EU Demands That Britain Admit Immigrants Intending to Go Straight on to Benefits

Daniel Hannan, Telegraph (London), August 2, 2011

The European Commission may finally have hit on an issue that jerks Britain from its euro-torpor–an issue that simultaneously presses the buttons of border control, welfare abuse and Brussels intrusiveness. Whether from hubris, power-hunger or from sheer stupidity, Eurocrats are demanding that Britain stop asking immigrants to show that they won’t immediately start accesing the social security system.

As the law stands, people wishing to settle in Britain must demonstrate that they have the means to support themselves, either through work or through an alternative source of income such as a pension. The European Commission claims that this amounts to discrimination against EU citizens, who are supposed to enjoy the same rights as British nationals.

In fact, as so often happens, Eurocrats are disregarding the plain text of their own rules. Article 7(1) of the Free Movement Directive gives EU citizens the right to reside in another member state only if they have “sufficient resources for themselves and their family members not to become a burden on the social assistance system of the host Member State”.

In order to get around this clause, the European Commission is deploying a piece of sheer sophistry. It argues that, if immigrants were able to top up their income with British benefits, they would have “sufficient resources”.

In May, the Supreme Court ruled on the claim of a Latvian pensioner, who had just moved to Britain and had demanded Pension Credit on grounds that her Latvian pension was too small. Although our courts like to rule in favour of immigrants, the law here was so clear-cut that, by 4-1, judges turned her down. If the European Commission were to get its way, she would not only be able to claim Pension Credit, but also council tax and housing subsidies–despite not having paid a penny into the system.

This blog has droned on and on about the way in which the EU ispreventing the Coalition from fulfilling its manifesto promises. This ruling–if upheld by the European Court of Justice–would strike down Iain Duncan Smith’s pension reforms. His scheme, which has been warmly applauded across the political spectrum, aims to replace the current complicated system of state pensions with a flat entitlement, available to all pensioners regardless of assets, employment history or past contributions. Such a scheme, however, depends on a minimum residency requirement. (New Zealand, which operates a system very like the one IDS is proposing, makes payments only to those who have spent at least ten years in the country.) If every EU resident over the age of 66 whose income came to less than £140 a week were able to draw a British pension, the system would be bankrupted. Are we past caring?

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  • Anonymous

    The EU is Europe’s version of the one world order. They dictate what every European country HAS to do and accept. Especially those nonwhite IMMIGRANTS that most Euros NEVER wanted.

    Why doesn’t the independent states of Europe DEMAND an end to that traitorous body (the EU) since their enemies within are the same as our enemy within. Next to get out of is the U.N.! That goes for America also. It is full of nothing but our (anti-White) enemies!

  • Question Diversity

    Why not go all the way, while we’re feeling civil rightsey and social justicey? Just put everyone in the world on the British welfare state, and make them citizens/subjects to boot. We shouldn’t discriminate against people based on their lack of ability or desire to immigrate into the United Kingdom.

    I should shut up before I give these kook liberals any ideas.

    A bit of good related news: http://goo.gl/fxgDU This story also states that extracting the UK from the EU is also a popular e-petition.

  • Anonymous

    “Whether from hubris, power-hunger or from sheer stupidity, Eurocrats are demanding that Britain stop asking immigrants to show that they won’t immediately start accesing the social security system.”

    _____________________________________________________________

    I’ll go with hubris. I think they’re so full of themselves they think they can do anything now. Anyway, I never thought the EU would last. I liken it to the U.S. which started out as a union of sovereign states and look at the mess we’re in now. I just hope the EU falls flat on its face before it’s too late for the Europeans to get their countries back.

  • ice

    “EU Demands That Britain Admit Immigrants Intending to Go Straight on to Benefits”

    Europe and the European Union is in the midst of economic collapse of gigantic proportions, as today’s news just verified.

    Like everything about social engineering and political correctness, things will straighten out all on their own.

    There’s no way the EU coumtries will escape large scale civil unrest. There’s just too many militant Africans and Muslims there who think they could win a civil war in spite of an overwhelming force against them.

  • Fr. John

    Clearly, the masks are off. I hope that the Kipling poem about ‘when the Saxon begins to hate’ raises a fever pitch, to throw off this modern day variant of “Continental control,” just as Henry VIII threw off Papal Rome’s yoke, in the 1500’s.

    Same people, same bureaucratic desire for ‘universal jurisdiction.’ Only this time, the ‘gospel’ is Marxism, pure and unadulterated.

  • Anonymous

    The world has gone insane! The developed nations are expected to house, feed, educate, medicate, incarcerate and in general babysit the entire third world at the invaded coutries expense. Why, then, do we pour money into these place. It can’t be both ways, fund them AND take them in. The world’s economy does not allow this. I don’t know how the rest of the world will react, but the US needs to stop all immigration for at least ten years until we get on a better economic basis. Then, we must limit the number of those coming into this country and spread it around to ALL countries and only to those who can support themselves and not be a burden on our nation. They must also speak English before they can come and cannot bring 50 of their “closests” relatives with them. They also must wait their turn and not feel they are entitled to come before anyone else. We also need our military on our borders just like other nations. We must never tolerate the invasion that we have undergone the last few decades.

  • Anonymous

    This is the height of stupidity. Britain, Germany. Italy and the rest of Europe held hostage by these Socialist creatures, should tell the EU to go shove off.

    It’s past the time for Britain to secede from this unnatural Union.