My mistake, I thought we already did. While we’re in the EU we can’t restrict benefits to British people – everyone must be treated equally. It seems that this ruling applies to all and sundry, whether they come here looking for work or not.
What is perhaps most outrageous here is the EU’s disregard for its own rulebook. Article 7(1) of the Free Movement Directive gives EU citizens the right to reside in another member state only if they have “sufficient resources for themselves and their family members not to become a burden on the social assistance system of the host Member State”. So clear are those words that even our Supreme Court, which tends to bend the rules in favour of immigrants and welfare claimants, threw out the case of an EU national seeking to top up her pension in Britain. Now, Eurocrats have effectively struck down that decision.
When the rules count for nothing, opt-outs are worthless. We opted out of the social chapter, but we had the 48-hour week imposed on us. We opted out of the euro, but we’re being sent the bill for propping it up. We opted out of the border-free area, but we can’t control who crosses our frontiers. We never agreed to a common European welfare state, but we’re being dragged into one.
Just in time to receive the economic refugees being driven into exile by the EU’s determination to keep the euro intact.
Strange, isn’t it, how every reform the government wants to make is influenced and interfered with by the EU. I wonder if the government has noticed yet.
In effect, the ruling means that benefits cannot be denied to EU nationals without also being denied to Britons. Watch out for the comprehensive dismantling of our welfare state with everything put out to private tender. It’s the EU.