Mouth, Trousers, and the European Immigration Cap

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London suggested the idea.   Now No. 10 is letting it be believed  that it is considering a cap on immigration to the UK from the EEA.

It is hard to see how such a proposed cap could be consistent with the central treaty commitment of free movement [Ed- immigration barrister says a simple overall cap would not be lawful]. Whilst some other European nations are hearing similar anti-Euro-immigration rhetoric from their politicians, the promises made are different in kind.

In Germany, for example, there is talk about limiting the period for which immigrants can stay whilst unemployed (possibly through careful construction of the Treaty concept of exercise of treaty rights). In France there is talk of cracking down on “abus”of  social security benefits (the European laws on benefits are very much more flexible than those on free movement).

This is more than just a difference of opinion. Imposing a cap in the way suggested would require a change to the Treaty and this is impossible without unanimity. French PM has stated unequivocally that he would not support such a change. And others may express the same view (if asked).

Ourtgoing European Commission president José Manuel Barroso stated an arbitrary cap on immigration into Britain will never be accepted by the European Union…  it would give rise to first and second class citizens within the EU and would not be agreed by member states.

So, what are the Torys on about? Did they forget about the Treaty obligation? Do they expect the rest of Europe to follow its iead? Do they need to consult their own immigration lawyers, or is this just another “great deceit”, a cheap ploy to win naive political support?

thanks id iom
thanks id iom

This immigration blog post: Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website www.iBarristersChambers.com

Satanic Pacts, Long Knives, Discomfort and Joy – Politics and UK Immigration

Buoyed up by last week’s by-election victory and forecasts of another in November, Nigel Farage has named his price for UKip’s support of a minority Tory Government: an in-out Euro Referendum before August 2015. If this all sounds “a bit previous”, it is worth noting that two weekend polls  put UKip at having 25% and 15% of nationwide electoral support. So what does all this mean to the existing party political landscape? Quite a lot. For the Tory leadership the pressure is really on to move to to a UKipian stance on Europe and immigration generally. The party has lost supporters- but there is time to win them back before the May election if direction is changed on these key areas. But a shift now would look like exactly what it is- giving in on a point of principle; just waiting, on the other hand, could be fatal for the current leadership if they lose in November. Oh, and I have to mention Boris Johnson in this context- his comments on the Andrew Marr Show will increase David Cameron’s discomfort (Tory manifesto pledge on cutting immigration was a great deception). For the Tories generally the fear is that the significant anti-Europe and anti immigration sector of their electorate will continue to migrate to UKip, damaging their prospects at the next general election in May 2015. They are stuck with a leader who has been reluctant to commit to a firm position on Europe and many in their leadership who see the social and economic dangers of withdrawal from the EU. They are faced with the choice of two ignominies: being seen to back down to UKip’s demands- many still see it as an upstart and caving in would be a humiliation; or sacrificing their leadership, which would have the same effect but could be painted as something different- a pre-existing opinion amongst the party, independent of UKip’s demands and successes. Labour too has lost some support to UKip, though not so much as the Tories. The impact here will depend on what happens to the bulk of the anti vote- will UKip split the right and damage Tory election prospects to Labour’s advantage? Or will an alliance or a deal arise between those others? Labour’s response will depend on the direction taken by the Torys and UKip. If the anti-vote was in any significant way to split the right, Labour could benefit from presenting the only real alternative. If the next election turns into an anti-immigration fashion parade… well who knows? For UKip of course, things couldn’t be going any better. They’ll drink to that.

This immigration blog post: Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website www.iBarristersChambers.com

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thanks Johns Hopkins

This immigration blog post: Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website www.iBarristersChambers.com

Immigration Splits the Right

David Cameron’s ship was not sinking when Douglas Carswell and then his besty, Mark Reckless  decided to leave, but there is now real pressure to steer hard right on immigration law and avoid mutiny of supporters.

Reckless did his best, in the timing  (during Conservative’s B’ham conference), delivery (at UKIP’s conference in Doncaster) and in his description (Tory leadership had let voters down) of his defection to wreck Tory prospects at the next election. UKIP suggest at least one more Tory is expected to jump- possibly more, depending on the outcomes of the by-elections.

Today’s sunday Times reports one senior Tory MP saying the defections mean it is impossible to foresee a Conservative majority at the next election.

According to The Sunday Times, data disclosed by Tory peer, lord Ashcroft, from a Survey of more than 8,000 voters, shows more than a quarter of those who voted Conservative in 2010 no longer support the party- and almost three quarters of them now support UKIP. A poll for BBC’s Sunday Politics suggests 30% of Tory councillors believe Cameron should strike an electoral pact with UKIP. And 86% believe immigration has been detrimental to the UK.

The central divisive issues have been immigration and the UK’s relationship with Europe. So how does all this change the bigger picture? Ironically, if it splits the anti-immingration and anti-Europe vote (mostly former conservative voters), it could make a labour Government more likely and reduce the prospects of an EU referendum. On the other hand if a deal were done between Conservatives and UKIP… well that would be different again.

As ever, the way the country is run seems to have more to do with the machinations of the political class than with the will of the people.

I am sure they know best.

ShipRatImmigrationBarrister

Photo: Thanks Yorkville

This immigration blog post: Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website www.iBarristersChambers.com

Europe, the UK, Visas, Immigration Immigration and Immigration

I have been told by a fellow immigration barrister that my last post lacked gravitas and sacrificed political critique in favour of sloppy invective. I apologise and will try to do better. To a green field in South Yorkshire, they came. Bacon sandwiches in hand. They would cut UK immigration  to 20%, they roared, encourage discrimination against non-British Workers, turn away foreigners arriving at borders without ID, and exile released prisoners from their former neighbourhoods. They stood up for the Great British Values against the liberal lefties (who, by the way virtually encouraged the abuse of white girls by Asian men). They cheered their (mono)culture spokesman Peter Whittle who berated multiculturalism. They stood to hear from the B&B owners who bravely turned a gay couple away from their inn. They Made England Proud. This was the UKIP’s annual conference at Doncaster Racecourse. God Save the Queen. Not everyone holds that particular basket of views- this is after all a free country (for the moment). Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors (den of Reds and liberal lefties) commented: …if it were to succeed in pulling the UK out of Europe, and bar immigration from the continent entirely… it would be economic lunacy. Free trade, access to foreign investment and skills from across the world are key to UK’s prosperity. UKIP’s immigration plan is a nightmarish vision of stagnation and irrelevance for Britain… . For the similar views of other people much cleverer and more articulate than I, read here.

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Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website iBarristersChambers

Cameron Urged to Get Tough on Immigration After French Port Shame

 

Just in case you need to know, The Sun, Britain’s largest circulation newspaper has published some words (probably not too many) and pictures (who knows of what) under the above headline.

I haven’t read it (and won’t, unless I find an old one on the train on the way back from court) but it appears to be a reference to the Mayor of Calais’ recent threats to blockade the French port.

The sun (remember, “Gotcha”- Belgrano + 323 lives, 1982; “Stick This Up Your Junta…” – Sun-sponsored missile (which actually turned out to mean buying “beers for the boys” on HMS Invincible; and “Freddie Starr Ate My Hampster” 1986), as I was saying, The Sun is a paper for c/Conservatives and it’s readership is potentially a source of valuable support for Cameron/the Conservatives in the next GE, so this coverage will be felt as further pressure to radicalise on Immigration.

Never forget that the unexpected conservative victory of 1992, Its The Sun Wot Won It

Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website iBarristersChambers

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