blair pushed us into the Nice and Amsterdam Treaties, and Mr Brown finished the job with the Lisbon Treaty, they assured us that tax and welfare were “red line” issues. The Uk would still be free to make its own decisions about how much to tax, and how much to give to whom in welfare. They misled us.

As a result of the centralising Treaties we are signed up to, the UK now has to accept any migrant from the rest of the EU and has to accept substantial intervention in our tax and welfare policies. The government understands the unpopularity of the EU controls on these matters, and has said it wishes to renegotiate our relationship.

In the letter to Donald Tusk they sought to tackle the welfare issue, and argued that if they stopped benefits to people arriving from the rest of the EU for a four year period after their arrival they would also tackle the questions of the numbers of migrants. These two problems are different. There is some overlap, but a sovereign country needs both to control its own borders,and settle its own welfare. The proposal in the letter to Mr Tusk does not give us control back over our borders. Nor would it even necessarily give us control back over welfare. Unless we have a Treaty change which explicitly says the UK can choose any welfare system it likes, a future EU or ECJ decision could damage or get round any agreement to let us stop benefits to EU arrivals for the first four years.

Mr Johnson says maybe the UK could get an opt out from the freedom of movement requirements. That seems very unlikely, given the strength of feeling on the continent about the importance of freedom of movement. Nor does it tackle the welfare issue. It would be an opt out worth having, but it would not allow us to settle our own welfare criteria.

The lack of power the UK now has over both borders and welfare is at the heart of the EU membership debate. To restore our sovereignty we need clear changes to our Treaty commitments. This does not seem likely. The simplest way to take back control is to leave the treaties altogether. Then we would have the right to set our own immigration policy and our own welfare policy, as we were told we still could when a previous government signed away our democratic powers.

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  1. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    I think you will find that we have the right to revise treaties right now with regard to non EU immigration. That is where the majority of the problems lie with regard to welfare dependency and people failing to integrate into society.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      What the immigrants tell me is that the English are lazy and welfare dependent!

      • alan jutson
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 10:29 am | Permalink


        “What immigrants tell me is that the English are lazy and welfare dependent”

        In some cases I think they are probably absolutely right.
        For many it seems there is a complete lack work ethic, but difficult to blame the person when the system allows it, so change it.

        Probably about time we moved to a contribution based system like they have on the continent, then Cameron would have no problem with stopping Welfare claimants for four years, as the same rules would apply to all.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted December 15, 2015 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

          There are a lot of disincentives in the system, especially if you are in secure social housing with space enough for your family and any chance of work would involve moving geography and likely end up in much worse housing. Its too big a risk for many to move.

        • David
          Posted December 16, 2015 at 8:31 am | Permalink

          There are plenty of lazy immigrants as well as lazy natives. I know someone who got off the plane from Spain and got a free flat within weeks.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 16, 2015 at 9:31 am | Permalink

          So we must cast our own children adrift so we can restrict payments of benefits to other people’s children who we may or may not want here in the first place, with the advantage to our government that it would not need to seek any EU treaty change which would require the agreement of 27 other countries. Because if we made any special provision for our own children then unless there had been treaty change to permit that then surely it would be condemned as indirect discrimination on the grounds of nationality? Or, how about biting on the bullet and demanding EU treaty change to restore our right to restrict the entry of foreign migrants?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Indeed many are lazy and welfare dependent – but then the system encourages this. If I could only earn a low wage I might well prefer to have more time to myself, read more books, improve my tennis and compose a symphony on Sibelius while living off benefits.

        It is the system that is wrong, the claimants are often behaving rationally given the daft system that pertains. The new immigrants will very soon suss out the system too. Several charities and government agencies will even assist them in this.

        • John C.
          Posted December 15, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

          The criticism of our welfare system is I am sure well-founded, but has little to do with our membership of the E.U.- except, that is, that it was designed for US to enjoy or abuse, and it should be up to US to amend as we think fit.

        • Bazman
          Posted December 21, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

          It is the system that is wrong, the claimants are often behaving rationally given the daft system that pertains. Your words.
          Presumably this logic would apply to Landlords and large businesses who along with the rich are by far the largest corporate welfare recipients. The middle class social security system beneficiaries being the smaller claimants. The Feckless single mother watching SKY TV is small potatoes compared to these, but much easier to demonize by the right wing foreign owned press and deluded ignorant people like yourself who use them to avoid facing the true facts and problems facing this country.

      • Old Albion
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        I notice that when criticizing the people on this island. You single out the English.
        So there are no lazy/welfare dependent Scots/Welsh or N.Irish. Or indeed any members of the many nationalities that now reside in the UK?

        • Mark B
          Posted December 15, 2015 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

          Good spot.

          I also notice that whenever the Left want to denigrate the people of this country, they only do it to the English eg “Little Englanders'” You never hear, “Little Welsh, or Scots or Irish.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink


        I could not agree more. When I go down to my local Polish club its obvious when you see what the children of those soldiers who came to the UK at the end of WW2, with absolutely nothing, have achieved. Its also noticeable that they have a big picture of HM Queen on display and at events like Independence Day parties, they make a big thing of singing our national anthem as well as their own. I doubt you would see that in the community centres of some of the other ethnic groups that have made their home in the UK.

      • Iain Moore
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        If there are any people who are lazy, it is the British political class who can’t be bothered to manage our borders.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted December 15, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink


        • matthu
          Posted December 15, 2015 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

          The depletion of our coast guard, our border force, our army, our navy and our air force are almost by design, thereby allowing the EU to put forward an EU border force / navy / army etc. in the event of a crisis.

          No more denial, it seems: they have just done it.

          The EU force will have power to operate in any member state without prior invitation being required.

          The EU, it seems, has dropped any pretence as to its aspirations.

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        Mike (and others)

        Most English are not lazy and work damn hard.

        A migrant often uses his pay to build property empires and businesses back home where the cash goes further. A Brit who will likely remain in his childhood bedroom despite his efforts is better motivated.

        Daytime TV schedules show Wanted Down Under where people can live the dream and work far less for better reward than they do in Britain.

        The ‘lazy Brit’ is a myth and a racist generalisation at that.

        • yosarion
          Posted December 16, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink

          You start of by talking about the English, however within a few short lines you have managed to turn England into Britain which it is not (1534).
          The fact is we have an Auf Wiedersehen Pet in reverse going on and there is no answer because every time there is parity of any sort and wages start to rise the EUSSR opens up or expands its borders and leave another generation on wages that have to be toped up with state benefits just to be able to afford over priced accommodation that is caused by cheap labour to keep big business bottom line at the right level for the share holders.

          • Anonymous
            Posted December 16, 2015 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

            Yossarian – Germany didn’t have a surplus of working age people and didn’t have a welfare system. Auf Wiedersehen was gangs of workers living in Nissan huts – not who-knows-what claiming welfare, services or displacing those that should be doing their work.

            I frequent the North a lot where English drive taxis, staff shops and even work as waiters in Indian restaurants. The economies in those parts manage perfectly well. When there is an influx of cheap labour prepared to undercut these people to the point that it is below welfare I do not blame them for going on the dole one bit.

            You are correct about my conflation of English and British btw.

      • Ken Moore
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        Some truth there but it’s surprising how much the British can be undercut when competitors are living in multiple occupancy terraced houses and converted garden sheds.
        Why doesn’t the government insist that newcomers stay in homes that accommodate only the number of people they were designed for. Those that cannot prove they can be accommodated to Uk standards should be refused entry or deported.

        I suspect the Uk is already well over capacity and local councils are turning a blind eye to the problem.

        The working class have a choice. They can compete for jobs with some often very poor and desperate people or accept the many perverse incentives in the benefits system to be sick or long term unemployed.
        Reply Parliament has given Councils powers to regulate homes in multiple occupancy and to enforce planning restrictions.

        • Ken Moore
          Posted December 16, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink

          Reply Parliament has given Councils powers to regulate homes in multiple occupancy and to enforce planning restrictions

          Thanks Dr Redwood.


          Councils need to be compelled to get on and enforce the already feeble standards…or at least put a brake on immigration so housing improvement can catch up. On this and so many other matters politicians do not habit the real world. They see what they want to see.
          Not sure I would be entirely happy with a bedroom space of 6.5 sq metres. The ‘room’ and ‘space’ standards are absolutely pathetic and worthy of a third world country.

          There are tens of thousands of Victorian terraced houses that are accommodating double and sometimes treble the number of people intended. If politicians had to live in these ‘ghettos’ with people constantly coming and going for shift work, parking nightmare…something would be done.

          In Ealing alone there are 20,000 homes of multiple occupancy..Slough has a network of ‘beds in sheds’.
          Somewhere a blind eye is being turned..or the regulations are not being enforced because councils and the government do not want to admit Britain is full up!.

    • ian wragg
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Precisely but remember we have to follow the ECJ rulings on right to family life etc to the detriment of the UK citizen.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      But it isn’t a case of “either/or”, Parliament should have control of both.

  2. Mark B
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Ted Heath told both Parliament and the people of the UK that upon joining th then EEC that there would; “Be no significant loss of sovereignty.” I think the lies started there with the Conservatives signing the Treaty of Rome.

    No sovereign nation ever writes to someone asking for some powers to be retured. They just do it without recourse to anyone else. The UK is a vassel state of the EU and it has been the political class, along with Whitehall manderins that have brought us to this sorry place.

    Can you ever imagine a, Churchill, Pit (younger and older), Walpole, Disrali, Palmerstone or Wellington asking someone on the continent for a few measly powers back. PATHETIC !!!!

    Article 50, followed by negotiations, then exit. It is the only way. Stop this charade, you are not fooling people.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      I think he meant to say “there will be no significant sovereignty left with the UK or Westminster”. But thought it might not be politic.

      He was also on record as saying (in defence of Chinese totalitarianism) that “you can’t have a democracy with so many people”. Doubtless this is what he had in mind in building a Europe of 500 million people through anti democratic means.

      • Mitchel
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        …and confirmed by Peter Mandelson when,as EU Comissioner,he informed us that the age of representative democracy was over.No one should blame the EU for what has happened,they have been relatively open about their objectives,it has been our own politicians who have deceived the population,or at least that disturbingly large part of it that lacks the critical faculty to question what they are told.

    • Timaction
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. We live in an age where political lies and disingenuous spin are the norm and when another party tells the truth the msm, the CBI, all legacy parties and the establishment cry foul and demonise them.
      We no longer have a Government of any substance as they gave away most powers to a foreign unelected entity called the EU.
      A Government that can’t control its own borders, that has to enact most its laws drawn up by a foreign power, that has to pay membership fees of £10 billion for nothing and a surcharge of £1.7 billion at the whim of that foreign body is no Government at all.
      Whilst I have no time for Mr Cameron even I as an Englishman am embarrassed at his total impotence as our supposed Prime Minister. All this in a week when we discover that the Tory’s have given away more in foreign aid for climate change and flood defences than spending on our own. The people of Cumbria will be pleased to learn! I didn’t vote for any of this. I’m one of the 4000,000 with one member of parliament.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Welfare in this country is getting to dangerous limits.
    First of all it is putting us into a grater debt than we have ever had. In common with most other countries who are living beyond their means, we now have a debt which is more than twice our national income through taxation. Welfare takes up a huge proportion of this budget and many other EU countries are nowhere near as generous (NHS?) The bureaucracy in education and the NHS is a huge, unnecessary burden too. But the Unions protect that.
    Secondly we simply cannot afford to feed, clothe and house the entire population of Romania, Bulgaria and later perhaps Turkey. It is just not going to happen. Already Germany, which has made this mistake, is full of new rioting and neo Fascism, according to der Spiegel.
    We have to make a choice. Otherwise our Welfare will degenerate into a trickle. Already the NHS (my wife needs an operation) round here is getting very slow and inefficient.

    • John C.
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      What is really depressing about what you say that it is all so predictable and obvious- except apparently to half the population. What needs to happen before the light dawns on benighted left-wingers and Europhiles?

      • Iain Gill
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        Actually the left wing heartlands are very anti immigration. On this the labour leadership and their support base have been at odds for a long time. Its one of labours major weaknesses, their lack of will to represent the true views of their support base on this.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Control of borders is a government’s first duty to its people.

    As with France’s FN, the political class worked out ways of ignoring the will of a large number of people.

    I feel unrepresented in Britain and utterly resent paying tax.

    I now fully understand why people revolt. Let’s hope the economy stays on track then.

    • Mitchel
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Precisely.Lenin posed the question “what is to be done?”If we continue going down the route we are going(not just with regard to the EU but also to the disgusting perversion of capitalism(it’s certainly not the free market variety) that has been allowed to prevail with the likes of Blair and Osborne as cheerleaders),we may find it is Lenin that provides the answer.

      Anthony Jenkins wrote an eloquent piece on similar themes in last Thursday’s Standard:- “Capitalism is running rings around democracy”

      • Mitchel
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        That should,of course,read Anthony Hilton!

        • Anonymous
          Posted December 15, 2015 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          Reduce migration to shrink our carbon footprint ?


          We’ve got to scrap our perfectly servicible boilers that can go on for 25 years and replace them with £12k systems instead.

          Perhaps posh people could reduce themselves to ordinary people’s circumstances instead. It really is time for those with these big ideas to start walking the walk.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Indeed control of benefits is not even close to being enough (and even that seems to be unavailable). The whole renegotiation is just a gigantic long grass scam from Cameron as everyone can surely see. He is asking for nothing, nothing and nothing but a fig leaf and he is not even getting that it seems.

    Also Mr (ERM enthusiast) John Major (still no remorse or apology for this entirely predictable financial disaster) promised us that decisions would be taken at the smallest, lowest or by the least centralized competent authority – with his great “subsidiarity” boast/trick/con. It seems alas that this level is almost always EU level and the EU courts and usually even the UK government tend to agree.

    Cameron as is very clear has zero intentions of even starting to attempt to restore our sovereignty. He never did have hence his ratting on Cast Iron and his non renegotiation now.

    I wonder if Osborne’s daft fiscal attacks on landlords and thus pushing up tenants rents (at least five attacks so far) are motivated by Mr Osborne’s desire to push up rents and kill supply of properties to rent or is this too in some way driven by EU high command? What is wrong with renting a home?

    What has he or the EU got against people who rent rather than buy? Given his absurdly high stamp duties renting make far more sense than buying for periods of less than perhaps five years or so. It is also important for industry, as without properties available to rent it will be hard to attract staff for shorter term jobs.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      It seems it is now about 50/50, it will surely move even more to OUT, this despite the BBC’s, the Government’s, the EU’s and the state sector/multinational business’s endless vacuous propaganda. Restoration of democracy, self rule, cheaper energy, far less government, lower taxes, more jobs, control of our border and laws, far fewer daft regulations, cheaper good and food and no huge membership fees. Why would anyone be daft enough to vote to stay in?

      Anyway they clearly want us in so if we vote out now we have have nothing to lose. They would want us back at any time on better terms if we chose to start paying them huge sums, surrendering democracy and tying up our industry in knots again, If we were ever daft enough to want to.

      So what will Cameron now do? Will he find another reason to rat on his referendum promise and cancel/delay a referendum yet again (blaming the Lords perhaps) or will he just lose the referendum and resign? This becoming another failed Heath, Major, Bliar, Brown disaster.

      Or will he taste the coffee and finally volte-face & actually campaign for out. Will BREXIT be the start of the collapse of the whole malignant empire, like the Berlin Wall?


    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Off topic what on earth is the point of all the vast sums spent on manned or even womanned space “exploration” it is all pure PR stunts & vanity. So much more could be achieved by using say 10% of the money on other ground bases science or just by using unmanned space craft. What are they learning that could not be done better on Earth or by using far cheaper and expendable robots? Is there one single thing? I have seen none.

      I am all in favour of far more science and R&D but please spend it sensibly and efficiently and choose sensible projects not absurd vanity PR stunts.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        I suppose they are learning how much more expensive and pointless it is to send people (needing food, oxygen, toilets, water and a return ticket) into space than lighter expendable unmanned equipment. But are we learning anything else at all? Perhaps the BBC’s over enthusiastic supporter Brian Cox could tell us one real scientific benefit other than this one (which was entirely obvious anyway)? Why not spend the money where it will produce the best return?

      • hefner
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        For material physics, experiments in space have many advantages not available on Earth: microgravity environment, availability of ultra clean vacuum, extremes of heat and cold, minimal surface tension.
        Thanks to international collaboration, another British astronaut.

        • Richard1
          Posted December 15, 2015 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

          Yes this is right. We should welcome international cooperation and the various bodies which promote it, and welcome productive and law abiding immigrants. Whether the current set-up with EU is a good ideal however is another question . As JR points out it allows indiscrimate immigration from EU countries but is highly discriminatory against non-EU citizens.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 15, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          Yes, it should be a source of immense national pride that in 2015 there will be another British astronaut – what would that be, the fourth? – albeit they were all carried into space courtesy of other nations, when our own national space programme was actually well advanced until the government abandoned it.

          Posted December 15, 2015 at 3:43 pm | Permalink


          Stating the obvious: our eyes generally focus horizontally or downwards. Odd, seeing that most stuff is well above our heads.

          Our sight in the broadest sense, is governed by radio frequencies/ gravity/magnetic forces and the specific kind of light on Earth.

          Even the most amateur photographer has an inkling things aint what they seem.

          My own view (no pun intended) is we probably will never… actually SEE anything outside our world. Our eyes are not cut out for it. Also our grey matter is unlikely to be able to cope with it even if we could.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 15, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          But, they do not really need people up there to do any of this.

            Posted December 15, 2015 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            No. True.
            I remember when we were kids how it encouraged so many of us to boldly go and delve into science books…improved our English no doubt on reading them..and sometimes maths. But I’ve said quite enough now.

          • hefner
            Posted December 15, 2015 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

            Given that a large part of the program is also linked to studying how prolonged stays in space are affecting human beings, I cannot see how it is possible to carry out this type of studies without having people in space.

          • hefner
            Posted December 15, 2015 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

            The International Space Station is paid by Canada, Japan, the USA, Russia and 22 European countries via the European Space Agency (please note ESA is not a EU agency). In 2010 dollars, it cost $5 bn to Europe, and the daily cost of an astronaut is $7.5 m, shared by all partners. According to the National Space Policy document published on 13/12/2015, the UK space program, including collaborations is expected to return £40 bn by 2030.

            (Wikipedia ISS, and http://www.gov.uk NSP).

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted December 16, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

            It is true that ESA is not yet an EU agency, but it is well on its way to becoming one:


            As I recall the EU treaties said nothing about space until they were amended by the Treaty of Lisbon.

          • hefner
            Posted December 16, 2015 at 11:39 am | Permalink

            Denis, The document you quote is from 2012 and essentially takes notice of the Lisbon Treaty. Since then, the ESA Annual Report 2013 (p.49), (available on ESA site) clearly states that Scenario 3 (ESA becoming an EU agency) has been ruled out, and only scenarios 1 and 2 involving various levels of development (of multi-annual frameworks for research and future collaborations leading to launches) are considered for discussions between ESA and EU.
            Which means that the UK space program can go on inhibited whether the UK remains or not within the EU.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted December 18, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for that.

            But basically it only means that the EU has been temporarily frustrated in its previous ambition to turn ESA into an EU agency by 2014, it doesn’t mean that the ambition has been abandoned.

            From May 2014:


            “… the Commission’s assessment that transforming ESA into a EU agency would “require political consensus which may be difficult to reach in the foreseeable future … “

        • forthurst
          Posted December 15, 2015 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          “minimal surface tension”

          Gravity affects the shape of droplets, so space droplets would be spherical if subject only to internal forces; increasing temperature reduces the effect of the force holding the droplet together up to the critical temperature.

      • stred
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        It seems odd that the UK is happy to pay for our spaceperson to have a ride on a Russian spaceship to a largely Russian space station, but buying a half price Russian nuclear power reactor, with new international standard controls, is unthinkable to our leaders. They are quite happy to offer the Chinese a lucrative deal to build more EPR type reactors.
        The Finns have opted for these Russian reactors, having had a disaster with the French EPR for years and the Germans had decided to use them, before Mrs Merkel left them mothballed and went for lignite.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted December 15, 2015 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

          Meanwhile the Chinese are busy building artificial islands on reefs to support new runways to base military jets to threaten much of Asia and Australia.

          Madness sheer madness.

        • forthurst
          Posted December 15, 2015 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

          I see Russia has just connected their SB800 (789 MWe) fast neutron reactor at Beloyarsk to the grid.

    • Bazman
      Posted December 21, 2015 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      How are landlords able to just put up their rents as and when any pressure is put on them liflogic can any other industry just charge the customer more at will? Have a think why landlords can and why most other industries cannot?

  6. Cheshire Girl
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    I think Boris (and others) know full well that ‘re-negotiation’ will not be enough to enable us to control our own affairs, but they feel its in their interests to try and persuade us otherwise. I feel that there is no alternative to leaving the EU altogether. How did we ever get to this state – where we are told what to do in every aspect of our lives – by other countries? One would think that we had never had the capacity to run our own affairs !

  7. Ben Kelly
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Anyone from any country arriving here by choice should have no recourse to the public purse. A free choice to come here should be based upon earning power against cost of living. If those arriving can not support themselves there should be no support offered. Tax credits and housing benefit are designed to reduce relative poverty, to offer them to all comers surely encourages the importing of further poverty.

    Not offering any benefits to anyone hailing from elsewhere must surely reduce the draw.

    Also if these Eastern European countries are so set on fairness in the labour market and insist that their citizens have access to these in (and out of) work benefits at greater levels than paid in their own countries then I feel that the Eastern European countries should be charged for any benefits claimed in other European countries. Fairness achieved but no further transfer of taxpayer funds from one country to another.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      You refer to people “arriving here by choice”, THEIR choice, but you seem to have skipped over the matter of OUR choice whether they shall be admitted.

      • Ben Kelly
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        @ Dennis Cooper – a reasonable observation. However it is unlikely that our choice will ever be considered so I am looking for solutions to the situation that will present itself.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      To be fair if they marry a Brit, and the Brit partner pays into the system more than their fair share, they should be left alone. Don’t force them to be two earner couples. Indeed indefinite leave for such spouses should really be indefinite and should not be revoked if they work abroad for a few years before coming back.

      I don’t however think marrying a citizen of another European country should necessarily give rights to live here like it does currently.

  8. alan jutson
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Why is it that other politicians cannot sum up the situation you describe in such simple terms.

    Is it because they are frightened of upsetting Party whips or Ministers/Shadow Ministers.
    Is it a simple matter that they do not understand themselves.
    Is it that they feel that they must always have a scapegoat, and someone else to blame for their own bad decisions.

    Do none of the stay in group realise that they themselves will get less and less power as the years roll by.
    Indeed they may eventually become surplus to requirements, given so much power is being passed to Brussels.

  9. ian wragg
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Cameron together with a large majority of politicians are happy to delegate responsibilities to Brussels. This means they can follow their Agenda 21 and Bilderberger programmes without consulting Parliament.
    In any language this is treason and people should be dealt with accordingly.
    etc ed

    Reply I oppose this policy as you do, but it is not treason. It has all been done through the original referendum of the UK people and their subsequent decision to vote in pro EU MP in large numbers.

    • margaret
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      If the pro EU MP’s had originally stated that we were going to los control over our borders and were giving up many powers to the EU then they would not have been voted in.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        Exactly. Lies and spin to fool the people. Tidying up exercises, no loss of sovereignty etc. 30/1048 from 1971 sums up the legacies dishonest approach. No one would have voted for where we are now.

    • ian wragg
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      We had a referendum 40 years ago based on lies and spin. Many treaties have been signed without any input from the electorate.
      We are due a referendum but again lying and obfuscation are the order of the day.
      It is treason John especially signing back up to the Arrest Warrant without consulting us.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        It is when the lowest common denominator criminal justice system can mean you languishing in an Eastern European cell for years without representation. Magna Carta? Habeas Corpus? Free speech? Innocence before guilt? Not everywhere in backward Europe. They do not represent the British people but the EU, all of them! This was a further loss of sovereignty and should have triggered a referendum in its own right. But who decides this under Hague’s referendum lock law? The Government!!! May should be in the Tower.

    • Original Richard
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Mr. Redwood,

      You are absolutely correct.

      If the UK voters continue to vote for the Con/Lab/Lib/Green Parties then the UK will continue to be subjugated to the EU.

      The voters had another chance at the last by-election, Oldham West and Royton, and fluffed it.

      One wonders how bad the situation will need to become before the voters finally realise that the UK needs to become independent from the EU and votes accordingly.

  10. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    On a point of detail, JR, do you happen to know whether Douglas Carswell is correct to claim that the ECJ has ignored that Danish opt-out on 79 separate occasions?


    “Ukip MP Douglas Carswell dismissed the idea altogether.

    “It’s really important to remember the Danish opt-out since 1992 has been disregarded by the European court 79 times,” he said.”

    That seems an awful lot of ECJ cases about who can and cannot buy a second home in Denmark, even spread over a couple of decades.

    Reply It’s not a figure I have seen anywhere else, but the general point is correct- the ECJ can any time overthrow our view of our powers if we remain in.

    • oldtimer
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Daniel Hannan made the same comment yesterday on Cap-X:
      “The trouble is that neither of these things is remotely enforceable. Both will be struck down by the European Court of Justice. The Danish opt-out on citizenship has been disregarded no fewer than 79 times by the ECJ since it came into effect in 1992. Despite the promises that Danes were given – promises that were written into the treaties in binding form, and convinced them to reverse their original “No” to Maastricht – the supposed opt outs have been struck down repeatedly, on such issues as stripping Danish nationality from foreigners who had obtained it fraudulently, border control, and even which surnames Danes can use.”


      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, so it’s not 79 times just on the Danish opt-out over who can acquire second homes in Denmark but on all of the Danish opt-outs.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 15, 2015 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, I meant on another Danish opt-out.

  11. Bob
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,
    Will you finally accept that Mr Cameron’s pledges of reform were never anything more than flim flam?

    Reply Time will tell. I have always said the reform I want is easiest achieved by voting to leave. I am pleased that contrary to the cynicism of many writing to this site Mr Cameron has delivered the promised referendum. Maybe it is time for my critics to accept that by sticking with the Conservative party and pushing for a referendum from within. I and my friends have got us all the opportunity to leave. So why not now unite to fight for Out?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Time has surely already told? He has not delivered the promised referendum as yet, nor has he ensured it will be fair, Nor did he deliver on many of his other promises – let us see. Time will tell as you say. His record of serial ratting is very strong.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        Lets not be cynical. CMD has had many “no ifs or buts” promises or vote me out (I tried). Bloomberg speeches, I will not pay the surcharge on the 1st December moments. Significant treaty changes, we won’t underwrite the Greek debt. We have reduced the EU budget. His twists and turns are so great I’m surprised he hasn’t been called up as a winger for a Rugby league side. His problem is……………we have noticed and no it is NOT THE RIGHT THING TO DO Mr Cameron!

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply

      I understand your and others of like mind’s strategy but your crtitcs, me being one on this issue, are being proved right that Mr. Cameron’s approach is shallow to put it politely. He has not been threatened by let’s say 60 Conservative MPs resigning the Whip unless he put up a plausible re-negotiation. He has been given an easy ride. He is a committed Europhile and a ditherer and you all should have known better. He was forced into committing to a referendum by UKIP support and I guess Plan B was to come up with a joke re-negotiation. In the world of conspiracies perhaps it could be argued he is a closet Eurosceptic and doing his best for Brexit!

      Reply I wish to leave so I have no wish to try to force Mr Cameron to a tougher negotiation. What he asks for clearly means we need to leave.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        A tough negotiating stance would have resulted in a clear failed negotiation. Cameron a la Wilson in1975 is out to produce a non event fudge which he can present as a success and with the power of the vested interests stand a 50/50 chance of winning the referendum.

      • ian wragg
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        reply to reply
        Is he aware of this John. I don’t think so. He is going to come back with associate membership in some form with conditions the same as now and a slower route to a federation.

        • Timaction
          Posted December 15, 2015 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          The Five Presidents report is decided. This is a Franco German racket where CMD doesn’t have any say. He’ll be told what he’s getting already and will lump it. He will just pretend it’s a stunning victory at his Chamberlain moment. He and the rest are playing charades and treating the electorate as fools. Unfortunately many are, supported by a compliant msm, EU funded CBI, BBC and other similar propaganda bodies. Guido outed a couple more this week who have had the EU shilling!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        Indeed what he asks is no where near enough why did he bother with this long grass con trick/farce – it clearly it means we need to leave the sooner the better.

    • Old Albion
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      I must have missed that JR! When did Cameron ‘deliver’ a referendum.

      Reply When recently the Referendum Bill received royal assent.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        As a consequence of UKIP’s victory and pressure at the European elections. Telling the truth exposing the legacy lies!

        Reply Not so. Conservative pressure within Parliament and the party

        • Timaction
          Posted December 16, 2015 at 10:21 am | Permalink

          Really Mr Redwood. I can find and send you his You Tube links and the dates of his three line whips to deny the referendum prior to the European elections.

          Reply And I can remind you that 1. He was the first Conservative leader prepared to take us out of the federalist CDU grouping in the European Parliament 2. He used the veto to stop us joining the Fiscal Treaty 3. He demanded a reduced EU budget 4. He was persuaded to offer a referendum 5. He is keeping his promise on the referendum despite all the people on this site and elsewhere saying eh would rat on it.

          My decision to seek to solve the EU problem through the Conservative party has proved a much more worthwhile approach than other strategies regularly proposed to me on this site.

          • Timaction
            Posted December 17, 2015 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

            Your points are valid in part but the reasons for the referendum are a direct consequence of UKIP, not a plan that your leader wished to make. His manifesto promise was made in the belief he would pretend to Govern on behalf of his beloved EU in a coalition with the LibDems. Unfortunately the fear of Mr Miliband, the travesty of our fptp system and the SNP gave him a big surprise victory. His manifesto promise was made to try and recapture voters from UKIP who must be feeling quite let down by now. Next you’ll be telling me he’s a Eurosceptic. A man who was schooled by Maastricht Major, Heseltine and Clarke! Your leader is a federalist EU man right through his quisling soul. Remember his Bloomberg lies, his won’t let Lisbon rest…..really. The last person in the Country to renegotiate on our behalf when we know he’s on their side. A reduction in the EU budget that was rejected by our EU Government and even sent us a £1.7 billion surcharge! There was no Treaty in existence that he vetoed and allowed the EU to give unlawful bailouts without any conditions. Remember the exclusion from the Greek bailout that he was told he would be a guarantor despite previous claims of an opt out.
            I’m afraid that people in Westminster’s puppet Government appear to live a parallel Universe who don’t have to suffer the consequences of the policies implemented by their EU masters.

  12. Antisthenes
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    It is now obvious what Cameron’s renegotiation strategy is. Nothing more than stage and expectation management. Set the stage to make it look like he is putting up a hell of a fight at the same time make the expectation of what can be achieved so low that whatever he does achieve will look like a huge victory.

    Cameron is going to get a treaty change(it wont be until after 2017) which he will say was all from his doing but actually is going to happen anyway. Brussels has already decided that a new treaty will be necessary because of euro-zone integration to deal with those outside of the zone. Brussels new treaty will make provision for associate membership for those whose currency is not the euro. This is what Cameron is talking about when he says the British option (just smoke and mirrors). Being an associate member gives nothing back just clarifies what bits of the euro-zone integration does not apply to them.

    Cameron is not leading us anywhere or receiving anything that has not already been decided.

    • oldtimer
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      It looks to me like nothing much more than a smoke and mirrors operation. Perhaps he was as surprised as just about everyone else to have won the election and thus being tied to his referendum commitment. Though as others have pointed out, the substance of his proposed changes falls far short of the manifesto itself and of, for example, his Bloomberg speech.

  13. David
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    We could radically reform welfare e.g. have workfare and deter benefit immigrants that way. Sadly I do not think central Government (the administration not the politicians) is capable of such things.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      I am not a fan of workfare. The cheapest way to deal with the feckless is just to give them some money and let them swirl around in their own indolence. With workfare you have to add on the cost of supervision and the tools to enable them to do the task that you have allotted them. Having watched the quality of the work of those involved in “community payback” around here. In this case painting the railings around a church, you might as well have employed Laurel & Hardy.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        …………..or Dave and Gideon!

  14. JM
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I hope that when the time comes for the referendum, the debate will be conducted upon the issue that actually matters. There will be a lot of talk about whether or not we will be better or worse off by staying in or coming out. This is the wrong issue.

    The question is much more fundamental: Do we want to be part of a United States of Europe? If we do, then we stay in. If we do not then we come out. However, I doubt that this will be honestly debated. Those who wish to stay in know that the concept of a USE is toxic and do their best to conceal it even though they know full well that that is what the “Project” is all about.

  15. DaveM
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Nothing’s going to change, and even if it does appear to, the electorate is fully aware that it will have been a done-deal and a stage-managed capitulation following stage-managed resistance from the Eurocrats.

    Put the vote on the table now.

    The PM has wasted quite enough time on these negotiations; we could do with a PM who actually does PM stuff rather than one who swans around begging his mates in the EU to give him a couple of crumbs so he can con the electorate.

    If he’s so in love with the EU why doesn’t he just relinquish his post as PM and go and work in Brussels? At least then we might get a PM who puts the interests of the electorate and the country first rather than his own ambitions, whatever they might be.

    Reply He is considerably less pro EU than his two predecessors, who willingly gave away huge chunks of power through 3 new treaties.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      You may get your wish next summer, as the Lords have given up opposing the EU referendum Bill and now it only needs Royal Assent. However there is still the possibility that the Lords will later decline to agree to any proposed date for the referendum to be held, as the Act will empower them to do.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted December 16, 2015 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      For a considerably less pro Eu prime minister, Mr Cameron is doing a sterling job of leading us into a ‘wild ride to political union’. It’s 50/50 in the polls and the Eu is looking more like a failed state by the day ..what do the socialists have to do to get the rejection they so richly deserve?

      I am absolutely certain there is no doubt in CMD’s mind of the result of the referendum – parking the Uk permanently in Europe and securing the gratitude and admiration of Eu grandees and Mr Blair. His wealth and influence will protect him from the scorched earth he will leave in his wake.

      The Eu is crumbling around us, economic migrants are braying at our borders…the Euro is on the brink….yet Cameron cannot admit the Eu is a road to ruin. At least Major and Heath were pro Eu at a time when the true intentions of the Eu were less were defined.
      That just makes Mr Cameros treachery worse in my book.

      Mr Redwood…loyalty to Mr Cameron can go too far so as to compromise your credibility….please don’t go down with the sinking ship.

      Reply I helped secure the referendum and am now campaigning to leave!

      • Ken Moore
        Posted December 17, 2015 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        Thanks Mr Redwood,

        Indeed it was you that held Mr Cameron’s feet to the fire (with a little help from UKIP threatening to seriously split the Conservative vote) that forced a rattled Cameron to concede a referendum. A decision he probably now regrets considering there is a fair chance the vote will go to out. Even by Cameron’s breathtakingly poor grasp of facts and detail, his ‘negotiation’ is looking hollow and no more than ‘window dressing’.

        It was granted to marginalise the ‘troublesome’ sceptic wing of the Conservative party. This is the final solution that the Europhiles crave and Cameron is willing to play dirty to get the result he wants.. so lets not delude ourselves about him. Behind the scenes, Messrs Merkel, Shultz and Juncker could not have a better friend than high fiving Dave.

        I can’t agree that Mr Cameron is any less pro Eu than his Conservative predecessors – his attempted non- negotiation con trick reveal the contempt that he holds us in.

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    This debate has been getting ridiculous, and Boris Johnson has made it more so.

    In his Telegraph article yesterday he used the Danish Second Homes Protocol as an example of how the UK might be able to get a special exemption from certain provisions of the EU treaties, in principle, as if that wasn’t something which was already obvious when the UK already has a number of such opt-outs; but then about half of the readers’ comments were about the details and the merits and demerits of the Danish rules on second homes not about restricting benefits or controlling immigration. So what he introduced into the argument apparently just for illustrative purposes itself turned into a major topic of debate and thus a distraction from the real issues.

    There was really no need to do that. He could have just proposed that we should apply a new residency test to determine eligibility for welfare benefits, and to avoid charges of illegal indirect discrimination on the grounds of nationality being laid before the ECJ we should get a special exemption, in the form of a protocol to the treaties. For example, like the one that the Danes have regarding a residency test for the purchase of second homes in Denmark, if he could not resist the temptation to mention it.

    But of course Cameron’s idea that we should tighten up rules on benefits itself only deals with what is in reality very much a secondary issue, even if the Tories have succeeded in making large sections of the population think that it is the primary issue, which is in fact that Parliament has relinquished control over immigration from the rest of the EU.

    Cameron and his allies hoped that restrictions on benefits could be achieved without any need to change the EU treaties – appropriately enough, using EU secondary legislation to deal with what is in reality a secondary issue, while avoiding the primary issue of lack of control over the entry of potential welfare beneficiaries in the first place, which would certainly need changes to the EU primary legislation, as the eurocrats regard the EU treaties – and now to further muddy the waters Johnson has come along with a proposal which would definitely need treaty change for there to be any hope of legal certainty but would still be only an attempt to deal with the secondary issue.

    Here’s my counter-proposal: if Cameron has now moved on to looking for a treaty change to give the UK a special exemption, which I actually doubt, then let it be an exemption from the requirement to allow unfettered free entry of foreign persons into the country, not just from the general prohibition on indirect discrimination against such foreign persons once they have come here.

  17. Kenneth
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I already have letters from my MP on various matters confirming that he is impotent to act on my various grievances because they are ‘eu matters’.

    Why are we still paying MPs do a job they patently cannot do?

  18. a-tracy
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Why can’t we tie welfare with National Insurance contribution for four years? Just how many UK born people go straight on to welfare after finishing their education having never contributing national insurance?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Load and loads of them do. Often given housing too if they have a baby or two. It can be the rational thing for them to do given the system MPs have put in place.

    • A different Simon
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      a-tracy ,

      What is wrong with them going straight onto welfare after finishing education if they cannot find a job ?

      How else are they going to feed themselves if their families are unwilling or unable to help ? What is your solution to that ?

      Why should British citizens have their welfare safety net reduced just because our poli’s want to stay in the EU ?

      • alan jutson
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        A different Simon

        “how else are they going to feed their families….”

        Why have they produced families when in education ?

        I would have thought that most sensible people continue to allow sons and daughters to live in the family home whilst in education and early work years, in order to help them build and plan a future (financial or otherwise) for themselves, so that eventually they become self sufficient, responsible and are not a drain on the State.

        At least that is what we did. !.

        Seems to have worked out for all concerned.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        Why should “they (the government I assume)” find someone a job? It is the persons own responsibility to find a job, unless they are totally incapable of work. They (the government) rarely create jobs they tend to be a large net destroyer of jobs through taxation, over regulation, unfair state competition and expensive religious energy drivel. They cannot even run a decent NHS, schools or anything very well.

        If they ran the food systems we would probably all starve or have to eat what they told us when they told us to.

        • Bazman
          Posted December 21, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

          Or be homeless as many are thanks to the massive subsidy paid to landlords who by your own admission are able to put up rents at will enjoy many financial benefits that the owner/occupier cannot.
          The government indirectly supplies you with a work and a very good income due to it housing policy. Massive housing benefits bills and under regulation help you industry no end. Money which should be spent on the NHS, schools and other infrastructure as you say and not put into the pockets of a wealthy and privileged few to squander on art, property, cars and political projects whilst pleading poverty.
          Answer that if you can. You cannot of course.

  19. forthurst
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    “Making decisions about who can come and who can work is best done fairly, with the same criteria for people from anywhere in the world.”

    If we are a sovereign nation, maintaining our own council, then such decisions are best done pragamatically by asking some questions: Do we have room for them? Do we need them? If so why? Perhaps we are failing our own young people with their education and incentives to remain in the land of their birth. Would they be a financial asset to our country? Would they be able to integrate totally without wishing or even being able, in latter years, to identify themselves with an alien group?

    The concept of ‘fairness’ is one dreamt up by people who are rather keen not to be fair to us; they do it all the time.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      It happens that our local WEA branch has a course entitled “Philosophy of Fairness” in the New Year, and I’m mulling whether to go on it … It says “English speakers become acquainted with the persuasive power of the term ‘fairness’ from a very young age, yet in some languages there is no direct translation.”

      • forthurst
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        What I meant was that the concept of fairness is used out of context in order to persuade us of the existence of an obligation which which does not exist, one that would directly infringe our own right and be unfair to ourselves.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 15, 2015 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        Fairness is a much better concept than equality though still absurdly flawed. Is it fair that some are beautiful and some ugly, some ill and other healthy until 112, and some can play football brilliantly while others have two left feet. It that is not too leftist.

        Is it fair that some people (and clearly daft people as they bought tickets) win the lottery while millions lose?

        Equality, regardless of merit is a dreadful thing indeed, destroying important incentives and removing much needed moral hazards.

        • Bazman
          Posted December 21, 2015 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

          What about wealth regardless of merit? Theft and laundering of money by foreigners leading to more inequality here.
          Rich children inheriting money having no incentive to work wasting money on art and idiotic political projects that they do not deserve to have or be doing. Dangerous to the rest of the poor population. Where does this fit into you deluded world view that you just repeat as and when like you own the truth. Religious right wing nonsense that belongs in the past.

  20. agricola
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The key is sovereignty. As a member of the EU we do not have it, outside we do. QED.
    Cameron and his acolytes , as heir to Blair,, have no interest in our sovereignty, happy to sell the UK for a mess of potage. Equally happy to put the British people through uncertainty and her economy in jeopardy in the service of their EU masters. They bombard us with lies and disinformation while trying to sell us a free range egg which is already addled.

    We will only be saved by the sheer intransigence of the EU and the common sense of our people. Our departure will be a signal to all those disaffected Europeans to kick this socialist tyranny into touch, signs of which are already manifest.

  21. bigneil
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I really would like to see some GENUINE ( highly unlikely) figures for the number of people who have walked in here, put out there arms, only for a life on the taxpayer to be handed over. Murderers, and any other form of scum, can walk into this country, apparently time and time again, even after deportation, only to carry on as if nothing happened. Refusal to say who they are or where they are from ends up with them staying, free lives handed over, job done in their eyes. Success.
    Yet what do WE get? Cuts to services. Cuts to police. Cuts to Border controls. It is clear that the money saved from the cuts isn’t saved at all – it is diverted to pay for the free lives of those who flood here – those who want THEIR lives – under THEIR laws and THEIR rules and THEIR ways – -all on OUR money. When people can walk in here and get £20k a year benefits for doing NOTHING – there is something drastically wrong. Just 50 of these families cost a £1m – just in cash – what do these people cost in social disruption, housing and ( with their well-known reputation) crime. Multiply this incredible amount by the number of families who have come – and we have a fortune and the ongoing destruction of England. The s0-called “elite” who lead us have all signed up and agreed to this annihilation – paying hundreds of thousands to come here and take.

    An update on my diabetes situation John. The nurse has told me to keep warm. No chance – but while the temp inside my home is just about the same as outside – I will have a nice warm feeling in my heart that those from another land can come here and be classed as more worthy of cash than the people who have paid in for 45 yr. THEY won’t be bothered about any bills will they? – not on £20k free cash each.
    Needless to say – -I won’t be voting for your party next GE.

  22. margaret
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    ” Red line issues” is very woolly . Does red line mean do not cross without redressing or in no way must these issues be taken over by the EU.

  23. DaveM
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Whether he gets his 4-year restriction or not, he’s produced a very effective smokescreen – even people on this site are becoming focused on it.

    The problem is not so much the in-work benefits being dished out to Bulgarians, Romanians, etc, it’s the non-working benefits and free-everything policy which is attracting immigrants. And – in all honesty – living somewhere with a relatively large Polish and Latvian community, I feel frequently embarrassed when I speak to these christian Europeans who generally don’t claim in-work benefits (normally working long hours in garages), and simultaneously see my countrymen hanging around during the day spending my taxes in the pub, bookies, or off-licence.

    The problem – as everyone really knows – is the fact that in a couple of years there will be upwards of 1 million people who have been issued EU-topped passports by Angela Merkel. Not to mention the extended families which will soon follow the young men who have decided that fleeing is better than standing and fighting for what’s theirs. And when they come to the UK the govt will dish out everything they want. In fact, here’s a thought; how about rounding up the so-called refugees in Europe and sending them back to Syria, then housing those Syrians who decided to stay home and run the hospitals etc? They might actually be of some use to the UK.

    The bottom line is that border control is key, and we don’t have it. Neither will we have it even if the PM restricts in-work benefits to immigrants forever.
    But on balance, I’d rather live next door to 6 Poles or Latvians who go to work every day than 30 middle-eastern “refugees” who make no attempt to speak English and who just want what they can get for free.

    • stred
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      Dave. Agree completely about hard working Poles, Romanians and others.How about the local grown who have produced 16 babies,which have been taken into care.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted December 16, 2015 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      We have seen other generations of immigrants that have been hard working and contributed to the British economy. It has been a different story with the second and third generations who feel little gratitude and loyalty to us….
      Will it be the same with the new arrivals ?

      The naivety and recklessness of our politicians frightens me.

  24. ale bro
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure that the UK can’t just leave the treaties as they don’t contain mechanisms for withdrawal.

    To be able to leave, the UK needs to obtain the consent of all of the parties to the treaties, and this will be a lot harder and involve more concessions than anyone has described so far.

    Reply We can sue Article 50, or we could simply amend the 1972 European Communities Act. We can always renounce a Treaty.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Before the Lisbon Treaty came into force it was true that the EU treaties laid down no procedure for a member state to withdraw, although that would not have prevented withdrawal through ad hoc abrogation of the treaties by any of the sovereign states which are parties to them. It could even be said that the one good thing about the Lisbon Treaty was the introduction of Article 50 TEU on voluntary withdrawal of a member state, which may be found here:


    • Ken Moore
      Posted December 16, 2015 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      We are free to ‘gold plate’ or ignore any piece of Eu regulation as we wish as other countries happily do.
      Unfortunately the ruling classes appear to despise their own country so it is more the former.
      What would the Eu block do if we did not comply – turn their tanks on us…issue us with a fine they cannot force us to pay ?

  25. Bert Young
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    There is no point in having a voting democratic system when we can be over-ruled by the EU. The massive influx of migrants into Europe has finally highlighted the dangers of “open borders” ; one country that has the space and need for immigrants does not mean that all the other countries do . We are the most densely populated country in Europe and our basic resources in health and education are creaking at the seams ; whether we are rich or poor is of no concern if we simply do not have the space to absorb migrants .

    Controlling our own affairs according to the wishes of our electorate is the only consideration we should have ; this can only be achieved by Brexit . This message has to be spread simply and consistently to the country over the coming months ; the media must not be allowed to distort the facts . As things stand it is clear from the opinion polls that it is the “undecided” who hold sway ; obviously they have to get the message loud and clear before they cast their votes .

    Once we have established our sovereignty we must re-establish the Christian ethics of this country and the rule of our laws . The must be “no ifs or buts” about this ; those who cannot abide by our laws have to be sent packing ; once back into the comfort of our own controls , we must prove to the populace that our system is rigorous and fair to all .

    • DaveM
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Bert – haven’t you heard? The govt has now decreed that we have “British values”. I don’t exactly know what they are, no-one asked me about it. But then I don’t live in N London, so how would I know anything?

  26. Atlas
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    “Amen” to all you say in your post, John.

  27. Peter Davies
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    These arguments will never go away until we have that referendum on the eu to ask whether the UK wishes to be a vassal state or should it follow it’s own direction

    Put aside all the complexities and ifs and buts if comes down to that

  28. Old Albion
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    It’s blindingly obvious Cameron has asked for little reformation of the EU and has/will be offered even less.
    So now he has to work out how to sell ‘no change’ as ‘huge changes’ I’m sure he’ll come up with some wheeze to advise us to stay wedded to the EU.
    If the people of the (dis)UK fail to see through this whole charade, I’ll despair…….

  29. Sean O'Hare
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    “…When Mr Blair pushed us into the Nice and Amsterdam Treaties, and Mr Brown finished the job with the Lisbon Treaty”

    What about when Mrs Thatcher pushed us into the Single European Act and John Major pushed us into Maastricht? Are they not work a mention?

  30. Iain Gill
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Don’t forget the way Europe trys to enter into treaties with other countries like India which obliges the UK to accept workers and immigration from India. And the way our own political class rubber stamp this.

  31. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, just so far today I’ve seen concern expressed that leaving the EU would put up the price of booze, break up the United Kingdom, utterly destroy our economy (or more correctly of course economies, given the foretold disintegration of our present country), and, get this one, JR, mean the end of the Conservative party ….

    Reply There will be many more scare stories before polling day. I still dream that one day I will read a Stay in account of what is good about their wild ride to political union!

    • acorn
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Off-topic, just so far today Denis I am seeing that I could buy, for prompt delivery in North West Europe, R95 Unleaded petrol for 15.3 pence per litre; diesel for 17.7 p/l.

      Also, Saturday just gone, I could have bought a MWh of electricity, day ahead of delivery, for (Sterling equivalent of Euro pricing) £18.70 at the German hub; £28.10 in France; and, £38.12 per MWh in the UK. Can’t wait for our energy to get so much cheaper after Brexit.

      The gas market was a bit dull at £11.88 MWh (1.18 pence per kWh). Within a few pence of our near EU neighbours. Any gas we get from fracking will be well out of the money at these prices. There are boat loads of LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) coming onto the market next year also.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 16, 2015 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        I imagine that there’s some kind of point buried in there.

    Posted December 15, 2015 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Whoops… we have people teeming over our borders.
    Whoops…we cannot do much about it.
    Whoops…we cannot stop ourselves from giving them our money.
    Whoops…one or two ( don’t we love British understatement ) plan to kill us and, have started.

    When our people were massacred on a Tunisian beach: when our people were in danger in Egypt due to the Russian plane bombing. What did people do?
    They angrily complained the nasty British Government was stopping them flying to Tunisia and spoiling their holidays in Egypt by cancelling flights.

    “Every people gets the government it deserves”

  33. Colin Hart
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    We all need to stop getting in such a lather. Philip Hammond has made it quite clear in today’s Telegraph that we have a new best friend in Italy and that they want reform just as much as we do, though what they want is quite different what we want (even the thin gruel version) but we should be able to work something out together, to which no doubt France and Germany will agree. So there we are. All sorted.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, what a dreamer.

      How many have been killed by our bombing in Syria so far did he say?

  34. petermartin2001
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    ….. they sought to tackle the welfare issue, and argued that if they stopped benefits to people arriving from the rest of the EU for a four year period after their arrival they would also tackle the questions of the numbers of migrants. These two problems are different.

    I would agree. They are different. In my admittedly limited experience, migrants from the EU don’t come to the UK to take advantage of social benefits. They are probably more generous in other parts of the EU in any case. They come to the UK in search of jobs.

    Therefore cutting back on social benefits isn’t going to do anything to reduce numbers coming to look for those jobs. There should be no problem in offering any legally arrived migrant the same social benefits as everyone else if migrants are also expected to pay the same contributions and taxes as everyone else. The evidence from countries such as Australia is that, yes, there is an initial cost, but which is more than recouped later, to Australian society when migrants arrive. Many have limited language skills. However, the Australian government is generous in providing special education facilities for those who arrive legally.

    They aren’t so generous for those who arrive illegally (or what they would term illegally) , especially by boat, but that’s another story!

  35. MikeP
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood could you please confirm if, by dint of passing the EU Referendum Bill, we have also (in any way) given up the right to a separate Referendum driven from an earlier Bill concerning transfer of powers to the EU?
    I ask because, if the country was unfortunate enough to vote to Remain in the EU, I can imagine the Eurocrats’ enthusiasm to drag us into even closer union holding no bounds. The existing Bill to require a Referendum if additional powers were to be transferred is a safeguard still (hopefully?).

    Reply Yes it stays in place.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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