Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Cameron told he will have to compromise on immigrant benefits compromise

The unelected president of the EU Commission, Donald Tusk, has told David Cameron that there are "substantial political differences" over his "demand" to prevent in-work benefits being paid to EU immigrants for the first 4 years that they live here.

Faced with the impossibility of EU countries agreeing to end open borders and determined to keep us in the EU, the only option Cameron has is to make the UK less attractive to benefits tourists. He has "demanded" the right to stop in-work benefits (but not out of work benefits like child benefit, unemployment benefit, housing benefit, disability benefits, etc) for EU immigrants for the first four years they live here. Bizarrely, Cameron's immigration compromise is designed to make the UK less attractive to people coming here to work and more attractive to people coming here just to claim benefits.

This is already a pathetically weak compromise that fails to address the underlying problem - free movement of people - and the expectation is that further compromises to the compromise will have to be made. It's difficult to understand what further compromises can be made without rendering the whole thing completely pointless rather than largely ineffectual as it is now.

Image credit: Guido