The UK has been requested by the EU Commission to pay welfare to all EU nationals, which could cost us up to £2.5bn. So much for the Coalition’s welfare reforms: as our elected government squeezes British nationals and forces the indolent into work, our unelected government obliges us to fork out for ‘benefit tourists’, who will readily find British benefits to be vastly more beneficial than those of Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Hungary... writes Cranmer over an extraordinary directive from the EU.
He points out that the Coalition's record on Europe is not encouraging... So, before you get caught up in revived hopes of the rise of Conservative Euroscepticism, please remember that we’re in a coalition with the most rabidly Europhile party in Britain, and that it has to last until 2015. Please remember that last year, a European Court judgement forced David Cameron to agree to allow prisoners to vote. Please remember that there has been no promised examination of the Working Time Directive, despite its disruptive effects on the NHS. Please remember that despite promises to decimate (at least) red tape, EU regulations keep pouring in, strangling British businesses. Please remember that the Prime Minister agreed to a 2.9 per cent increase in our EU contributions, despite promising to Parliament and the Country that there would be none. Please remember that one of his first acts was to opt in to the ‘European Investigation Order’ which obliges British police forces to act on the orders of other EU police forces, with or without primary evidence, and even for actions which are not a criminal act in the UK. Ouch.
I listened to Tim Farron, President of the Liberal Democrats, on QuestionTime last night being asked why we should remain part of the EU. He answered that next week, 26 delegates from all the different EU countries will sit round a table to discuss sheep-tagging. 30 years ago, those same people would be pointing nuclear weapons at each other.
Mr Farron should read Fukuyama. It is Liberal Democracy that has ended not just wars, but the ideological pre-cursors - fascism, communism and dictatorships - that first divided, then murdered and finally enslaved countless millions of Europeans in the twentieth century.
The EU meanwhile, pays 26 men more than £100,000 a year each to sit around a table, in a glass palace in Brussels, to decide what an entire continent should do on sheep-tagging. Important work? Democratic? No Mr Farron. It is not even necessary.
The only way is out.