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We are all citizens of Europe now, and the benefits row is just the beginning

31 May 2013

11:42 AM

31 May 2013

11:42 AM

Yes, that law case the European Commission is taking against the UK is mission creep, or ‘a blatant land grab’ as Iain Duncan Smith has it. The eurocrats are trying to extend EU control over the benefits systems of member states, and they are going to the European Court of Justice to do it.

But what the commission is after is more than just that. Jonathan Todd, a European Commission spokesman, spelled it out at yesterday’s midday briefing in one line, and in his perfectly English voice: ‘UK nationals automatically have the right to reside in the UK. EU nationals do not have that automatic right.’


That is what is objectionable to the commission: the British insist on claiming that HM’s subjects are born with rights within the UK and foreign-born people are not, and the British government has the power to arbitrate the difference.

The commission intends to put a stop to that ‘nationalist’ notion. Nationality, in the long term plan of the EU, must count for nothing except ‘cultural diversity.’ Or as the hippies used to sing in the 1970s, ‘What we need is a great big melting pot.’

Which is why at every opportunity commission officials refer to ‘citizens.’ They don’t mean you with your British passport, or anybody else with his Spanish or Danish passport, they mean you, ‘a citizen of the EU.’  The commission intends to establish a Britain in which a subject of the Queen has no more rights within the United Kingdom than does a citizen of the EU. The benefits system is only the start.


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