EU Immigration and the UK
When I follow the news on David Cameron’s plans regarding the EU and immigration all I see at the moment is a poker player who manoeuvred himself into a game with way too high stakes and can’t get out anymore because he has already put too many chips in. But let’s not quarrel about why Cameron is so invested in preventing immigration from EU countries — next year’s election, UKIP; you’ve likely come across many more explanations.
While I’ve picked up the theme of the reality of EU immigration before, what happens right now still baffles me. The reality is that there are far fewer migrants from Romania and Bulgaria than UKIP and the government want us to believe (a mere 28.000 people between March 2013 and March 2014, which is little more than 2.000 a month).
EU migrants come here to work or study, they consume (thus helping local economy) and pay taxes. We know that the number of EU migrants claiming any state benefits is relatively stable and, for instance, only 114.000 EU immigrants (that includes people from all 28 countries) received out-of-work benefits in 2014 — only a fraction of the 1.1 million unemployed in the UK.
Currently, our government is proposing huge changes in the EU legislative system, including Treaty changes. I sometimes wonder whether Cameron and whoever cooks out these ideas is aware that Treaty changes need the approval of all 28 member states. And, as I discussed earlier, the “EU Friends of the UK” club is swiftly losing members. So, not only is it close to impossible to make the proposed changes, they would also make next to no difference to the UK budget.