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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Clegg right to call time on Home Office cap on EU migrants

I do enjoy those increasingly more frequent moments when Nick Clegg, puts up his hand to some outrageous Conservative policy and insists that it cannot go ahead. It is at moments like these that we can all see quite clearly that the Deputy Prime Minister is a Liberal through and through.

The latest incarnation of this phenomena was reported in the Times yesterday. They highlight the assertion by the Mr. Clegg that leaked government proposals to cap the number of EU  migrants allowed into Britain are “illegal and unworkable":

The Deputy Prime Minister said that the Home Office proposal to limit the number to 75,000 would damage the economy and lead to reprisals by other EU  member states.

He told a press conference:  “My advice to the Home Office is to spend less time leaking policies that are illegal and undeliverable and spend more time delivering on the policies we have agreed as a coalition —  notably the reinstatement of exit checks, which allow us to know who is coming into this country [and] who is leaving as well.

“If we pulled up the drawbridge now and said to German lawyers, or Finnish engineers, or Dutch accountants that they can’t come to work, it would be a disaster for our economy.

“It would be very unwelcome to the two million or so Brits who live and work abroad, who I don’t
think would thank the Conservative Party for entering into a sort of tit-for-tat race to the bottom, where everybody across the European Union starts pulling up the drawbridge and not allowing people to move to look for work in other parts of the European Union.”

No matter what the rhetoric on this subject we should not forget that the British enjoy the same freedom of movement within the EU as we afford to others. Without it we could not have free trade and our economy would suffer.
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