Monday, October 04, 2010

This is luxury you can't afford

How much longer must we endure being dictated to by the European Union? Its latest edict means we must find up to £2.5 billion a year to entertain “benefit tourists”.

Refusing them handouts breaches their human rights. So we must give them jobseeker's allowance, employment support allowance, pension credit and income support.

People from across the Continent will make a beeline for Britain if, as the EU demands, we are forced to dole out money to all Europe’s benefit scroungers.

This is just the latest in a long line of offensive decisions imposed on us by our lords and masters in Brussels.

Ministers are at each other’s throats over spending cuts – with Defence Secretary Liam Fox issuing a stark warning about the damage they will do to the armed forces.

It would be madness for us to take on the burden of funding Europe’s down-and-outs just because the Brussels bureaucracy thinks its human rights laws are more important than our struggle for economic survival.

In 2007, when he was still making his way as Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron offered crowd-pleasing opposition to EU human rights laws imposed on Britain a decade ago by Tony Blair.

He was protesting over the fact that the law prevented the deportation of Italian-born Learco Chindamo, who killed headmaster Philip Lawrence, even though the Home Office considered him a threat to the public.

Mr Cameron said: "It has to go. Abolish the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights, which sets out rights and responsibilities. The fact that the murderer of Philip Lawrence cannot be deported flies in the face of common sense.

"It is a glaring example of what is going wrong in our country. What about the rights of Mrs Lawrence? The problem for this Government is that the Human Rights Act is their legislation and they appear to be blind to its failings."

You would think from comments like these that one of Mr Cameron’s first acts as Prime Minister would be to abolish the legislation.

Yet even before he failed to win the General Election, he was watering this down. It turned out his Bill of Rights would still leave this country ruled by the European Court of Human Rights.

Then, to cobble together his coalition with the Liberal Democrats, Mr Cameron has abandoned these plans altogether. There will be no cancellation of the human rights laws and the Bill of Rights has been shelved.

The boost to benefit tourism will cost us between £1.3 billion and £2.5 billion a year – yet the Government is desperately trying to cut welfare spending and crack down on benefit cheats.

How could it possibly justify hammering its own citizens when it offers an open door and a blank cheque to people from Lithuania, Latvia and Romania?

The European Union is not only trying to impose its bizarre view of human rights on us, it is also seeking to rob us blind.

The EU’s Budget Commissioner, Polish economist Janusz Lewandowski, is campaigning to end the “rebate” Mrs Thatcher negotiated with the EU back in 1984 when she declared: "We are simply asking to have our own money back."

Tony Blair did a deal which will has seen the rebate halved from £5 billion to £2.5 billion. Mr Lewandowski wants to see it axed altogether.

Even with the rebate, we are giving the EU £8.3 billion this year and, under Mr Blair’s deal, that increases to £10.3 billion by 2014.

Where is all this money coming from? How can we afford it?

It’s bad enough Ministers protecting the foreign aid budget which sees millions of pounds leak into the hands of monsters and terrorists. How can they justify increasing our payments to Brussels?

The EU boasts about how much money Britain received in grants from Brussels. It’s so desperate to win the propaganda war that any development completed with EU support must fly the blue European flag with its gold stars.

It even fines people who forget this little detail. It cost development agency Advantage West Midlands £200,000 and the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce £77,609.
Yet for every £1 the EU gives us, we give it £2. That is not, and never has been, a good deal for Britain.

The blight of benefit tourism won’t simply be the amount of money it costs. What will all these people do with themselves all day long if they have no work and no intention of looking for any? We can be pretty sure their activities will not all remain on the right side of the law.

Rather like being a member of a golf club or subscribing to Sky TV, EU membership may have been one of life’s little luxuries. It allowed our leaders to jet around Europe at our expense being important.

Surely the time has come when we have to say to our friends across the English Channel that their Union is a jolly nice idea and we wish it well but money’s a bit tight and we simply can’t afford the cost of membership any longer.

No comments: