Leave the EU and get a pay rise

I agree with Lord Rose of the Britain stronger in Europe campaign. He has in the past told us the UK can do well outside the EU. More recently he has confirmed that if we stay in the EU there will continue to be substantial migration, which will keep down wages at the lower end of the jobs markets.

I disagree with Lord Rose when he says that rising wages are “not necessarily a good thing”. If someone has been well paid for much of his life, he should be careful recommending much lower pay for everyone else, and particularly careful about entering politics to preach the joys of sacrifice, low wages and a plentiful supply of cheap labour for others.

The government rightly wishes to see wages rise. It has put in its new policy of a living wage, requiring wages to be higher by law. Leaving the EU would be a quicker and easier way of achieving this goal. Now we know 630,000 EU migrants last year were granted National Insurance numbers, we can see just how big the downwards pressure on UK wages must be from new arrivals. It is a strange policy combination to require people by law to pay more money when open borders means queues of people willing to take less just to get a job. Out of the UK we could impose sensible controls on inward migration to take low paid jobs.

I was never a fan of the policy of enlargement of the EU. The UK’s official stance was to foster enlargement, with some people thinking that would slow down progress to political union and to so called deepening, or more EU government. The opposite happened, as some of us feared at the time. Instead of enlargement leading to loosening, it led the established member states to want to tighten controls and have more centrally determined policies. It also encouraged them to have more majority voting so smaller poorer countries could not hold up their wishes for more EU laws.

What it also did was encouraged large numbers of people in low wage countries to use their rights under freedom of movement to go to the UK and Germany where there were jobs available with much better wages. This prolonged domestic unemployment in the richer countries, and stripped the poorer countries of some of their most talented and enterprising people. Well skilled Eastern Europeans were prepared to do unskilled jobs in the UK because the wages were so much better,.

The UK owes it to Europe to leave, so we can have higher wages and employ more of our own people, and more of the talented and energetic people of eastern Europe can stay in their own countries to get them richer faster.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

61 Comments

  1. The Active Citizen
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Another good article JR, thanks. Key issues like jobs and wages will really resonate with the voters, and these things need saying.

    A couple of days ago a reader posted that we, your readers, are mostly sycophants. Must have been a new reader. It’s not surprising we applaud your diary entries when you’re sound, as you so often are on so many issues. Not enough MPs are these days and you’re prepared to say what you think, even if we sometimes wish you’d say things even more forcefully.

    However we often disagree with you and with each other and you sometimes react back quite strongly. For example you’ve made it clear you won’t discuss the leave campaigns, nor countenance negativism. Personally I wish you’d now take a stand, as the situation is getting desperate.

    Here is part of my reply I’ve just sent to a personal email I received yesterday from a Director of one of the Leave campaigns:-
    _________________________________________

    These activities are fine, but they’re nowhere near enough.

    Suggestions:
    1. ‘Theme of the week’ – e.g. jobs, wages, prices, economy, security, immigration, sovereignty, etc.
    2. ‘Message of the day’ – e.g. “With the EU’s economies in trouble, you are twice as likely to be out of a job in the EU than in the UK.” [Sources: EU Eurostat official unemployment figures, 2000 – 2015. ONS Employment Tables 2016.]
    3. Daily morning press conferences, with key spokespersons on a rota.
    4. TV and press to be provided with next day’s spokespersons available for interview. Also advice of all the next day’s speeches, events, photo-ops, etc.
    5. Morning emails to all spokespersons, with standard rebuttals of previous day’s claims from the Remain side. Urgent midday updates if needed.
    6. Website overhaul – the existing one simply doesn’t inform, communicate or convert. Needs a radical transformation.
    7. Development of segmented messages – appealing to (e.g.) women, students, under 40s, Labour voters, ex-pats, skilled/unskilled workers, the unemployed, those who know nothing about the EU, farmers, fishermen, those living in areas in receipt of ‘EU money’, those worried about housing, or school places, or the health service, etc etc.

    Fighting On All Fronts
    Most of the popular press has surprisingly been broadly favourable to Brexit so far, but the TV media have been typically pro-EU as usual. We can’t change decades of BBC and Sky bias but we can get closer to winning the battle for hearts and minds of TV viewers. Some of the above ideas would help.

    Facts:
    1. Let’s get our facts straight and above all be consistent, in order to win credibility with the public.
    2. All spokespersons to be provided with full info pack – bullet points with key data on every aspect of the EU debate, updated weekly. To be memorised.
    3. E.g. “Over 2 million EU migrants now have UK jobs and this is increasing fast every year.” “The DWP says benefit claims from EU migrants cost us £3.4 billion in 2014.” “Turkey’s population is 78.7 million and is 99% Islamic, with 85,412 mosques. When it joins, it will be the largest country in the EU.” (I have the raw data for all these claims and countless others, researched from the official bodies in each case.)

    Summary
    I simply want to improve our chances of winning. We have over 40 years of indoctrination and propaganda to overcome in less than 4 months. I’ve already sent some emails and had long calls over the last few months to various people involved, but the campaigns to leave are still well below where they could be. I have no ego about this – I just want the UK to vote to leave the EU in the best interests of my country.
    _________________________________________

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Indeed but the way to higher wages is not job destroying minimum wage legislation. Even less not one that provides the same wage all over the country where living cost can vary hugely.

    The UK does indeed owes it to Europe to leave, so we can have higher wages and employ more of our own people.

    Carney made the point the other day that the immigrants have contributed hugely to UK growth. Clearly some of them have, but many even most are low paid are are clearly a large net liability to the other tax payers. Some are just criminals and benefit recipients. The obvious solution is to take only the former ones in sensible/manageable numbers, but perhaps this is too difficult for Carney to see? We can only do this after Brexit.

    So, thanks to some faux Tories and the SNP, billions of pounds of shop space and stock will go to waste for much of Sunday. Rendering the economy rather less efficient, pushing up prices and destroying jobs. What on earth has it got to do with the Scottish if people prefer a large shop to small ones early and late on Sundays? How can the government be so inept as not even to get this through?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      What a very silly letter from some academic scientists.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-stephen-hawking-and-150-royal-society-fellows-warn-brexit-would-be-disaster-for-uk-a6922296.html

      There is no reason why Brexit should harm science research at all. The UK government would have far more money available to fund it, if it were no longer paying the EU fees, and the UK could still cooperate with everyone around the world on joint research projects.

      It could still bring in the best people for around the world too.

      How can so many supposedly clever people be so daft? Or perhaps they think signing will help their grant applications?

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic – Didn’t you know ? Without the EU Einstein, Rutherford, Crick, Watson, Wren, Newton would not have been able to do their stuff.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Still I suppose that without the dire threat to the English (and Scots) of the SNP Cameron would have thrown the last election, just as he threw the first one, with his lefty, green crap, “modernising”, pro EU, high tax lunacy.

      We then would never have got the Brexit referendum. So I suppose we should be grateful to the loopy SNP for that.

      Matt Ridley is surely exactly right on Hinkley Point hopefully post Brexit/Cameron and Osborne we can cancel it before it costs any more money. It is, like HS2, completely the wrong project. I am all in favour of nuclear power, but not this misguided & hugely over priced project.

      http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/hinkley-point/

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Minimum wage legislation is like trying to get taller by pulling on your shoe laces. In fact worse, as it is actually counter productive and positively damages the economy and productivity. It is also (in effect) a large tax increase. It clearly prevents many people (whose labour is simply not worth the minimum wage) from working even if they want to.

      We have has far too many tax increases and tax complexity increase from the this dreadfully misguided chancellor and his “self proclaimed low tax at heart – but never in practice” PM already. Hopefully they will be gone in June.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Thank you for saying this.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    The main thing I’m picking up from people I know who want to stay in:

    “The EU has been good for workers’ rights” (The Tories would be unfettered, they say.)

    “The EU has been good for foreign holidays”

    “We will lose our jobs if we leave.”

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      On workers’ rights: The EU has done nothing to prevent outsourcing, zero hours, factory sell offs…

      Bob Crowe hated the EU and saw it as a way of undermining workers.

  5. Margaret
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Very good article which is to the point. Most in this country are not concerned with getting rich but rather being employed in a job which pays enough for luxuries and not just subsistence, however this could also be a very rich nation with talent and focus.

  6. eeyore
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Eloquent and deadly. The headline alone deserves to be on a thousand posters.

  7. Horatio
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    No surprise that despite enjoying relaxed Sunday trading laws in Scotland, the SNP have voted against a relaxation of Sunday trading in England and Wales. English votes for English laws? A Tory government for the country that voted it in? Pathetic, utterly pathetic.

  8. Jerry
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    “Vote for Brexit and have Jam tomorrow!”

    Funny how in the 1970s the Tory party kept telling everyone that wages were to high, indeed Ted Heath (and Jim Callaghan for Labour) tried to use the law by way of wages policies to keep wage raises low (and thus came up against the unions), in the 1980s wages -for most- were kept low because redundancy and unemployment rates were high and if you didn’t like working for what you were being paid then someone else was always willing to do your job, but mow even though we are in far worse shape economically (national debt wise), with cheaper wage economies poised and waiting to take ever more production out of the UK we get Tory MPs offering us all far higher wages if only we leave the EU – if this was satire few would be laughing as they would consider it to far fetched, how the wage-worm has turned! Stop trying to buck the wage market, there is a going rate for any job, even more so now thanks to Globalisation and the ability to air-freight even the most time-sensitive of fresh foods etc.

    As far as wages are concerned, migration is irrelevant, either the work is done in the UK workplace -at the going rate- or production gets switched to another country, be that that of the migrants own or further away, such as the BRIC nations.

    Also this sentence has me puzzled;
    “Well skilled Eastern Europeans were prepared to do unskilled jobs in the UK because the wages were so much better.”

    By whose standards were the wages so much better, and how, if high enough to allow for a comfortable standard of living here in the UK then why didn’t our own indigenous workers take the jobs, but if you mean that the wage rate allowed for a comfortable standard of living back home after FX rates have been applied then it tells us little. Also if the wages in the UK were/are so much better than our competitors is that not also one of the reasons why we have seen so much UK production switched to those off-shore factories…

  9. Antisthenes
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I do not often disagree with you but I do not believe that lowering wages is a factor that we should be concerned about from the influx of migrant workers. I have made the point why before and sufficient to say now that lowering wages in the end increases prosperity and the standard of living not reduce it. You may be right that it reduces the prosperity of those countries where those migrants flock from but I am doubtful about that. No doubt many of those workers send money home and eventually return having learned new skills which the mother country can put to good use.

    The current problem with immigrants is the massive numbers of them arriving far to many to absorb and control. The non EU migrants that is as EU free movement is not really a problem as the cultural differences are not that great and absorption is relatively easy. For me the free movement of people is a good thing but it has to be selective as we find some groups not as beneficial to our way of life and our society and economy. Too many too soon puts tremendous strain on our infrastructure and our public institutions and has the ability to grossly undermine our security.

  10. Roy Grainger
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Lord Rose is a gift to the Leave side. Many of these big company CEOs are like medieval Kings, they are surrounded always by fawning underlings and expect everyone to agree with everything they say no matter how wrong it is. This is not the first time he has said something stupid.

  11. Know-dice
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    My contribution for today:

    A professor of Applied Economics at Cardiff Business School has blown the lid open on the debate surrounding Britain’s membership of the European Union (EU) by revealing in testimony to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs select committee that the cost of living for those in the United Kingdom would drop by eight per cent “on day one” if Britain leaves the EU.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/11/09/watch-top-economist-says-cost-of-living-will-fall-by-8-per-cent-if-britain-leaves-the-eu-on-day-one/

    • Know-dice
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      I also understand that David Cameron is to set out ‘benefits for UK’ of remaining in the EU.

      It is not acceptable for the Government that has called a referendum, to only give information on one side of what the public are expected to vote on.

      A referendum has been called because?
      1. The Government doesn’t have confidence in any decision it may make?
      2. The Government wants to cover its backside if things go wrong?
      3. The Government doesn’t know what it is doing?

      For whatever reason, the Government MUST be one that supplies the full and balanced reasons that let us make an informed decision…

  12. Ian Wragg
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    So why is Dave (almost always wrong ) Cameron so desperate to get Turkey membership of the EU
    99% Muslim, appalling human rights record and in no way geographically part of Europe.
    77 million more eligible for housing, health care and UK funded benefits.
    Why does he tell so many lies.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Why indeed? All that expensive education at Eton and Oxford PPE, yet still daft as a brush.

    • agricola
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      I suspect that to answer your question concerning Dave, you must try to discern the aims of the Bilderberg Group of luminaries who have tried to steer Europe and the rest of the World in what they consider a desirable direction. Quite possibly with good intentions but below the radar of public scrutiny. It is reputed to have given us Herman Van Rompuy as president of the European Council for instance.

      The UK’s participation has always included most of our recent Prime Ministers, Cameron being the latest, plus governors of the BoE, an array of industrialists, academics, and media operators. Sounds a bit like the masonic movement, minus the need to roll up your trouser leg.

      • Mercia
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        the aims of the Bilderberg Group of luminaries who have tried to steer Europe and the rest of the World in what they consider a desirable direction

        >
        If they are meeting to discuss politics and not the weather then its time for the Bilderberg group to realize the people demand transparency! No more private plots. Although it is impossible to stop the elite conspiring with each other, they always will.

    • Antisthenes
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      What would your reaction be if Israel applied to become a member of the EU after all she is not in Europe either. I for one would if I was an EU believer which I am not welcome her with open arms. Although the problems that benighted country face would also become ours though some already are so perhaps not . Yet as Europeans were the ultimate cause of the many problems besetting that region via the Balfour declaration then perhaps we should take them and make amends for our past mistake.

      However as things stand I would not be so ready to accept Turkey not because of geography or because it is a Muslim country. In fact the latter maybe an incentive to take them as a strong intermediary between Christian Europe and Muslim Middle East and other places could be very advantageous. No I would not take her yet because of the political and religious direction she is taking. So until she returns to where she was; improving human rights, full democracy and secular government I would deny her membership.

    • lojolondon
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Many more slaves, to bring down wages.

    • BobE
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      He was in PR that’s all he knows. He will probably do “A Kinnock” after the vote.

    • getahead
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      Stolen from James Delingpole’s article in Breitbart today.

      “If you’re in favour of Brexit it probably means you’re an oik like me or Michael Gove rather than a proper posh person like David Cameron. Brexit is our Peasants’ Revolt.
      Cameron is controlled by his elite chums.

      • getahead
        Posted March 10, 2016 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        Should be inverted commas after Revolt”

  13. Richard1
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    This will only be true if the UK post Brexit is able to be in the single market – which most advocates of Leave want – but not subject to the EU’s freedom of movement. This seems to be the main point of confusion on the Leave side, as illustrated during Boris Johnson’s interview with Andre Marr.

    • David Price
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      I don’t wish to be in the single market if I must pay a subsidy. Other countries don’t have to so why should we. Besides, it isn’t a single market as there is no support for services as yet despite our 40 years membership.

      What basis do you have to claim that most advocates of Leave wish to remain part of the formal EU bureacracy?

      The only reason the Remain side does not appear confused (some of the time) is because they refuse to state what the consequences of our remaining in will be as the EU follows it’s intended direction. There will be significant changes whichever route is followed but only one gives us any say and control over our futures.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      We just need free trade but the EU needs if more than we do so we surely will get it.
      The idea endlessly pushed by the BBC that we will have to accept free movement of labour and pay a huge fee for this is tosh.

      Even without any free trade we are better off out.

      We can simply switch production for the home market (to replace the EU imports perhaps) and to other expanding world markets and would still be better of after the period of adjustment.

    • Graham
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      History will judge that the only real issue here is the inalienable right to govern ourselves.

    • lojolondon
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Every country between the UK and Russia is in the EEC except Belarus. Many do not have freedom of movement, so I have no idea why they are pretending that is a problem.

    • Antisthenes
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Why be in the common market at all as that only complicates things and still makes the UK in thrall to the EU. Admittedly not nearly as much as currently but in my opinion still too much. Surely the answer is to have trade and cooperation agreements with the EU. Plus bilateral arrangement with individual EU member states. We do now so why not then. They do not have to be onerous as it is in both sides best interest that they are not.

    • forthurst
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Clearly, the confusion lies with those who have not yet grasped the meaning of the Single Market; it is an Orwellian term that guarantees the four (not three) freedoms including that of free movement of persons (not workers). People need to stop gibbering about being in the Single Market unless they understand that that means no control of our borders and that being an outcome they desire.

      Boris Johnson has called for Trade and Co-operation post-Brexit; that is all we need. We do not need any of other misconceived baggage of the EU including Frau Merkel.

  14. Shieldsman
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I missed out yesterday on Mark Carney hazarding a guess for the effect on the £ by leaving the EU.
    Mark Carney entering the fray on the side of Cameron shows he has not got his eye on the ball.
    He should have been asking the question – can we afford to be in this expensive, wasteful bureaucratic empire.
    Surely the difference between what we pay in and what we get back is less to borrow and could go towards reducing the deficit.
    I refer to Peter Oborne’s: The truth is Osborne’s profligacy makes Gordon Brown look like a miser
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3477664/PETER-OBORNE-truth-Osborne-s-profligacy-makes-Gordon-Brown-look-like-miser.html#ixzz42PaziY4Q
    George Osborne is facing the defining test of his six years as Chancellor. In 11 days time, he will deliver the annual Budget — and I predict that he will have to make a violent U-turn in policy which threatens to leave his credibility in shreds. It will see him reining back on the expansionary spending plan he announced in November, when he pumped an extra £27 billion into the British economy.
    The fact is that Osborne has no choice but to slam on the brakes with an acrid stench of burning rubber. For he has been responsible for Britain plc accumulating a shockingly large national debt.
    The national debt (the amount owed by the Government) is three times higher, and the deficit (the difference between its everyday expenses and its revenues) is bigger, too.

    But this failure comes as no surprise, because Osborne has been at best a part-time Chancellor — having devoted too much time as Britain’s chief negotiator on the future of the EU — another role he has fumbled. As a result of Osborne’s negligence — about which the Mail has warned time and again — the Government is unprepared for the impending financial crisis.

    So what’s another £500million for the EU (for Turkey) to Osborne. He found that November 2014 demand for £1.7billion from somewhere.
    Problems are mounting with our home accounts, so will the printing presses be working overtime to stock that mythical money tree.

  15. Iain Moore
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    It is my view that removing wage pressures from our economy with mass immigration has had a deleterious effect on our national productivity, for employers don’t have to bother investing capital in productivity , such as mechanisation, information technology, or training, because there is a ready supply of cheap labour. Let alone the benefits of removing low productivity, low value added, employment from our economy , better to be done else where in the world than here, where the State has to subsidise the jobs by robbing the high value added jobs and companies, that might be considered our future , to pay for the in work welfare of the low paid jobs, which as a national strategy has to be bonkers.

  16. agricola
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    The policy of a living wage I deem a good thing. Was it not Henry Ford who was criticised for paying his car workers $5.00 a day or an hour, I cannot remember, who retorted that he did it so that they could buy his cars. If you believe Ben Judah’s well researched writing, there is a very large illegal immigrant class in the UK who survive below the radar of wage law. What is plan A for dealing with this.

    Whether you believe in tightening or loosening of EU central control, it is a reality that if the Euro is to work central control is a must across the countries involved. The EU/ Euro area needs to operate like the UK or USA. The alternative is that the area shrinks and many constituent countries revert to their original currencies. Those who remain in the Euro must accept loss of sovereignty and commonality of financial governance as an absolute minimum. I have always believed that the Euro was the cement in the building of a USEU, even though it was sold as a trading and travelling convenience.

    There is then the question of UK unemployment which has reduced considerably to the credit of those involved. Accepting that some are physically or mentally unable to be employed, there remain a large number that education and training has passed by. In some cases it was their choice or they chose education routes for which there was no obvious employment. The vacancies, they could or would not fill, were filled from overseas, either Polish plumbers or Filipino nurses. Partly the fault of government and partly that of employers who chose to pick easily reached fruit from their neighbours orchard rather than cultivating their own.

    People in Europe or the rest of the World will move to where they can better their lives. I do not blame them, but what does it do long term to their places of origin. I cannot see it being beneficial unless they choose to return with greater experience.

    When making judgements about different wage levels the key is how many minutes of work does it take to buy a loaf of bread, not the finite sum of money.

  17. David Price
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    What we need is a disposable income rise.

    Wages may or may not increase with changes in employment regulations and immigration controls, but after Brexit the UK government should effect an immediate decrease in EU associated taxes such as VAT.

  18. oldtimer
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    The BBC reports this morning that Mr Cameron, in a speech to car workers today, intends to say that the Leave campaign is ready to sacrifice jobs in pursuit of its objective to leave the EU.

    There are two comments to make about this latest episode of Project Fear.

    First the Leave campaign has yet to start officially – it awaits the decision of the Electoral Commission as to who will get the funding. This hiatus has, of course, permitted Mr Cameron to have a free ride using all the resources of government; no doubt he had this in mind when setting the timetable.

    Second, when the Leave campaign does get going I imagine that the aim will be a free trade agreement with the EU. That would be the best way to protect jobs in the UK and in the EU. What the Leave campaign will be unable to do is predict the negotiating position of the EU, which must be agreed between the other members. Given the protectionist tendencies of some of them, it cannot be assured that a free trade deal will be offered. That will be a decision for the EU, not the UK. It would be a decision that would cut both ways, affecting certain sectors in both the UK and EU depending on what materialises. But the fear of such an outcome is not a reason in itself to remain. The negotiating position is not one sided, as the more sensible heads on each side will recognise but not, apparently Mr Cameron.

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    I ask myself whether I am concerned about immigration from France, and the answer is that I am not much concerned about the numbers of French citizens choosing to move to the UK, although I would like us to have more power to exclude any undesirables. The traffic is two way and is not very large, even if it is not exactly balanced. Therefore I see no real need for the UK to apply any general, that is numerical, restrictions on immigration of French citizens, at least at present, and I hope and expect that the French would see it the same way and reciprocate.

    However when it comes to a new member state such as Poland, in fact really all the new member states apart from Malta, that is a different matter because clearly there is a strong economic driving force for mass migration from those comparatively poor countries to the UK, and we should be able apply to apply restrictions on the numbers.

    The Labour party has rightly been criticised for not even applying the transitional measures which were permitted by the EU, but the truth is that they were totally inadequate not least because all restrictions had to be removed after seven years at most. Well, it’s now nearly twelve years since Poland joined the EU, its standard of living is still a long way below that in the UK and the driving force for migration is still too strong.

    The problem with the EU’s approach based upon the three freedoms necessary for trade becoming “four freedoms”, so that trade and immigration get linked, is that as a matter of principle and not practicality it results in a “one-size-fits-all” policy where we have to treat Poland in the same way we do France, and moreover if Turkey was allowed to join the EU then after a short period we would have to treat Turkey in the same way as France.

  20. Horatio
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    OT:

    More and more information is coming to light about the TFL minicab licencing scandal. 15 test centres closed after an LBC investigation found massive failures in testing including applicants found to be taking tests in foreign languages and being fed answers, prospective mini cab drivers not in possession of the requisite £5k passenger insurance, applicants turning up for tests in other people’s cars.

    TFL forced over 200 people to retake and only 36% passed. Primary cause for failure was inability to speak and read English and lack of knowledge of highway code.

  21. oldtimer
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    We should not forget that EU policies have caused job losses, notably the way high priced energy policies have resulted in the closure of energy intensive industries.

  22. Bert Young
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    The paying and cost of wages should be left to market forces ; the levels of pay ought not to be established by any over-riding authority . Manufacturers and service organisations know what their objectives are and what it takes to achieve them ; wages and salaries including bonus and incentive schemes form an important part of their strategy . An imposed basic minimum wage is bound to be a carrot to migrants from low paid economies and ought not to be encouraged .

  23. Mick
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    The dreaded eu as forced down wages for the manual worker which is what buissness as wanted and I don’t see labour or the unions speaking out against the eu so they must also be in the eu pocket
    I also hope that the public take note of the pro eu MP’s at the 2020 GE and kick them out because they are not true patriots just too chicken to go against there party and not for the country

  24. Tom William
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    This morning’s BBC radio news led with a report that our Prime Minister is on the campaign trail again and is going to address a factory somewhere saying that those who want to leave the EU are quite prepared to sacrifice workers’ jobs.

    Just like the argument over joining the euro and just like the BBC.

  25. Posted March 10, 2016 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    A point of terminology: we ought not to refer to ‘the risk’ associated with remaining in the E.U. for to do so contradicts current reality. We are not at risk of disaster, if the E.U. side win the plebiscite: we are already embroiled in the disaster; only leaving the E.U. offers rescue.

    ΠΞ

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    This what the EU has to say about transitional provisions for new member states – I hope that nobody will suggest that these weak measures would prevent a massive influx into the UK if Turkey was to join the EU any time soon:

    http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=466&

    “Restrictions on the free movement of workers may apply to workers from EU member countries for a transitional period of up to 7 years after they join the EU. For the moment this concerns workers from:

    Croatia (joined 1 July 2013)

    Individual governments of the countries that were already part of the EU can decide themselves whether they want to apply restrictions to workers from these countries, and what kind of restrictions. However:

    They are not allowed to restrict the general freedom to travel, only the right to work in another country as an employed person.

    For the first two years after a country joined the EU, national law and policy of the countries that were already part of the EU determines access to the labour market of workers from that country so that they may need a work permit. If a country wants to continue to apply these restrictions for three more years, it must inform the Commission before the end of the first two years.

    After that, countries can continue to apply restrictions for another two years if they inform the Commission of serious disturbances in their labour market; all restrictions must end after 7 years.

    Workers who are subject to national restrictions must be given priority over workers from non-EU countries.

    Once they are legally employed in another EU country, workers are entitled to equal treatment with national workers of the country where they are working.

    The countries whose nationals face such restrictions may impose equivalent restrictions on workers from that country.”

    And none of this applies to the self-employed.

  27. Lifelogic
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Not only a pay rise, but if we limit immigration to high earners, the wealthy, highly skilled, healthy, honest and those who can fully pay for all the services they receive, and we no longer have to pay the fees or the huge cost of daft EU regulations and expensive energy then we can have some tax cuts too. This on top of the pay increases, while remaining more competitive in world markets and growing the economy and jobs.

    Even more so if we simplify employment laws, the working time directive etc. and got a chancellor with a working compass.

    Easy hire and fire help employees too in the end as they get more choice of jobs.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Some dope on the BBC the other day said we cannot solve the migration issue by pulling up the drawbridge. Well perhaps not fully solve it, but keeping it down and wide open to all, regardless of merit and to anyone who is in or get rights to EU citizenship is certainly not likely to help is it?

  28. Know-dice
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    And in reply to Stephen Hawking et al:

    Stephen Hawking and 150 Royal Society fellows warn Brexit would be ‘disaster for UK science’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-stephen-hawking-and-150-royal-society-fellows-warn-brexit-would-be-disaster-for-uk-a6922296.html

    From Hansard Viscount Ridley – https://hansard.digiminster.com/Lords/2016-03-02/debates/16030273000445/EuropeanUnionReferendum%28DateOfReferendumEtc%29Regulations2016#contribution-16030296000116

    “In the case of scientific co-operation, not only is our closest scientific co-operator—measured by the number of co-authors on scientific papers—the United States, not the EU, but many of the formal scientific collaborations across the continent of Europe, such as the European Molecular Biology Organization, the fusion project ITER, the European Space Agency, and the particle physics laboratory CERN are not EU projects, they are European projects. Indeed, CERN has an accelerator which runs under an EU external border. Furthermore, even the EU’s science funding projects, FP7 and Horizon 2020, have 13 non-EU members in them including Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, ​Israel and other countries. I ask my noble friend the Minister: can we please not make the mistake of using “Europe” when we mean the EU, and not imply that they are the same thing when they are not? One is a political and bureaucratic supranational body with a democratic deficit and the other is a principle of international collaboration.

  29. A different Simon
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    ” which will keep down wages at the lower end of the jobs markets.”

    That is a best case scenario .

    In hotels and catering , we have already seen mass immigration consign the indigenous population to joblessness .

    The effect on those workers families has been devastating .

    This amounts to plain bullying of the weakest in society by Blair , Cameron and the rest of the establishment and I for one have had a gut full .

  30. ksb
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Careful JR, these sorts of opinions might well cause some left-wing comedian, such as Stewart Lee to do a routine about you! 🙂

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Are there any right wing comedians? Certainly none on the BBC that I have ever noticed.

      Or even many right wing actors or pop musicians come to that?

      It is always easier to sound nice and caring, regardless of what actually works.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Or that dreadful C4 show The Last Leg.

      I wouldn’t mind but it is desperately unfunny. I would say downright nasty in fact. Hopefully it marks the beginning of the end of the tired old lefty satirical rubbish.

  31. Dennis
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    “The government rightly wishes to see wages rise.”

    Can this mean a possibility of more consumption by a massively overpopulated country?

    It is not difficult to figure out the consequences of this. A UK population of around 10-15 million or even fewer would alleviate somewhat the degradation of the ecosphere. Any takers?

  32. LondonBob
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Higher jobs and cheaper houses needs to be rammed home to my generation to get the young supporting Brexit.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      I was going to say. The next thing fromBSE will be “House prices will crash if we leave the EU.” To which one demographic will be swapped with another.

  33. Iain Moore
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    On the day Cameron launches project fear about lost jobs if we Brexit, Draghi’s attempt to boost the EU’s flagging economy drags down the FTSE and the Euro takes a dive.

  34. BOF
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    I disagree with BobE. Rather than ‘no other agenda’ I think that CMD has his sights firmly set on the Presidency rather than doing a mere ‘Kinnock’.

  35. DHE Wokingham
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    “energetic people of eastern Europe can stay in their own countries to get them rich faster.”

    How true, Mr Redwood. Though we in the UK may be short of doctors, engineers and scientists, the need is even greater in less fortunate communities and it would be in everybody’s interest to encourage talented people to stay in their home country in order to build up their economies and prosperity.

  36. ian
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Ex labour leader from 1983 till 1992, son in bid to try and takeover the labour party.

  37. Mercia
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Now we know 630,000 EU migrants last year were granted National Insurance numbers, we can see just how big the downwards pressure on UK wages must be from new arrivals

    >
    Getting this message across is how we win traditional Labour voters to our cause.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page