Labour leader Ed Miliband wrote an extremely flawed article in the Financial Times on how the EU needs to be reformed from the inside. However, any attempt at such reform has so far failed: we have been clearly told by every EU official they will not allow any substantial renegotiations.
On the issue of immigration, Miliband argues that the Labour government would, or would at least try to, lengthen the existing transitional agreements for countries joining the EU. This would mean citizens would have to wait longer before gaining rights to work here. However, Miliband’s concerns about immigration are irrelevant. As long as Britain is a member of the EU, freedom of movement will rule and immigration will continue unchecked. Only last week Angela Merkel clearly reaffirmed this fact when she met with David Cameron. If Ed Miliband gets in power, mass immigration will continue in an out-of-control fashion, just like under the previous Labour government.
Miliband also contends “There should be reforms to rules allowing people to claim child benefit or child tax credit when their children live abroad. And we should look at ways to make it easier to deport people who have recently arrived in this country when they commit crime.” But he leaves it at that, and sheds no light whatsoever on what these new rules and measures should be or how he proposes to do it. For someone who criticises Cameron of vagueness, we can see some obvious hypocrisy at work here.
Miliband also wants to give back “more control to national parliaments” and even added that the next Labour government will not allow “a transfer of powers from the UK to the EU without a referendum on our continued membership of the EU.” This is a palpably naïve statement, as long as the UK is a member of the EU, we will never be able to give back more control to national parliaments. Powers are continually being transferred from the UK to Brussels, as has been the case since we joined the EU. Even while most of our laws are being made in Brussels, nothing can satisfy the EU’s thirst for more power and control.
One example where Brussels has expanded its powers has been the recent introduction of the European Investigation Order (EIO), a highly questionable piece of legislation which compromises British freedom and privacy. Miliband’s promise of a referendum is empty. He is just kicking the can down the road and even his own colleagues must be more than frustrated.
Following the tragic and early death of Bob Crow, it is a great shame that the Left lost a true Eurosceptic in their ranks, a highly respectable figure who genuinely cared about the welfare of workers he represented. Bob Crow led his own Eurosceptic party, No2EU, which planned to participate in May’s EU elections.
This loss coincided with Miliband’s Europhilic speech and his continuing betrayal of the working class; a class his party is supposed to be dedicated to. Instead, they are left with the dithering Ed Miliband, who will never consider an exit from the EU, no matter how bad things get. As Miliband himself says, “We [Labour] strongly believe Britain’s future is in the EU.” Miliband is denying the Great British Public an opportunity to have their say on this issue in an In/Out referendum. We at Get Britain Out reject his ambiguous claims and urge the British people to do the same.
Sam Woolfe, Researcher