Brussels Threatens to Sue Britain to Let in ‘Benefit Tourists’

Andrew Porter, Telegraph (London), September 29, 2011

The European Commission has threatened to take legal action against Britain if ministers do not water down rules limiting foreigners’ ability to claim benefits.

Ministers fear the move could leave taxpayers handing out as much as £2.5  billion to EU nationals, including out-of-work “benefit tourists”, a new cost that could wreck Coalition plans for welfare reform.

The commission’s threat, on the eve of the Conservative Party conference, has raised the political temperature on Europe still further.

In an outspoken attack today, Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, says the commission’s move is part of a “wider movement” by the “unelected and unaccountable” European authorities to extend their power over the UK.

“This kind of land grab from the EU has the potential to cause mayhem to nation states, and we will fight it,” he writes in The Daily Telegraph.

The commission is objecting to Britain’s rules on welfare, claiming they discriminate unfairly against foreigners. To claim benefits in Britain, EU nationals must pass a “right to reside” test. The commission says the test is too tough, and wants Britain to apply more generous EU-wide rules.

The commission said it had given Britain two months to bring its rules into line with the weaker EU standard. “Otherwise, the commission may decide to refer the UK to the EU’s Court of Justice.”

The intervention has infuriated ministers, in particular because social security has long been seen as a national policy area and not one in which the EU is allowed to interfere.

It will also inflame the Coalition’s internal debate over Europe. Tory MPs, who will gather in Manchester this weekend for their annual conference, are pushing David Cameron to drive a much harder bargain with Brussels. Liberal Democrat ministers have said they will resist any move to renegotiate Britain’s EU membership.

Mr Duncan Smith’s sustained onslaught on the EU represents the most high-profile Cabinet attack on Brussels’ increasing interference in Westminster policy-making since the Coalition began. He writes: “These new proposals pose a fundamental challenge to the UK’s social contract. They could mean the British taxpayer paying out over £2 billion extra a year in benefits to people who have no connection to our country and who have never paid in a penny in tax.

“This threatens to break the vital link which should exist between taxpayers and their own government.” He added: “I sense this is part of a wider movement, coming in the same week as the proposals for a financial transactions tax across Europe which threatens to punish UK banks by decreasing their competitiveness abroad.”

The Work and Pensions Secretary is furious, fearing that his shake-up of the benefits system, which he hopes will save billions, is being jeopardised. If the legal action is won by the commission, Britain will have to pay means-tested, residence-based benefits–employment support allowance, pension credit, income support–to people when they arrive, even if they have never worked here or paid any contributions and regardless of whether they have any previous link with the UK.

Thousands of jobless from across the EU could seek to take advantage by moving to Britain at a potential cost of billions, said the Department for Work and Pensions. Chris Grayling, the work minister, said last night: “I am both disappointed and surprised that the commission seems so determined to press ahead with this legal action at a time when Europe faces enormous challenges. It is just extraordinary that they would want to go into battle over an issue that is so politically sensitive.”

He added: “As the system stands at the moment, if this went ahead, it would cost us £2.5 billion.”

If the European Court of Justice upholds the commission’s view, economically inactive people will be able to move between EU member states just to claim benefits, without any intention of working or contributing to the member state’s system. They could then use those benefits to acquire the right to reside there. Mr Grayling has been gathering support, including from Germany and France, to oppose the move, but this week’s decision to press ahead with a legal action shows that any lobbying is proving fruitless.

The row is the latest example of Coalition ministers appearing powerless to halt the EU overturning UK policy. Last year, a European Court judgment forced David Cameron to agree to allow prisoners the vote.

At the Tory Party conference, which begins on Sunday, the Prime Minister will come under pressure from an increasingly vocal and determined group of backbench MPs.

Earlier this month, Mark Pritchard, the MP for The Wrekin, urged Mr Cameron to offer a referendum on Europe.

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  • sbuffalonative

    Why is “benefit tourists” even a thing? How did this ever come into being?

    “The commission is objecting to Britain’s rules on welfare, claiming they discriminate unfairly against foreigners. To claim benefits in Britain, EU nationals must pass a “right to reside” test. The commission says the test is too tough…”

    Outrageous.

  • 11:08 PM Good Riddance

    I’m offended. The Brits have been struggling to give away their Empire to the hideous diversity for decades. Why would any of them complain or point out the obvious now? Shouldn’t we be deeply concerned that such extremism is given a voice in the press, much less still has a voice in the 21st century? More proof that hateful racism must be raising its ugly head and must be crushed before the toxic and virulent prejudice against non whites runs rampant and threatens global race mixing progress.

    Read what Anthony Jacobs wrote about how the Brits were more interested in the welfare of the savage mau maus in Africa than they were in the safety of White Brits in Africa!

    Never trust an Anglo Saxon on race matters. The best you can hope for is explicit Race Realism. Absent that, the best policy is to assume that you will be sold out to the interests and unearned privileges of Diversity at the soonest opportunity.

    Who could be more Whitey White than Michael Adams at UGA? Look at the blatantly hostile and dangerously anti white screed called Embracing Diversity and Inclusion that he just signed:

    http://uga.edu/diversity/pdf/UGA_Diversity_Plan.pdf

    Just assume all Whiteys in power are a Michael Adams. Keep your mouth shut, your head down, and nod yes every time the other Whiteys say “thanks be unto God for all dis here Diversity dat enriches our lives and community so much”.

    Then go home and regain your balance and sanity by including this in your nightly prayers: “Prejudice renders a man’s virtue his habit, not a series of unconnected acts. Through just prejudice, his duty becomes a part of his nature.” Edmund Burke

  • shaunantijihad

    It is not a “European” union but a Bolshevik “Anti-European” union. This will not attract Germans, Franks or Spaniards to the UK, as they can claim benefits in their own countries. It is designed to attract yet more blacks and Muslims, because it is a part of the demographic war by the Marxists to destroy the white race.

    The real question is, will we just accept our annihilation like we did in Rhodesia, South Africa and Detroit, because when we defend ourselves, that would be “racism”.

  • Graham Richards

    The British will soon just disapear, not with a bang nor even with a whimper, just a silent slither into the oblivion of the Socialist swamp that is the EU.

    Not even the monarchy will survive.

    Good bye and the best of British luck.

  • Anonymous

    I went to a gun show in the UK yesterday, and shot a number of shotguns and hunting and target rifles. Not piddling little .22’s either, but .308’s as well. I found out that to get a gun license in the UK is really fairly simple, as long as you’ve kept your nose clean in the past, intend to do so in the future (they can take your licence off you if you get a criminal conviction in the future), and join a shooting club.

    I recommend all UK Amren readers look into this. It’s a hobby that will be very useful to have invested in, in the near future.

  • Jason Robertson

    Racial defection among Anglo-Saxon opinion-formers (not the general population) in Britain is on the whole relatively recent, mainly post-war and accelerating throgh media and legal pressures from the 1980s onwards. A massive literature supports my contention, even poetry that supported the war effort against “racist” Germany. I could quote scores of “angloracist” writers from novelists like Kingsley, Dickens and Priestley to eugenicists like Galton, Pearson and the Webbs, plus politicians like Blatchford, Churchill and Powell. Exploitable weaknesses exist in middle-class Anglo-Saxon attitudes, such as excessive self-criticism and compassion for presumed underdogs, and there is a temperamental general disdain (which I do not share)for the now more successful French. Recent “Anglo” susceptibility to “anti-racist” and anti-German sentiment largely results from a day-in-day-out media propaganda and compulsory state-school lessons on the “Holocaust”, plus the development of the EU from a potential opportunity into an intolerable burden. This whole, complex subject requires a big book, not a casual comment. However, for practical purposes, white peoples should no longer waste time denigrating one another’s past, but finding common ground to secure a future for us all (including those of English descent – from Utah to New Zealand).

  • Sincerely Concerned

    Whatever various articles may say about UK benefit tourism, Belgium is suing because they don’t want the backlog of these so-called immigrants winding up in their territory. They’re hypocrites. They want the immigrants to cross the channel and get the heck away from them.

    I cannot imagine trying to live in the UK right now, and especially not London or its suburbs, where the population is burgeoning enough as it is. That is, unless I were non-white, most of which don’t seem to mind living on top of each other even in their own countries. Is it a Northern European thing, perhaps left over from our Siberian ancestors, that makes us want to spread out? I’m in Florida now but predict that if it winds up exploding even more I’ll find myself in Montana one day. Hopefully, I will be joined by Brits who’ve had enough and flee their own ancestral home, sad as that is.

  • (AWG) Average White Guy

    When Europeans colonized Africa and the Americas, the quality of life improved.

    When third-worlders invade the Eurosphere, things degrade.

    And . . .

    Has anyone noticed the ‘benefits’ only flow one way?

    Third-worlders never send relief to the Eurosphere.

  • Anonymous
  • Patrick

    I didn’t realize that Brussels was the capital of the UK.

  • Anonymous

    7 — Sincerely Concerned wrote at 5:40 PM on October 1:

    “Whatever various articles may say about UK benefit tourism, Belgium is suing because they don’t want the backlog of these so-called immigrants winding up in their territory. They’re hypocrites. They want the immigrants to cross the channel and get the heck away from them.”

    Exactly right! Real courage and honesty would dictate a real solution to the entire EU immigration problem.

    “I cannot imagine trying to live in the UK right now, and especially not London or its suburbs, where the population is burgeoning enough as it is. That is, unless I were non-white, most of which don’t seem to mind living on top of each other even in their own countries. Is it a Northern European thing, perhaps left over from our Siberian ancestors, that makes us want to spread out? I’m in Florida now but predict that if it winds up exploding even more I’ll find myself in Montana one day. Hopefully, I will be joined by Brits who’ve had enough and flee their own ancestral home, sad as that is.”

    “Siberian ancestors?” I think you are a bit confused. It was the Indo-Europeans who began the Westward epic. All Europeans (save Basques) originate in that prehistoric expansion into Europe. Vikings were the ones in the modern epic that seem to have that exploratory wanderlust, the push to new Western land. And it was the Normans who realized the North American (Western)epic of settlement, whether it was English or French. Referrence “The Norman People,” Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland, 1874, 1989.

  • Anonymous

    Jason #6: I always love to read about “Racist” Germany. This coming from England, the land that treated Celtic Scotland, Ireland, and Wales like less than human, and took the lands of their White brothers without hesitation.

    The English were brutal in their rule of these Celtic people, for being of another White tribe, yet they fall over themselves and slobber all over the brown and blacks to gain their “forgiveness” and acceptance.

    Germany, France, and Spain treated their dark skinned Colonials far better than England did.

    Even Nazi Germany had over 150,000 Jewish and half Jewish Soldiers from the rank of Private to Field Marshal. I just watched a You Tube video that coincides with a book that I read on the subject. The video was “Jewish Soldiers in Hitler’s Army”.

    This is not quite the thing that were taught, or which is being taught, in History Class. There is too much riding on keeping the slander and lies going, than to explore what is Historical fact.

  • Jason Robertson

    #12. Another more recent post suggests, on the contrary, that I am an apologist for the Nazis! On Jewish issues from 1933 to 1945, for example, I am as familiar with Mattogno, Rudolf &c as I am with their critics who defend “received” opinions. I try to take a balanced, well-read and open-minded view, but this is not the place for my current conclusions on a subject that provokes more heat than light from different sides.

    I agree that England treated the south Irish badly, viewing our neighbours like some Nazis regarded Slavs, though our conflicts has a religious dimension.

    The present indigenous population of England should not be blamed for political ingratiation with African and Asian demagogues &c whose cumbersome “Commonwealth” replaced the British Empire, which Hitler by the way said he supported before WW2.

    What we need now is co-operation bewteen Anglo-Saxons and other white peoples to maintain their common civilization in a world where their demographic and geopolitical position is endangered.