So why do we owe a living to all these people who have nothing to do with our country?”
That question would be echoed by millions of people who are fed up with being told that they have to take responsibility for an unceasing influx of foreigners to Britain. The forces of mass immigration and European integration have created a profound unfairness in our society. Through the benefits system, the NHS, schools, transport and housing, British citizens are required to support vast numbers of new arrivals who by definition have given little or nothing to our nation.
In Commissioner Andor’s brave new world of absolute free movement, the concepts of nationality and kinship will completely disappear. British taxpayers will owe the same obligations to someone from Budapest as they do to someone from Bolton. No discrimination against Europeans will be tolerated. The British Government will be required to inform foreign nationals fully of their rights to claim welfare, while it will also become easier for pressure groups to launch legal actions if they think any migrants have been victimised.
Commissioner Andor’s plan shows how badly our independence and democracy have been damaged by the EU. Britain once ruled the greatest empire the world has ever seen, yet we are turning into a subjugated province of the Brussels empire.
Rules about benefits and jobs should be decided by our Parliament, not by the EU’s self-serving bureaucracy. Yet it is precisely because of its hatred for the concept of democratic sovereignty that the EU so strongly favours the unrestricted movement of people around Europe. Uncontrolled immigration is the ideal vehicle for destroying nationhood and patriotic allegiances while at the same time advancing the idea of European citizenship in a new federal superstate.
Unrestricted immigration is bad enough now but it will become even more serious next year once people from Bulgaria and Romania are allowed to settle without restraint.
A survey by BBC Newsnight last week showed that around 8 per cent of Romanians and almost 14 per cent of Bulgarians want to come here, a finding that implies the arrival of 2.6 million people from these two countries. That would be an utter disaster for Britain, completely wiping out any recent progress the coalition has made in the reduction of unemployment and the reform of the benefits system.
The cheerleaders for immigration, like Commissioner Andor, say that this is scaremongering.
In their narrative, migrants always boost national economies because they come to work, not to claim benefits.
But such assertions are hollow propaganda. The reality is that unrestricted immigration is highly damaging to the economy.
It drives down wages, lowers living standards, places an intolerable strain on the civic infrastructure and puts millions of indigenous workers on the scrapheap.
Just as importantly, it is a pernicious myth that all migrants are hard-working. In fact, people from migrant communities are on average more likely to be unemployed than Britons.
Only 29 per cent of Somalis and 46 per cent of Bangladeshis are economically active. In total last year at least 370,000 foreign nationals were on out-of-work benefits, costing more than £2billion.