The Prime Minister seems to be completely losing the plot on the issue of the European Union and curbs on migration. In doing so he is badly damaging the reputation of this country. He is threatening to veto admission of new members to the EU unless they concede tough new controls on their citizens moving to the UK. There are four countries applying for membership: Turkey, Ukraine, Albania and Serbia.
Freedom of movement for all citizens in the EU is a fundamental principle and Mr. Cameron’s proposals are illegal. They won’t happen anyway: the Deputy Prime Minister has said that he will block any further attempts to introduce curbs on immigrants.
The European Commission has said that “there is no evidence that EU nationals go to other EU countries in order to claim benefits or that there is any widespread abuse by EU nationals of other counties welfare systems.”
At the heart of this issue is the pressure backbench Conservative MPs are putting on the PM over Europe because of the threat posed by UKIP. Many in marginal seats are seriously jittery and the coming whitewash in the 2014 European Elections will exacerbate the tensions. The polls are suggesting that Labour will win the 2015 General Election: at worst they will enter a coalition with the Lib-Dems.
The Office for National Statistics has published data on immigration. The following are the figures taken from the 2011 census showing the top ten countries of birth for people now living in this country:
South Africa 190,000
The one area where Mr. Cameron might have a point is on the streets of London. The magazine ‘The Big Issue’ has revealed that one third of its vendors are from Eastern Europe. This is because fewer British people are living rough on the streets.