News from Grassroots conservatives

Conservative Grassroots' second letter to PM on immigration

30 Jan 2014

The Rt. Hon David Cameron MP
Prime Minister & First Lord of the Treasury
10, Downing Street
London, SW1A 2AA

30 January 2014

Dear Prime Minister

We wrote to you on 27 December 2013 urging you to adopt Nigel Mills MP’s amendment to extend restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian immigration on the basis of exceptional economic circumstances based on our continuing very high rate of long term youth unemployment and the acute long-term unemployment crisis faced by the over 50s.

The Daily Telegraph reported that both Bulgaria and Romania are “offering passports to people in non-EU countries” including Moldova, Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine and Turkey. If correct this would enable citizens from these countries to work and settle anywhere in the EU including the UK. This is an outrageous abuse of accession privileges. The European Commission seem s silently complicit in the light of these potential abuses.

With respect the Chancellor and yourself and most noted economists and policymakers are very aware that the untenably high rates of long term unemployment of 24 months or above for the young and over 50s are deep-rooted structural issues which require a long period of active initiatives and management.

The acute long-term jobless crisis for our young people will have a significant and debilitating impact on their life chances. It has the serious potential of resulting in many of them not acquiring the necessary work ethics and skills that would take them into their young adult lives and their settled relationships. Long term unemployment has the disastrous consequence of perpetuating the vicious cycle of welfare dependency. The older they get without essential job skills and an established work ethic – the harder it will become for them to find settled, self-affirming and fulfilling longer-term jobs which gives them a sense of belonging, hope and promise in the country of their birth. How can this be a good outcome for the United Kingdom or for that matter any country within the EU?

In response to our previous letter to you urging you to forestall the prospect of further uncontrolled immigration which is of wider concern and impact on our people Grant Shapps MP Conservative Party Chairman pleaded rather incredulously that no further initiatives were possible. Yet your Government found energy, initiative and time in its legislative agenda to enact legislation on a range of issues not contained in either of the parties manifestos..

a. Why did your Government not exercise the opt-out clause for immigration matters under the Lisbon Treaty (re-stated as Title V of Part III of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union which extended the protocols on the Schengen acquis, Border Controls and Immigration, asylum and civil law legislation under the Treaty of Amsterdam), granted to UK and Ireland to defer the imminent Bulgarian and Romanian immigration?

Your Government always continued to have an opt out on immigration matters under the consolidating Lisbon Treaty yet failed and/or refused to invoke it and present a cohesive argument to the EU Commission for the rightful exercise of such an opt out. We have said that we understood that a permanent ban would have not survived a European Court legal challenge but a temporary extension could not be found to have violated EU law.

Why did your Government not exercise the opt out clause on immigration matters under the Lisbon Treaty when even the European Commission President is on record saying that Bulgaria and Romania is not yet ready to join the full Schengen Area thereby deferring the so-call unfettered free movement of people?;

b. Why did your Government not take head-on with the European Commission to amend the Lisbon Treaty to limit the ‘free movement of peoples’ within Europe and also link any such right to an existing offer of employment before any EU resident can move to a member state and also remove any right for permanent settlement – as residency should be a matter of national sovereignty and determination?;

c. Your Government knew that in 2011 Spain , citing exceptional circumstances , invoked a safeguards clause under the Treaty of Accession by Bulgaria and Romania to bar temporary entry to further Romanian workers – in keeping with EU rules:

i. Why has the Government kept an absolute silence on the clause with respect to ‘exceptional circumstances’ that existed under the Treaty of Accession of Bulgaria and Romania in the run up to the date for the lifting of restrictions? And’

ii. Why did the Government not seek to extend the moratorium then in place against any more uncontrolled mass scale immigration from new member states in the context of a wider discussion about the whole principle of unconditional free movement of peoples in the three and a half years it has been in office when it had an array of options available to it? and;

iii. Switzerland under separate arrangement with the EU under the European Economic Area has full access to the single market without the full obligations of free movement of peoples. With that liberty it re-imposed ‘temporary restrictions’ on any further Bulgarian and Romanian immigration in July 2013.

Why did the Government not demand a re-negotiation of a new framework of terms for EU-wide immigration and settlement when it had the opportunity to do so when the European budgets came up for approval and make ‘free movement’ conditional upon an available job while removing the right to permanent settlement?

The scale of uncontrolled continuous mass immigration is not helping and does not create the space Britain needs to begin to get a grip on the inter-related causes of long-term youth unemployment.

We are not against immigration. We welcome immigration – on the basis of need – where skills are required and immigrants make it a priority to have a good command of the English language to maximise their job opportunities and life chances and are willing to integrate and embrace British values and adapt to our way of life, rule of law and culture of freedom, fair play, hard work, compassion, simple justice and mutual respect.

We generally agree with the observation of Douglas Murray in the Spectator (July 2012) that ‘migration itself can be a good thing. But mass immigration (in the numbers it has happened in recent years in Britain and many other Western countries) is a bad thing. It strains our welfare systems, encourages people to ghetto-ise rather than assimilate and creates not so much a multi-racial society as a country made up of different mono-cultural centres. It causes a breakdown in trust both between and among communities, and erodes the possibility of any collective history or common culture.’

Our immigration policies, system and integration approach, as has been candidly admitted, is not fit for purpose and need to be redesigned, rebalanced and rebuilt on the basis of a national needs-based framework. It is no longer possible to tinker with a broken and failing system on the edges.

Continuous uncontrolled mass immigration will never give us the space and time needed to make a determined and thoughtful effort to fix a hopelessly broken system and build mutual trust. We stand for an immigration policy which affirms mainstream British cultural integrity and strength. That is the only way possible to help us foster a more cohesive and inclusive society.

We call for a tightly selective and annually-limited value-added, skills based and wealth-creation immigration system – like the well-regarded and very tight Australian needs and points based immigration system – together with Swiss-type ‘safeguard clauses’ based on our national need and interests.

We are again calling on you as Prime Minister to:

i. Urgently support the amendment to the Immigration Bill as proposed by Nigel Mills MP and we believe this is still tenable by invoking the opt out clause on immigration matters as granted to the UK and Ireland under the Lisbon Treaty and defer any further entry of new immigrants on a mass scale without the offer of an existing job prior to any move to the UK and;

ii. As the UK is outside the Schengen Agreement and Area we urge you to exercise the opt-out clause on justice, home affairs and immigration granted to UK and Ireland under the Lisbon Treaty – and put an end to further uncontrolled immigration.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely
Robert Woollard
Management Committee
Conservative Grassroots

posted by Grassroots Conservatives in News