Immigration hike is not EU’s fault

I appreciate Chis Wardle’s apprehension over the levels of immigration over the last few years (Mercury letters), however this cannot be attributed to our membership of the EU, a loss of sovereignty, the building of a European superstate or any democratic deficit.

The responsibility rest with our governments and with us for electing them. No one else.

The EU is an association of sovereign states. No state has ever been subjected to any regulation or obligation without the agreement of its government. Our democratically elected governments of all persuasions championed the entry of the Eastern bloc countries and declined to avail themselves of the seven year transitional arrangements for free movement of labour. Our governments did not have to agree to enlargement and without it no enlargement and no immigration on the present basis would have taken place. Incidentally it is still the policy of all the major parties to admit, among others, Turkey, a Muslim country of 75 million people bordering Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Certainly we could negotiate reciprocal arrangements with the EU for immigration on the basis of the brightest and best but why deny our “hard pressed working class” the opportunity to live and work in 26 countries over the channel? In any case this would be a mere stable door bolting exercise unless the young english waitress who served me in Bordeaux is to be deported back to the UK as a consequence of the ejection of the polite Polish lady who serves me in the supermarket.

The single market is a market for goods, capital and labour: both Norway and Switzerland are obliged to allow free movement of people even though they are not EU members, but lets say, after a process which alienates 26 of our friends and simultaneously removes any influence we have over them we get the free trade arrangement Chris Wardle envisages. Does he really believe that, over time, the French government would not “persuade” Toyota to favour their Valenciennes plant over Burnaston or that the Eurozone would tolerate the market for Euro denominated securities being in London not Frankfurt or that the overwhelmingly US owned banks would have any problem moving there?

Finally on the subject of immigration, does he think that the French government, now that they are not obliged to be “Communitaire”, will be overly concerned about illegal immigration into the UK via Calais?

We don’t need to leave the EU we just need Governments to get the EU to work for us.

Peter Hartill