Who controls our borders?

We are fast approaching the change of border rules. In January the transitional arrangements which limited entry to the UK and other EU states from Bulgaria and Romania comes to an end. This has posed two big questions for the government.

The first concerns welfare payments. Is the UK too generous to recently arrived migrants from the rest of the EU? Should the UK, like some continental countries, state that we have a contributory system, and require new people arriving to pay money in before they can qualify for benefits out – unless they have been born and brought up here?

The second concerns the numbers of people we should invite into our country to take the many new jobs the economy is now creating, at a time when we still have a lot of unemployed people already settled here. Many UK voters think there should still be some limits on inward migration from the rest of the EU, as there is from non EU countries, all the time we have a large number of unemployed people.

The question arises, should the UK government be doing more to retain and assert control over our own welfare system and borders. Presumably these are two critical areas which we would wish to renegotiate come the day. Maybe the Coalition government should try to gain an extension to the current transitional arrangements, as some of us have tabled as an amendment to the Immigration Bill this week. Maybe it should also look further at eligibility for benefits, and move our system more in the direction of the contributory principle.

The EU offered the free movement of workers, not of benefit recipients. The last Labour government, when signing away so many of our powers at Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon, assured us we would retain control of our benefit system. If the EU does allow full mobility and eligibility to receive benefits anywhere in the EU, then many more people will gravtitate to the countries that pay the highest benefit levels.

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  1. Peter
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Last time I checked, the UK government failed to provide any quantitative evidence of alleged misuse of its benefit system.
    Emotions, no proof. It must learn to do better.

    • Edward2
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Not correct Peter.
      If you google fraud in benefits or similar words, you will see several reports on the Government’s website giving details.
      However this activity is not confined to one group of people.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        @Edward2: I’ve done what you suggested, but when on the Govt site I read: “Report benefit fraud” it appears to be a form with which to . . . indeed! Even the benefitfraude website only gives overall figures and estimates, nothing about migrants.

        My comment was made as I remember reading about it, and that too is easily found as quotes on the internet:
        “The European commission has given a cold reception to calls from the home secretary, Theresa May, for a clampdown on alleged “benefit tourism” and challenged her to produce evidence to back up her claims of large-scale abuse.”
        And the following comes from a UKIP in Essex website (not my normal source of information)
        In the eight page text, which has been seen by The Telegraph, the Home Office concedes that it is unable to state the number of EU nationals claiming welfare compared to Britons on social security benefits over a “given period”. Nor can it give figures showing the number of EU migrants making fraudulent benefit claims.
        “We consider that these questions place too much emphasis on quantitative evidence,” says the document, seen by The Daily Telegraph. “The UK does not currently impose a registration requirement upon Union citizens who enter the UK and exercise free movement rights.

        Just to put you mind at ease: the Dutch government also could not quantify certain claims it made about east_EU migrant, but it has now embarked on research.

      • Hope
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        Th government has no credible way of counting people in or out. Therefore it is not known for sure what the immigration position is. I remember back in 2002 a service provider telling me that the government had no idea how asylum seekers it was receiving, all it knew was that the south east could not cope so a better distribution was sought. There are no effective border controls, nor has there been for a considerable time. Then there was the hundreds of thousands backlogged who were written off! Those who come to notice for adverse reasons cannot be deported either, it is a complete mess by politicians. Stop all immigration until the correct position can be ascertained. As Cameron once said, if he cannot take control move over and let someone who can ie UKIP.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Not much as a percentage though and the amount that is not claimed by those entitled to more than covers it. Not that should be an excuse for fraud. How evangelical are you about illegal tax evasion? Not legal avoidance but outright illegal evasion. Not very I suspect and this dwarfs benefit fraud by a long way. Which is another form of benefit fraud by avoiding tolls for services and education. Ram it.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 24, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

          Peter said there was no Government figures on benefit fraud and misuse.
          I was simply pointing him to the Government site which for decades has given figures for such misuse.
          Your ranting post Baz is just an apologist effort by you to say its only a small percentage and not as much as tax evasion estimates so its all OK.
          I am very concerned about illegal tax evasion which carries great criminal penalties and needs more action by the authorities.

    • bigneil
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      and could that be due to they don’t want us to see how much of our money is being stolen this way?

      • Bazman
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink
        • bigneil
          Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

          estimate?? – -hardly confidence inspiring for the truth – -a friend who works in a government department office has said – “take every figure and multiply by 3” – and that will be nearer the truth – -and why should there be error ? -every claim should be done through the computer program – therefore any errors can only come from the information given by the claimant.

          I have worked 45 yrs and paid taxes all that time – after having to retire early through injury I am now entitled to absolutely NOTHING – yet I read of foreigners walking onto our soil – having paid in nothing – and receiving thousands – for not even being able to speak the language – -how long do you think this is sustainable? – telling the world they can have a totally free life – just for getting here

  2. Arschloch
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    John it does not matter what you, me or anybody else thinks but our borders will remain wide open for the foreseeable future. By doing so, for example, the private sector gets access to cut price IT “expertise” from India and the NHS gets access to doctors and nurses whose training it did not have to pay for and who are willing to put up with its management because the wages here are far more attractive than the going rate back home. Strangely enough those camping out in Calais in a hope of breaking into the UK to get loads of free money should actually stay put. The OECD says France actually spends a lot more than the UK on handouts with Denmark coming top of the pile. But you never read that sort of stuff in the tabloids do you?


  3. lifelogic
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Clearly Mr Cameron has his “heart and soul”, “no greater Switzerland” approach to this large new inflow of largely low paid, low skilled workers, who will undercut wage levels. They will need health care, schools, tax credits, housing, dental care, language skills, training and other benefits. It therefore seem very strange that Dave will not estimate the numbers and make suitable provision in all these areas. Nor will he publicly make any case for it. Why would he rather have an unskilled migrant from the EU than a top surgeon or engineer from Australia?

    His attack on net migration is therefore concentrated on other migrants and students thus distorting and damaging the system. We may want some immigration from people who can pay for themselves, will be employed in high wage tax paying jobs that are in demand and can make a net contribution.

    If you really want this EU inflow Cameron why not make the case and make proper provision for it. You current stance in indefensible. We cannot run both a generous welfare state and open EU borders. With some states in the EU merely selling rights to live in the EU and thus also the UK.

    Reply I think Mr Cameron will see what other action he can take about this issue

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      To reply: is he not leaving it rather bit late? Only 5 weeks left.

      • Monty
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        Indeed Lifelogic.
        I for one refuse to give any credence to Cameron on this issue. He has deliberately left it too late to take any effective action. Anything he does now is mere damage limitation. Window dressing for low-information voters.

    • Bazman
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      How do you square all this off with the fact that you are against the minimum wage? These migrants come here and give employers what they want competing with each other to undercut wages and thus costs for the employers who can then expand, these cost savings are passed onto the consumer and more taxation for the state.
      The answer to the healthcare, schooling and housing may lie in the issuing of permits allowing only minimum standards, maybe special accommodation camps like old military bases to facilitate this. They get jobs industry and commerce gets cheap labour.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        Yes but Baz…..they need a home, hospitals, a GP, a dentist, schools for their children and they add extra CO2 which is something you feel is important etc.
        How much tax and NI will be paid in, versus costs incurred.
        I believe it will take a generation for such new arrivals who are unskilled and therefore earning low wages to show the country a profit.
        A friend of mine was recently refused a USA work visa despite being wanted and sponsored by a major American plc.
        Their immigration dept said the company should employ an already unemployed American instead.

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        I am against the minimum wage yes, it destroys jobs. Terms of employment should clearly be decided by the parties concerned – the employer and employee. The tax system say it is often daft to pay more than the minimum as HMRC make it up anyway.

        The problem is some one coming here to work on the minimum wage with say three children in need of education and college, elderly parents perhaps 4, no money, no housing, poor English, teeth in need of attention and some medical problems will earn perhaps £13,000, pay tax and NI of perhaps just £2500 PA and get benefits and tax credits worth perhaps £50,000-150,000 PA.

        So they are very often a very poor deal indeed for the country taking out perhaps 20-60 times what they pay in, This certainly in the short term, whatever the BBC thinkers might say.

        • Bazman
          Posted November 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

          By the same logic a job that pays less than minimum wage is no good for the employee or the country. As you say it is a very poor deal working for pennies.

    • zorro
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Ah lifelogic, did you not hear the immigration minister on QT the other week. His strategic action plan was ‘let’s wait and see’……What could possibly go wrong…..Quite frankly unbelievable.


      • bigneil
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        I have to agree – it seems the people of this country have more foresight of what is going to happen — very little will be good – -than the politicians do – -or is it as I now believe -the deliberate destruction of this country and nation I once so loved – -we are just being manipulated and taxed to pay for the governments actions – -after all- -they said they wanted skilled immigration – (what skills will ne arrivals from the EU have? ed)

        cuts to the police and import criminals from abroad – -how can anyone see this as sensible?? – -glad I am nearer death than birth.

      • Timaction
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        I read in recent weeks that the Immigration Minister said there was “nothing” that could be done about EU migrants from Bulgaria and Romania. They have only had over 3 and a 1/2 years to plan!
        I see no action whatsoever to deal with mass migration with 512,000 gross migrants in the last year and this was only in reality a best guesstimate.
        I’m afraid our mainstream political parties have given up on stopping immigration and are happy to tax us to pay for the worlds health, housing, education and other public service costs. They also want to build on the greenbelt without the requisite infrastructure as we have no money!

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        Indeed either they should plan, estimate numbers and make proper provision for the influx or they should stop it. Their current position is pathetic and absurd.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Dear John–I can scarcely believe you said that. And you didn’t mention the other obvious solution which is to lower our benefits.

    • Nick
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Ignoring pensions, John Redwood is spending 11.5K a year per person.

      How many migrants pay more than that in tax?

      Quite. We’ve been conned and MPs are guilty.

      Simple rule. Check the tax returns of all migrants and applications for citizenship.

      Over 11.5K a year? You can stay. Might even send them a thank you rather than the usual left wing missive that the rich are scum.

      If not, top up or leave.

      Very simple. Just use the tax system. No points system needed

    • Hope
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Well said Life Logic. You forgot to say that the low paid EU workers who receive tax credits, to top up their wages, do so at the taxpayers’ expense to subsidise corporations who pay cheap wages. Through the Maastricht treaty, under Major, they are allowed capital freedom to avoid paying taxes in the UK, estimated to be £120 Billion. This is on top of the free public services and the cheap World Health Service which Hunt intends to give away for about £300 a time, this is dirt cheap compared to Obama care. So the World Health Service is cheap, free at point of entry to all and if caught £300. Yet British citizens visit the dentist and it is not free at point of entry unless on welfare! No wonder the UK is the land of the free to foreigners.

      Carswell is still slow to catch on in his article about university education. He still missed the point that EU students get free tuition at some of the top British universities, and the UK has not the capability or capacity to chase those EU students who obtain student loans and clear off back to their European country of origin. He ought to speak to Menzies Campbell as he awards degrees to EU students not required to pay tuition fees at St Andrews in contrast to British students who do, despite his party’s policy to stop any increase in tuition fees to British students.

    • ian wragg
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Mark Harper says we can do nothing about an influx of immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria. This is tacit admission that we are no longer a sovereign state but a mere vassal of Brussels. Cameron keeps quiet because he agrees with Brussels and knows it will be another nail in the Tory coffin come the EU and general election. The mans a charlatan and I don’t understand why you defend him.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 3:12 am | Permalink

      Post Postscript–John–Just read that Cameron is planning to try and limit benefits to only those who have been here a year, which is no doubt what you were referring to. Big non-event deal is what I say and entirely typical of Cameron–just kicks can down the road and only for a year. Hardly worth bothering with except in Cameron’s PR mind. Of course we want them excluded, full stop.

  4. tommym
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I think we are past the stage of talking and need to be doing something about this grave situation.
    As you are no doubt aware a recent poll showed 80% of people do not want our boarders open to the Romanians and Bulgarians.
    Ignore this overwhelming majority at your peril as it will be Cameron and the Conservative party the electorate will blame in 2015.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Spot on! The Tories rightly blame the useless conniving Labour Party for the last shambles, then end up being just as contemptible and pathetic. Isn’t that pretty much what has been happening for most of the past forty years?

      Loyalty to one particular party is no longer good enough when the direction of that party is clearly at odds with the majority of public opinion. To be credible, politicians need to be true to their principles first and foremost, then vote accordingly, even if that means supporting a different party altogether.


  5. Old Albion
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Wittering about it now is all too late. The damage has been done, the country has (accepted a large number of ed) immigrants for twenty years.
    Eventually this island will be an over-crowded,crime filled bankrupt state (who said it already is ?) Then perhaps those remaining will (go ed) back to Europe.
    Fortunately i’ll not be here to see the final throes. Sadly my sons will be.

  6. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    80% say ‘no’. Yet your party ignores us.

    And don’t say there is nothing you can do. Of course there is. Hold a referendum on this one, single issue. Then, with an 80% ‘no’ vote you can say to the EU ‘Sorry, our people don’t want this. We still make some pretence at being a democracy so we are not allowing this to go ahead. If you want to take us to court, you’ll have to make the case, publicly, why the wishes of the people should be ignored. I.e. You will have to justify a dictatorship.’

    The Tory party could make a stand on this and guarantee themselves victory in 2015. But you won’t. I find it very puzzling.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Indeed Cameron could still win the election, but for the fact he is David Cameron and has socialist genes. He just needs to change his stance on everything.

      Start with some sensible but selective immigration, a free trade only EU, stop expensive 3 times the cost green energy, reduce taxes, halve the state sector, cancel HS2, do a UKIP non compete deal, build some new runways and roads, stop tax, borrow and waste and the benefits to augment the feckless.

      Alas he is Cameron and having given away the last election he just seems to want to repeat it in spades.

      • Bob
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        He just needs to change his stance on everything.

        Is that all?
        My first reaction to this comment was to laugh out loud, but actually I believe that David Cameron could, while keeping a straight face do a 180 on all of his policies, including ditching the “green crap”.

        That’s the kind of guy he is.

        • stred
          Posted November 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

          The problem is that everyone knows he would carry on through another 180 if he was elected and carry on as before. To be positive, though he does comine his verbal skills with his sense of wind direction superbly. A truly wonderful politician.

        • lifelogic
          Posted November 23, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

          Indeed he is just an actor who present the latest policy quite well. Perhaps he should have been a weather girl, car sales person or someone on a TV shopping channel.

        • lifelogic
          Posted November 23, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

          Well they have wiped all the internet history of the Tory web site, it is a start.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        lifelogic–Unfortunately a lot of what Cameron has done, all of which I hate, is irreversible so however he decides on his latest stance (too much for me to understand) it won’t make any difference. Have women flocked to him after some moderniser told him to change the Constitution no less? Hardly. And very clever of him I’m sure to say he supports his friend but as a letter writer in today’s Torygraph so well put it, there isn’t an ounce of conservatism (or Conservatism) in Boles, or in Cameron for that matter. For a small hope of UKIP I will trade a large likelihood of Labour, rather than vote Tory while Cameron is in charge.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      I share your frustration Mike. Some of these politicians need a cattle prod to get them off their chuff and do something other than sit at the end of the tax-payer funded gravy-train with their mouths agape. Out frustration at their inertia is their collective shame. And they seem puzzled as to why the public hold them in so much contempt!


  7. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    The UK is seen as being far too soft to immigrants.The freedom we give many at the expense of our own freedoms tips the balance of what is fair to our British born and raised citizens . Many have given their lives to keep UK British.Many have served the public all their lives for the love of our Country. There is nothing wrong with being a nationalist. Nationalism has connections with despotic regimes and has been sneered at as though any other than cruel sensibilities are ruled out under the label.
    Te UK is now being pressured to bend to the rules, regulations and languages of other countries which many have fled from.Such immigrants want to perpetuate a way of life which they themselves found hurtful, but now be in a position of control over others who have not been forced to live in this way.The mindset can be likened to those who have been bullied , found themselves in a vulnerable position and try to emulate the past but in the opposite position of master.The master / slave mindset is creeping back into our democracy.

  8. stred
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Any Questions last night saw the usual put downs of anyone suggesting that immigration should be restricted. Racism, Zeophobia etc. This time we will not be making the mistake of having no transitional arrangements… The Romanians and Bulgarians will prefer tp go to other countries… They have more in common with Italy and Spain. And the Bulgarian embassy has pointed out that probably anyone interested in coming is already here. One of my friends is Romanian and we often hear conversations on the tube in other languages. The Bulgarians may well be right. However, the idea that building and catering workers will be heading for Spain and Italy is difficult to accept. By the way, Moldova is now included and Ukraine is negotiating. But why worry. A lot of people on the tube are speaking Russian.

  9. alan jutson
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    The simple fact is we are full up.

    We are but a small island, which is very heavily populated.
    We have a shortage of houses.
    We have a shortage of building land.
    We are running out of water and electricity (we are told)
    Our roads are over crowded,
    The infrastructure, around and in many of our cities and towns simply cannot cope.
    We have millions who are out of work, some of those through choice, others no choice, but unfortunate.

    Time to call a halt, and get our house into some sort of balance and order.

    Problem is many of our control systems are not fit for purpose, so perhaps we should fix those first.

    The Conservatives have been moaning about Labours immigration disaster, but seem to be wanting to replicate it with one of their own, through total lack of action.

    Time to close the door now !

    • uanime5
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      I say the main problem is not due to a shortage of housing and land but trying to have the whole population live in the South East or London. We need to encourage companies to create jobs somewhere other than London.

      • Hope
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        That was Clegg’s view at the last election and why he got fewer votes andI fewer MPs. Sadly, This seemed to escape Cameron.

  10. Martin
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    To answer your question – the police. See section 7 of POTA 2000. Nu Labour’s most East German law that turned the UK into a police state!

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Martin, it’s a pity a lot more people who seem to champion liberty and free speech don’t have a read through that and other legislation enacted by the Blair government. I won’t hold out any hope they will change their views though, they believe the Labour party can do no wrong!


  11. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    As usual the focus is on the secondary issue of the availability of welfare benefits and not on the fundamental issue of MPs blithely assuming that they can force their constituents to share their homeland with large numbers of foreigners without any need to take into account their views on the matter.

    I used the Explanatory Notes to the European Union (Accessions) Act 2006 to track down the Hansard references to the Commons debates and votes relating to the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the EU.

    Or to be more precise, to the debates but not to the votes, as the Bill had such strong cross-party support that there was no need for any formal divisions.

    I’ll repeat that: the Bill approving the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the EU, giving every Romanian citizen and every Bulgarian citizen, all 29 million of them, the automatic right to come and live in our country, after a completely inadequate transitional period of just seven years, had such strong cross-party support – Labour, Tories, Liberal Democrats and for all I know the rest as well – that MPs were never once troubled to go through the lobbies and be counted.

    So, please, don’t anyone try to pretend that what is about to happen is entirely the fault of the Labour party and they had to defeat vigorous opposition from the Tory party, because that is simply untrue.

    The Second Reading of the Bill in the Commons was on November 1st 2005 starting here:


    and ending with the Bill being given its Second Reading without the need for a division, just:

    “Question put and agreed to.

    Bill read a Second time.”

    While the Committee, Report and Third Reading stages were all on November 24th 2005 starting here:


    and once again the Bill was passed by MPs without the need for any division at any point.

    And here is a snippet from Clegg on that day:

    “I should also like to join in this festival of cross-party consensus, which I trust will be a rare, if valuable occasion. It underlines the importance of this positive step not only for Romania and Bulgaria but for the European Union as a whole. I join others in reminding the House that the vision of an ever-wider and more diverse EU has for a long time been a particularly British vision of the European Union and before it the European Community, which has united political opinion across parties for a long time. It is good to see that that fundamental view has held true here today.”

    And little has changed since then: I find that almost exactly seven years later the Bill to approve the accession of Croatia to the EU also went through the Commons with very few objections and without a single formal vote, another 4 plus million foreigners thus being given the automatic right to come and live in our country.

    And while the Croats were given a referendum on whether they wanted to join the EU we were not given a referendum on whether we wanted Croatia to join the EU, Hague having carefully written fine print into his “referendum lock” law to exclude any referendums on accession treaties, whether it be Croatia or Turkey joining the EU.

    • Jennifer A
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Dennis.

      It’s quite obvious that we are wasting our time trying to argue against this. Public opinion is well known but is being completely ignored.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Another good point Denis

      And Michael Howard’s campaign machine would say, ‘Are you thinking what we’re thinking?’

      I wish somebody would tell us precisely what the Tories WERE thinking, because the implicit suggestion was too ambiguous. Were they thinking that immigration was already too high and needed to be controlled, or were they thinking, let’s try to get the public to think we really want to cut immigration, without really saying so, so that we gat wriggle out of it when the chips are down?

      Who knows, but I think we were deliberately led to believe one thing – that the Tories would significantly decrease immigration – when in fact, they weren’t all that bothered. In other words, another cheap Tory con in the manner to which we have become accustomed.

      And before somebody starts crowing about the coalition government cutting immigration by a third, that isn’t nearly enough, and never will be, whilst we have indigenous people languishing on the sausage roll.

      We are constantly being told we need the specialist skills from abroad that our own people lack, yet immigrants from all over seem to be doing the most menial jobs, so are we really saying British people aren’t even qualified to work on the land or in retail?

      When we have a genuine skills shortage, then consider people from elsewhere, but we shouldn’t just keep packing people in, and putting society and its infrastructure under ever-increasing strain.


      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink


  12. Mark B
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    John Redwood MP said;
    ” Is the UK too generous to recently arrived migrants from the rest of the EU? Should the UK, like some continental countries, state that we have a contributory system . . . ”

    I have always believed that the political parties has created an ever more generous welfare system to bribe the people with there own money to gain power. Under current EEA rules, which do not permit discrimination of EEA Member Countries Citizens, the UK was always going to be set on a path where other EEA Member Citizens can access our benefits. This in part came about due to the creation of the Single Market and the Maastricht Treaty, both Conservative in origin.

    “The second concerns the numbers of people we should invite into our country . . . ”

    We cannot invite or refuse EEA Member Country Citizens. It is their right to come here, as they are Considered EU/EEA Citizens of a future Federal Europe. Non-EEA member states can be stopped by the UK Government but, they have no inclination to do so, so one must assume that they are content with mass-immigration.

    “Maybe the Coalition government should try to gain an extension to the current transitional arrangements, as some of us have tabled as an amendment to the Immigration Bill this week. ”

    Gesture Politics ! The HoC can pass whatever law it wants, if it does not comply with EU/EEA laws, then it is worthless. Changes to the current arrangements on 1st January 2014, can only come from the EU and other member states. We, or more to the point ‘you’ have no power over this. Get use to it !

    “The EU offered the free movement of workers, not of benefit recipients.”

    You really do not understand what is going on here do you ! I am absoulutly serious when I say this. The EU is a Federal Nation in the making. It will always, initially, seek to gain as much power over member states with the least resistance. Once a power is ceded, it can never be regained. It, the EU, then seeks to gain ever more power through this ratchet system. Slowly but surely it assumes more and more of the power of the Member States. Its ultimate aim, is to be able to raise taxes on the citizens and business of Member States and thereby free itself free of Member States contributions. Once it has this, it will have no further need for those useful idiots like your leader.

    Your, and your leaders job, is to manage the situation in the UK and to help keep the peace and the integration agenda on track.

    • zorro
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Bread and circuses……


      • forthurst
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Actually, zorro, my reaction to Mark B’s post was ‘boiling frogs’:

        “Your, and your leaders job, is to manage the situation in the UK and to help keep the peace and the integration agenda on track.” or to paraphrase, “stop the frogs getting prematurely agitated and jumping out of the cauldron”.

        There is of course an extraordinary concurrence between the objectives of the Frankfurt School and the raft of measures which has been inflicted on the English since and before they foolishly agreed to join Edward Heath’s ‘Common Market’. Then again ‘extraordinary coincidences’ have become the dei ex machina of the Western political classes to explain events that otherwise would be deemed part of a hostile conspiracy against the people.

        In the Scotsman,(words left out ed) James Gerald Warner of Craigenmaddie has written several well-researched pieces, including the recent “Gerald Warner: Impact of politically correct Britain”


    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Invoke article 50, but there’s only one party who promises to do that – UKIP. So however much the Tories try to say they are Eurosceptic, the truth is very much different. And that’s why I direct most of my anger towards them. The other two Westminster parties are plain wrong, but at least they don’t try to hide their federalist agenda to the same extent. The EU is like a cancer. It is dangerous and insidious in its creeping nature. We’ll soon get to the stage where it is inoperable unless we get the right surgeon. The three main Westminster parties just can’t cut it.


  13. Alan Wheatley
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Debate about the number of migrants can only make sense if also addresses population size. The UK has a limited land mass, and people are but one category of all that needs to be accommodated.

    Those who argue, that because they can show benefits to the UK of previous immigration more of the same must be a good thing, fail to take account of a fixed landmass. The more people the greater the density and the less space for everything else.

    And there are knock-on effects of an increasing population. The existing infrastructure may be able to absorb some increase, but there will always come a point where new infrastructure has to be built, not because the existing is worn out but because it does not have the capacity. Those who argue that migrants have a positive impact, because they pay more in taxes than take in benefits, always fail to take account of the costs of infrastructure enhancements.

    I do not think there is anything inherently good about an ever increasing human population, not in the UK nor the World in general. The green lobby, bemoaning the detrimental effects of human activity, are silent on population growth. I would have thought that any credible argument addressing what to do in response to the effects of human activity must include the increasing population.

    For me, the UK has long since passed the point of an optimum population, and allowing it to rise further and faster will have a detrimental effect on the quality of life.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Alan, I read somewhere that the optimum is 40 million.


  14. English Pensioner
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    If at this time, there is a ban on the entry on peoples from Bulgaria and Romania, how is it that there are (many here already ed) in London and elsewhere? How is it that when I had some building work done, the bricklayer’s mate was Romanian? etc ed Not a very effective ban, is it?
    We need a real ban on people from these countries unless they can prove that they have either a job to go to or sufficient funds as a visitor to keep them for a year.
    France managed to deport large numbers of Roma, why can’t we?
    We should continue the ban, such as it is, and if the EU Courts find Britain guilty of some offence, we should just refuse to pay. If we make this clear, well in advance, I doubt if the EU would do anything for fear of strengthening the hand of those here who want to leave the EU, something which they can’t afford to let happen.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      English Pensioner what ban are you referring to? Under the current law people from Romania and Bulgaria can come to the UK using the non-EU immigration methods but when these run out they can use the EU method. If there was a ban if would be impossible for people from Bulgaria and Romania to come to the UK under any circumstances.

      If the UK acts illegally we will be fined and we will be forced to pay it. I doubt the EU will care about increasing Euroscepticism in the UK while the UK is deliberately breaching EU law.

  15. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    JR: “We are fast approaching the change of border rules. In January the transitional arrangements which limited entry to the UK and other EU states from Bulgaria and Romania comes to an end.”
    You have known about this since 2007! Nothing has been done nor will it be done, as your Immigration Minister, Mark Harper, was quoted in the Daily Mail this week saying: “‘It simply isn’t legally possible. The accession treaties only give us the ability – and the other eight counties with transitional controls – to extend them to the end of the year. We’ve extended the controls to their legal maximum.’” You say “Maybe” the government should do this or that. It’s a bit late to talk in such vague terms. Action is what is required. Let’s face it you are political imopotents in thrall to your party and their masters in Brussels. The direct answer to your question is of course your masters in the EU. The organisation to which your leader Cameron, who you support and keep in office, is so determined to keep us subservient.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      The Tory leaders have known about this since before November 2005 when the Bill was passed to approve the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the EU; they enthusiastically supported the Bill then and they will support whatever volume of immigration may ensue now; they could have put into their manifesto for the 2010 general election that they would stop it, but they chose not to do so.

  16. Neil Craig
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Even if immigrants don’t get benefit money the existence of welfare encourages immigration. Welfare establishes a minimum level at which it is worth taking a job and jobs paying less than that are inherently going to be taken by such immigrants.

    Those who, like me, want to reduce immigration must recognise that the other side of this coin is getting the millions living on benefit willing to take the jobs immigrants would have.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps the solution is to raise the minimum wage so that working is more worthwhile.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Do you ever consider what effect raising the minimum wage substantially as you propose, would have on differentials for those higher up the wage scale?
        What effect would it have on inflation as organisations (particularly public sector and other near monopolies) moved to raise prices to pay for their suddenly increased costs?
        Might we end up back where we were, with prices up say 30% and wages up 30%

        • uanime5
          Posted November 24, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

          As long as those higher up the wage scale don’t all get the same percentage increase income inequality will be reduced. It also means that increasing the wages of the lowest paid by 30% won’t result in prices rising by 30%.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

            You seem to have forgotten unions fighting for the restoration of differentials for their members.
            Presumably if you were semi skilled or in a position of responsibility or someone with many years experience, you would be content to be paid almost the same pay as a new starter.
            Someone you may have to induct and do basic training.

            I have decades of employment experience in industry and I can tell you this situation would not be tolerated by those staff on the next higher grades, affected by a big rise of min wage.
            In industry, levels of grading, skills, job descriptions and the resulting differentials on pay are very sensitive issues which are fought over tooth and nail.

      • alan jutson
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink


        We do not need to raise costs and the price of everything for the majority (your solution) by raising wages

        We just simply need to lower the benefits for those who can work.

        • uanime5
          Posted November 24, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

          Alan how exactly is lowering the benefits for those who can work going to fix anything when there aren’t enough jobs available? All your solution will do is either impoverish the poor of make them more likely to commit crimes in order to survive.

          • alan jutson
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 8:25 am | Permalink


            You keep on saying their are no jobs about, so how come new entries to this Country seem to get paid employment or are able to make an honest living, without resorting to crime.

            Many come here to FIND WORK or CREATE WORK and do so.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

            There are jobs out there Uni as has been explained to you many times.
            This is why the vast majority of new arrivals have found work.
            Would you take a job if it left you worse off or only marginally better off than the overall benefits package for not working?

  17. Bryan
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Time to ignore the EU Directive in this regard and let the EU sue us – which we can then ignore.

    Puts Parliament back in the ascendancy for whatever renegotiations may or may not take place – and gives Mr Cameron some street cred which he really, really needs.

  18. Bazman
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    With so many vacancies and jobs and and the indigenous population apathetic and in some cases bone idle, how are these vacancies going to be filled? The post assumes that a large portion of these immigrants are benefit claimants when all evidence says this is not the case. Maybe a crackdown on all benefits for those not working in particular housing benefit is required to tighten them all up and make them work and live like the immigrants that come here to do the work for minimum wages and shared travel/accommodation?

    • zorro
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Yes, but they will use services and have families eventually which will use services. They do not stay single forever. As for benefits, they should be linked to contributions. If you pay people lots of money/benefits to do nothing, do not be surprised if they lies the work ethic….


      • Bazman
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        Like tax cuts to the idle rich?

        • Edward2
          Posted November 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          As a idle rich person, please provide me with details Baz, as I must have missed this tax cut you mention.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        In reality they become British and do not accept five to a room and poverty wages as cheap labour is what you are saying.

    • Edward2
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      A tough but very fair comment Baz.

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        “The post assumes that a large portion of these immigrants are benefit claimants when all evidence says this is not the case.”

        1. There are actual Advisors here in Wisbech who advise the (excellent) Lithuanians and Latvians how to claim maximum benefits. People come here with the highest ideals, but are very quickly corrupted. We have a Church Centre here which welcomes everyone.

        2. All immigrants are not the same. Poles are (like? ed) Germans – hard working, serious, logical, exact. Lithuanians and Latvians, Bulgarians (the ones I have met) are just, frankly, English. Same attitudes, same sense of humour, same sort of outlook. Russians are passionate, disorganised, emotional and very musical. and they all (without exception) think that vodka is the gateway to good health and happiness.

        3. I have had to ask only two people to leave my English Class in some eight years. etc ed

        • alan jutson
          Posted November 24, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink


          Spoke to a Polish painter and Decorator yesterday, he says we should stop immigration, as it is getting harder and harder to earn a living.

          Indeed this is the same comment many of us in the Building industry were saying 10 years ago when the Polish people started to arrive in their thousands and were prepared to work more hours for less money.

          Its a race to the bottom with regards to wages.

          The more people you let in, the worse it will become.

          Governmments and many MP’s have still to work all this out yet.

          • zorro
            Posted November 24, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            They have worked it out, but don’t give a damn as long as they an vote for their own gravy train….


      • Bazman
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        Tough but fair? Tough but fair to who?

        • Edward2
          Posted November 24, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          Fair to those stuck in a miserable existence on benefits to encourage them to get themselves off welfare and into the world of work.
          Where they might gain a more fulfilling life earning their own money.
          I would prefer this to be achieved through positive incentives rather than disincentives which sadly seems to be the way successive Governments attack this problem.

          • uanime5
            Posted November 24, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

            How exactly is working for a pittance a fulfilling life? Until working results in a better quality of life than being on benefits you shouldn’t be surprised if people chose to live in poverty while on welfare, rather than work like a slave in exchange for a slightly better quality of life.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

            You need to tell us what a pittance is Uni
            Working for a similar income to the total value of benefits I presume?

          • Bazman
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

            Why would anyone work for the same as benefits. To further their ‘career’ in drudgery?Just be a modern peasant or do some courses in between being there for you family. Should they be working for an employer as a neo serf? What planet are you on?

          • Edward2
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

            Same planet as you Baz bit with different experiences.
            You seem to be in a job you hate and have worked for employers who treat you badly.
            You ask: “Why would anyone work for the same as benefits”
            Because most careers start in these jobs and lead to better things.
            Most companies I know promote from within using staff they know and have seen for some time do the basic things well so they invest in these reliable people and train them up.
            Very few advertise jobs half way up the ladder so by getting in on the ground floor and proving yourself you soon get promoted if you are any good.
            For your spiritual well being, a life on benefits is lonely, unfulfilling and unhealthy.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

            It’s not personal, but tradesman more often than not just do their trade to pay bills and cleaners do not have careers. That is why they are cleaners and this needs no further explanation to fools trying to sell something. Especially as a rich one as you claim to be. They have personal careers such as children and families. Hobbies and friends. Not some imaginary greasy pole to climb in some made up hierarchy by a self promoting manager.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 26, 2013 at 1:35 am | Permalink

            I’m not sure what point you are trying to make Baz
            You complain about unemployment, then when there is talk of available jobs they are never good enough for you.
            They are all, you claim, poorly paid or part time or temporary or low skilled boring jobs or without prospects of any sort.
            Anyone would think you had a negative attitude to the world of work.
            Try employing someone then you could put all your theories into practice and become the UK’s most perfect employer.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 26, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

            The point is that you are trying to save benefits and lower living standards for millions by telling us that they will somehow be ‘freed’ by work in low paid jobs and benefit cuts. That benefits are in fact lowering their living standards when of course this is blatantly not true.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 26, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

            Well just make your mind up then Baz, because either there are jobs available but some of those on benefits do not wish to take them or there are no jobs available.
            You are arguing both sides as and when it suits you.

            I do not see how taking a job which pays a similar income to welfare can be described as reducing their living standards.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 26, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

            Obviously, if you use your brain, it depends on personal circumstances, hence the ability of young East Europeans in London to take minimum wage jobs that ex shipyard workers with three children in the north cannot and cannot be forced to by benefit cuts and told they are lazy and would be more fulfilled by work. You think they do not know this? Circumstances beyond their control overtook them, they were and are not feckless or wreckless by any means and punishing them as they are is just wrong. This is the crux of the problem.

  19. JoolsB
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    If the Tories want any chance of being re-elected in 2015, Cameron has got to stick two fingers up to the EU and say NO. England’s infrastructure is already fit to bursting thanks to Labour’s irresponsible and deliberate policy of mass immigration into England to dilute it’s identity and it has worked. Poll after poll is showing that we, the people do not want any more immigration and if the Tories ignore us, that makes them no better than Labour.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      But what you condemn as “Labour’s irresponsible and deliberate policy of mass immigration” is a policy with strong support across all the old parties.

      It just so happened that the mass immigration from Poland and the other eastern European countries which joined the EU in 2004 coincided with Labour being in government; the Tory party fully supported giving all those people the legal right to come to this country; as I mention above, even when it had already become clear what was happening with immigration from those countries, in November 2005, MPs enthusiastically passed the Bill to extend the same right to 29 million Romanians and Bulgarians, and without the need for a single formal vote at any point, such was the strength of the cross-party support; and seven years later in November 2012 the Bill to approve the accession of Croatia to the EU also went through the Commons with hardly any objection and without a single division.

    • Bazman
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Diluting Englands identity? An interesting but false idea. Since when has England had this identity you claim? Everyone is free to eat funny food, speak in a funny language wear funny clothes and if they so wish even to wear a bag on their head as long as it is for no criminal or false purpose. This is England as they say.

  20. Bob
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    UKIP have been raising these issues consistently while the three old parties accused them of being fruitcakes and closet racists.

    Now senior Labour politicians are admitting that Labour got it badly wrong on mass immigration, and the Tory Attorney General is warning us about imported third world corruption.

    Douglas Carswell declares his “seething” anger because a full blooded English girl in his constituency was kicked out of university due to refusal of her tuition loan, on the grounds that she had spent a couple of years living in Germany.

    Now, at the risk of your accusation of me attributing false motives, I have to say that this post looks a little like your contrition to the LibLabCon chorus – an attempt to out manoeuvre ukip, because clearly it’s too late to stop the opening of the border to Romania and Bulgaria.

    Reply I am repeating an issue I have frequently raised in the past, because it is now topical in the mainstream media. I have not suddenly changed my view, or only just realised.

    • Bob
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      contribution not contrition.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        Don’t be so contrite about it Bob.

    • forthurst
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      “Now senior Labour politicians are admitting that Labour got it badly wrong on mass immigration, and the Tory Attorney General is warning us about imported third world corruption.”

      Hypocritical drivel in order to retain support for the LibLabCon party; actions speak, words don’t.

    • ian wragg
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Have you just woken up John, its been topical for the public at large for years but you’ve totally ignored us. Hope your happy in opposition.

      Reply I have regularly written and lobbied on this topic.

  21. Bazman
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink
    • Edward2
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Figures are distorted by including mortgages and the huge increase in general daily use of credit cards when over half pay this so called debt off at the end of each month.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        Mortgages are still debt and half do not pay the full amount back on their cards? Adds up.

    • Bob
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Permalink


      Not only are the British lazy…

      Well David Cameron couldn’t call you a “closet racist” eh Baz?

    • Datsun Cherry
      Posted November 23, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

      It’s strange how it’s acceptable to smear an entire nation as ‘lazy’..but only if it’s the English.

  22. Bert Young
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    I have posted observations before of how the French dealt with Roma communities near Lyon and Paris – examples of how a member country of the EU took matters into its own hands ( and rightly so ) and got away with it . We have been far too generous in or treatment of unwanted immigrants and have shirked from tactics similar to the French . We must adopt a more rigorous approach to the immigration problem and have it in place before Jan. 1st ‘ 14 ; David Blunkett has already indicated the likely outcome in social unrest if we fail to do so .

  23. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    You’re asking the wrong question. Why should we allow free movement of labour within the EU, other than the fact that we have signed a treaty? There is free movement of labour within America because America is a Federal State. One of the components of asserting that we are not part of a Federal State is to deny free movement of labour. As usual, we are willing to wound but afraid to strike.

  24. Nick
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    You’re in charge. You are responsible.

    I along with all other voters have never been given the vote on migration.

    You therefore carry the can.

  25. Antisthenes
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I am a euro-skeptic and against the current open border system yet I am not against the concepts of the EU and open borders and free movement of people. Both are an ideal that we should in my opinion aspire to but not in the way they work currently. I am against the EU because it has been badly designed and constructed and believe it should be dismantled and we should start again building on democratic principles and not be aiming for a federal superstate but a much more looser collection of co-operating nations. It may in time lead to a USE but it will be at a time and under circumstances that all will be comfortable with. As for open borders there is no economic reasons that we should not have them but there are very good social reasons that we should not. Immigration and open borders will only work if it is managed so that new cultures can be seen to be fitting in with existing ones and not threatening to overwhelm them. Open border policies lead to many miss conceptions especially on jobs and pressures on local services. There is some truths in the perceptions but they are by and large exaggerated and are being blamed for problems that exist for other reasons.

  26. Border Boy
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    We could start to control our borders by putting in place arrangements to control migration from outside the EU, which exceeds migration from within the EU. Some suggestions:

    1. Reintroduce interviews for those seeking visas for visits.
    2. Abolish the special category of Family Visitor and with it the right of appeal if refused.
    3. Abolish the Points Based system which, in particular, gives the effective right to issue a student visa to colleges.
    4. Reintroduce a credibility test for long term students.
    5. Raise the threshold for issuing work permits.

    All this is within the gift of the government regardless of EU rules. It’s just a question of whether they mean what they say. At the moment it looks like they change their story to suit the audience. As we used to say in the Immigration Service of bogus visitors:
    “No credibility.”

  27. Datsun Cherry
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    I hope Mr Redwood was one of the 15 Mp’s that voted to bring forward the EU referendum to 2015 ?.

    • Antisthenes
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      I do not believe he was. Probably for a number of good reasons. I suspect he thought it was put before parliament for the wrong reasons and that the timing would have been disastrous for the euro-skeptic movement.

      • Datsun Cherry
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        Ah yes..the old ‘doctrine of the unripe time’ excuse. I thought that was a muse used exclusively by the pro EU wet side of the party. Poor form Mr Redwood!.

        Reply I am ready for a big change in our relation ship with the EU, but the electorate voted in another federalist Parliament in 2010 so we do not have the votes for the task.

  28. Monty
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have to pay for Romanians and Bulgarians who live in Bulgaria.
    I do have to pay for the benefits for Bulgarians and Romanians who come here, their dependents, and I also have to pay for the benefits for the British who are priced out of a steady job by migrants who are prepared to live ten to a flat, or participate in scams where they undercut the minimum wage.

  29. uanime5
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Should the UK, like some continental countries, state that we have a contributory system, and require new people arriving to pay money in before they can qualify for benefits out – unless they have been born and brought up here?

    Under EU law you have to treat people from other EU countries like the natives of your country, so such a law would need careful wording. A limit that requires that you have to have lived in the UK for 5 years before you can claim benefits would be acceptable under EU law as long as it applies equally to everyone in the UK.

    Maybe it should also look further at eligibility for benefits, and move our system more in the direction of the contributory principle.

    Given that a contributory principle is little more than a method of punishing people for living in areas where there are few jobs, or being young and lacking work experience if the Conservatives try to promote this policy they won’t have any MPs outside of London and possible the South East. We no longer have an economy where people can simply walk into a job, so it’s foolish to base the welfare system on contributions.

    If the EU does allow full mobility and eligibility to receive benefits anywhere in the EU, then many more people will gravtitate to the countries that pay the highest benefit levels.

    So few people will come to the UK as we have a lower level of benefits compared to other EU countries closer to Romania and Bulgaria. In most other countries the amount you receive is a percentage of your previous salary, rather than £70 per week.

    In any case is there any evidence that Romanians and Bulgarians want to come to the UK?

    • Edward2
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      When were people “simply able to walk into a job” ?
      I’m middle aged and its never been easy to walk into a job during my lifetime.

      “it’s foolish to base the welfare system on contributions”
      You have a big money tree hidden somewhere I presume Uni, to pay for it all?

      • Bazman
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        In one of the richest countries in the world and a densely populated one. You will not find creating a poverty stricken underclass a policy without repercussions and expense. I mean, should they take it lying down!? It is possible to walk from one crap job to another though, but few want to except in libtards dream world looking down from his helicopter at the neo serfs.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 24, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

          Try as I have I still cannot understand what you are on about.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

            You can create a poverty stricken underclass by right wing fantasy economics such as cuts in welfare to incentive them and help the them in the UK and expect no fallout?
            If you cannot understand that then I can’t help you and they do not need that sort of ‘help’ from rich dreamers who will never have to live with the consequences they create. Ram it.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 26, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

            As usual you falsely accuse me of having certain views and then castigate me for these views.
            Read what I say, not what you think I believe.
            For example
            You say I agree with “creating a poverty stricken underclass” Which I do not.
            You say I am not in favour of a minimum wage. This is untrue.
            You have implied I am in favour of zero hours contracts, which I am not.
            You claim I am in favour of abolishing all industrial employment and health and safety laws which I am not.

            I realise that when sensible argument has failed the left wing of politics routinely resort to smears and false accusations, but I would greatly appreciate it Baz, if you didn’t let your imagination run away with you.
            Even though we write under anonymity it doesn’t make it acceptable to do what you keep doing.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 30, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

            You need to phone your mum edward. Continually supporting right wing fantasy positions will find you smeared and suspected of these things and as long as you keep taking this view it is acceptable to do this and I will. Ram it.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        People could walk into a job in the 1950’s and 1960’s, mainly due to the effects of WW2 on the number of working men and several large scale construction projects.

        Also there are ways to have a welfare system that isn’t based on contributions or magic money trees (quantitative easing). My point was that a contribution system is unjust because it penalised those who will have the most problems finding a job.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 24, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          Your wonky history book again Uni
          There was unemployment in the fifties and particularly in the sixties.

          Apart from the comment about fairness, I note there is no answer to how you pay for welfare benefits and state pensions without contributions being paid in.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 26, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

            Unemployemt was low about 1-2%. but the majority of woman were ‘economically inactive’.
            Income support pays without any contributions being made to the recipient. How is that paid for and should it be stopped?

          • Edward2
            Posted November 26, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

            To answer your questions
            1. I presume it is paid for out of general taxation and borrowings
            2. No
            But still not answering the main point: how do you pay for a welfare benefits and pensions system without contributions as Uni demands?

      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        We’re of a similar age Edward, and not only could one not just walk into a job, in Coventry where I started work, a person couldn’t get a job unless they were a fully paid-up trade union member, and the union had approved their appointment!

        One didn’t go to the official employment exchange to look for a job, they went to the offices of the T and GWU or similar.

        Some people would take us back to that if they had their way!

        Had it not been for the fact that I was going out with the daughter of an AEU shop steward, I wouldn’t have been employed in the telecommunications industry at that time. That is nepotism whichever way we look at it, and it is wrong, but I had to go along with it, because that is how corrupt the system had become.

        And if one was silly enough to insist that none of their union contributions went to the Labour party, they were virtually black-balled and ostracised.

        That has stayed with me ever since. Let’s hear the lefties defend that one!


        • Edward2
          Posted November 25, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

          Tad you are spot on.
          I too remember the power of hire n fire unions had in Midlands industry.
          Try putting your hand up to vote against the union on a strike vote and see what happened.
          Demoted or moved to a dirty job or not on the lucrative overtime list.
          Further lack of obedience would see you on the redundancy list
          No secret ballots in those days.
          I remember one TWGU union official boasting no one gets an HGV driving job except through me.

  30. behindthefrogs
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    While we fail to fine or prosecute most of the people caught smuggling at our borders we are also obviously incapable of stopping unwanted immigrants. Before blaming the EU we need to get our house in order when implementing the controls that we do have. We need to stop blaming the EU for our own shortcomings.

  • 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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