In a fresh blow to the Tory party’s UK immigration strategy the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told British Prime Minister David Cameron that he risked upsetting allies and trading partners, as well as losing international clout if he pursued an anti-immigration agenda designed to placate domestic voters.
Mr Cameron’s false flag operation, aimed at reducing the numbers of low skilled workers entering the UK from the rest of the EU, is a direct result of the threat to the Tories posed by UKIP. It gives him the impression of being tough on the EU, however he knows that the free movement of people is enshrined in the Maastricht Treaty which created EU Citizenship. This means that it is a fundamental to the EU that all EU citizens have the freedom of movement within the EU and the freedom of residence throughout the EU. So any restrictions on the movement of EU citizens would be in contravention of EU law and thus it would be completely unacceptable to the rest of the EU.
The only legal way to restrict the number of EU migrants would be a renegotiation of the founding EU treaties, which would require the agreement of all of the other EU states. This is very unlikely to happen. So when the rest of the EU says No, Mr Cameron will be able to say, “We tried to renegotiate but they were not willing so now we must hold a referendum on leaving the EU.” This would make him appear to be tough on the EU, partly countering the xenophobia of UKIP (and the Eurosceptics within the Conservative party). He would see this as a mandate for his proposed referendum, assuming the tories get re-elected.
The compliant media are all singing from the proffered hymn sheet, ramping up the anti immigration and anti EU rhetoric. All the while giving UKIP, with one elected MP, loads of free publicity. It’s almost as if UKIP are being lined up by the establishment as a protest vote, side lining the Lib Dems, but in reality they are just the right wing of the Conservative party. The media are also not asking the important questions, like “what would be the cost to the UK of an exit from the EU?” The media are constraining the breadth of acceptable discussion, limiting the debate to narrow confines, not allowing the bigger picture to be spoken about. This is how referendums are won and lost.
Of course the general election is just round the corner and the tories are just laying out their stall, trying to steal some of UKIP’s clothes in order to hide their dismal record in government, particularly on the deficit. Expect to see DC in a pub soon, supping a pint like “common folk” would.