The British PM vs. the European Union? No, not really

Tory Eurosceptic John Redwood summed up what is -- or what should be -- at the heart of the debate about the European Union. He said: "It's about more than borders and migration: it's about who governs."

Of course immigration and borders are important subjects; though they become almost irrelevant if those who call the shots aren't listening to the British government, let alone the people of Britain. In other words, in order to sort out the mess that is mass immigration, we have to ask (as Redwood put it) “who governs us?” The fact is that on this and on other issues unelected bureaucrats and European politicians govern the UK. And they're all in favour of mass immigration and open borders. Or, to use the EU jargon, these Europhiles firmly believe in the “free movement of peoples”.

UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, has also focussed on the fact that the “democratic deficit” is the core problem. He said that David Cameron "is not aiming for any substantial renegotiation" and that there's

"no promise to regain the supremacy of Parliament, nothing on ending the free movement of people and no attempt to reduce Britain's massive contribution to the EU budget".

Labour's shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, also said that Cameron's words were "a lot of bluff and bluster". The majority of British people agree. McDonnell finished off by saying that Cameron is “appeasing” Tory backbenchers. That's true too... up to a point. However, McDonald obvious meant that Cameron is appeasing Tory Eurosceptics. Yet the fact is that it can just as easily be said that he's appeasing Tory Europhiles. After all, the Europhiles have a stronger position in the Conservative Party (at present) than the sceptics. In fact Cameron is probably trying to appease both Eurosceptics and Europhiles at the same time. That's the sort of politician he is. In other words, if he can appease both sceptics and Europhiles, then that will guarantee him continued power within the Tory Party. Of course in principle it's almost impossible to appease two mutually-contradictory segments of a party. Nonetheless, that's clearly what Cameron is trying to do.

The other strange thing is that Labour's position (or the Opposition's position) is more or less the same as Cameron's. After all, McDonald said that we need to "negotiate our reform agenda as members of the club", which is exactly what Cameron is saying.

What are David Cameron's new demands in the run-up to the opt-in-or-out vote in 2017? They include, in the BBC's words, the following:

i) Protection of the single market for Britain and other non-euro countries.
ii) Boosting competitiveness by setting a target for the reduction of the "burden" of red tape.
iii) Exempting Britain from "ever-closer union" and bolstering national parliaments.
iv) Restricting EU migrants' access to in-work benefits such as tax credits.

i) and ii) above are vague beyond comprehension. Deliberately so, of course. (Has any European politician ever argued against cutting red tape?) As for iii). It can justifiably be said that the very nature of the EU (along with its principles and laws) is designed to bring about an “ever-closer union” between the EU's central institutions and national parliaments. Finally, iv) is a no-no because it infringes fundamental European law on the “free movement of peoples”.

So not only are those four claims vague and unachievable, Lord Lawson also said that they're “disappointingly unambitious”.

Just how difficult Cameron's task is can be shown by the simple fact that in order to bring about radical change he'd need the cooperation of the other 27 European Union countries. Now, of course, some of those countries do indeed benefit from the EU – specifically when it comes inter-European immigration (including emigrating to the UK). So that's a few countries which would say 'no' to start off with.

What's more, a spokesman for the Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said that talk about cutting benefits is "highly problematic" because it impacted on "fundamental freedoms of our internal market". In addition, it added up to "direct discrimination between EU citizens".

As David Cameron, the British people and the EU's unelected bureaucracy all know, any talk about doing something radical and concrete about immigration is basically just that -- talk.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond exemplified this all-talk-no-action facade when he said that the government is indeed open to ideas about how to reduce immigration. Yes, open to ideas and ideas alone. That is, open to more talk and little (or no) action.

You know these forthcoming discussions are a “gimmick” when you take on board what the European Commission has said about them. It says that any changes in benefits for immigrants would break free-movement laws. In non-EU speak, that means that they will break these laws because it's the European Commission itself that helped create them in the first place.

Cameron himself tacitly admits that there can (or will) be no change on immigration when he said the following:

"I understand how difficult some of these welfare issues are for some member states, and I'm open to different ways of dealing with this issue."

So there's very little room for manoeuvre, even when it comes to the fact that 40% of recent EU-area immigrants -- even some that have jobs -- receive (on average) £6,000 a year in state benefits. Put simply, the fact that some actually have jobs is almost immediately cancelled out by that £6,000 a year of benefits they receive.

In a sense it's almost impossible to restrict benefits to recent and long-term immigrants. It just won't work. It won't work because if benefits were completely cut -- or even severely restricted -- you'd then have many immigrants living below the breadline. That would result in more crimes and an outcry from the “rights industry”: i.e., from Leftist lawyers, professors and journalists. In other words, what would happen if immigrants suddenly found themselves without any money whatsoever? Two things may happen. One, they'd try to price out indigenous labour. Two, they'd resort to crime.

The solution to this is simple: don't let any immigrants in unless they have definite skills which the UK genuinely requires. There can be no other reason for immigration at this moment in time. Since we've already imported at least seven million immigrants in the last 15 years, we're now left with a situation which requires radical policies and action.