Tuesday, October 24, 2006
They will come here to work anyway. The door is fully open -- and ever further away. We need an internal gateway
The Government is of course right to officially try to prevent a further and much bigger wave of nationals of Bulgaria and Romania gaining employment here after the accession to the EU of these countries. Critics of the policy are also right that these nationals are going to come here anyway and work in the black economy.
The critics understate the problem. These new EU citizens will come and work in the official economy, because the DWP has no system to check the immigration status of anyone who applies for a National Insurance number. Not that there is any need to bother to apply, because you can readily buy one on the street for twenty quid.
They will also come and claim benefits, because the DWP also has no system in place to check the immigration status of anyone who applies for any benefit. The Government has always claimed that tiny numbers only every claim benefits but they simply have not the remotest clue how many do so.
The upshot is that although the official line is welcome, in that it sends a signal to many not to bother coming here; the reality is that most will come anyway. The stable door has been closed after not a horse but most of the herd had long since bolted.
The problem of Bulgaria and Romania is only the start. Many people in countries of the former Soviet Union bordering Romania and Bulgaria have already secured Bulgarian/Romanian passports. The accession of these two countries provides an open door for anyone from the Russian federation to gain entry, and with their ultra low standard of living, then gain entry they certainly will; in huge numbers. Many of these have been obliged to become criminals to survive, and many if not the majority survive only by working unofficially at least to a degree, and so have long lost interest in any official work. Black economy work in Britain is an attractive proposition for them.
The growth of the EU points up the central nightmare that not only have we lost control of our own borders, but our border is now the highly porous one of the EU perimeter, which is in practice no border at all. So we can expect the wages available to those already without much if any incentive to work to fall still further. The polarisation of our society will continue and at a faster rate. The attitude by many of the huge numbers who can expect only low pay, quite sensibly will be to not bother working for what is after all, little if any more than can be got in benefits; just to pay taxes to a government that at best couldn't care less about indegenous workers, and for the most part positively despises them.
As I have argued in posts below, we need an internal gateway to make life much harder for those who choose to come and live and work here unofficially. The craziness that is the EU makes this argument even stronger. Once we have such a system, then the case is also strengthened for a proper external gateway. Then the progressive collapse of the EU -- a much more realistic scenario than our withdrawal -- will make the need for comprehensive immigration control both at our national borders and at the point of access to government services overwhelming.