EU starts to crack, Merkel willing to compromise on free movement

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astutehirstute
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Ha ha ha!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016...-on-free-move/
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caravaggio2
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Can anyone explain to a numbskull like me why free movement is so important to her and the leaders of the European project that it is worth watching the possible collapse of the whole edifice, rather than give it up and let individual countries decide their own immigration policy?
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sleepysnooze
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(Original post by caravaggio2)
Can anyone explain to a numbskull like me why free movement is so important to her and the leaders of the European project that it is worth watching the possible collapse of the whole edifice, rather than give it up and let individual countries decide their own immigration policy?
I want to know too
it would make *some* sense if the only members of the EU were roughly equal economically but why on earth would you have free movement between wealthy and poor countries when the only immigration is essentially going to be *into* the wealthy countries from the poor. why would wealthy countries engage in that kind of pointless and even damaging charity?
the only sense would be if these leaders within the EU were stary-eyed liberal internationalists - but basically no citizen in western europe shares that vision. that's very likely the reason the EU has to be so unaccountable.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by caravaggio2)
Can anyone explain to a numbskull like me why free movement is so important to her and the leaders of the European project that it is worth watching the possible collapse of the whole edifice, rather than give it up and let individual countries decide their own immigration policy?
(Original post by sleepysnooze)
I want to know too
it would make *some* sense if the only members of the EU were roughly equal economically but why on earth would you have free movement between wealthy and poor countries when the only immigration is essentially going to be *into* the wealthy countries from the poor. why would wealthy countries engage in that kind of pointless and even damaging charity?
the only sense would be if these leaders within the EU were stary-eyed liberal internationalists - but basically no citizen in western europe shares that vision. that's very likely the reason the EU has to be so unaccountable.
For Germany the EU means power because the economic and population disparities are quite large, hence it makes them more important in the world than if they were alone.

Regarding free movement it is generally viewed as a good thing by the establishment because it weakens cultural differences (in theory) thereby giving people a European identity (of which Germany is the most powerful chess piece) and also because corporations love free movement (free movement of labour is actually a pretty ancap policy). Plus there's the whole national shame thing over there.

One must remember that for the establishment it is global political power which really matters, the citizens are simply pawns.
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MagicNMedicine
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(Original post by caravaggio2)
Can anyone explain to a numbskull like me why free movement is so important to her and the leaders of the European project that it is worth watching the possible collapse of the whole edifice, rather than give it up and let individual countries decide their own immigration policy?
The EU leaders keep talking about the core principles of the EU that are non-negotiable, these are mainly the four freedoms: free movement of goods, capital, services and people over borders.

The big question is: who decided that these were the unarguable fundamental principles of the EU? This wasn't a "bottom up" thing where the people of Europe have demanded these, it was "top down" - senior EU politicians have developed this doctrine and decided that they are unarguable principles.

The problem with these principles is:
1. They basically imply the EU is a unified state as having those as unlimited freedoms makes it like a nation state where goods, capital, services and people flow freely over the borders of cities, counties and states.
2. This level of statehood does not have democratic consent. Which other leading EU countries are going to do what the UK did and have a referendum? None of them, because they think the UK was "foolish" to have a referendum and expose the fact that it didn't have demoratic consent.

The other argument that keeps coming up from the EU leaders is, if we give the UK a deal that allows them access to the single market with free trade but allows them restrictions on free movement then other EU countries will ask for the same....

So what?

If it makes sense then what would be wrong with that, if the UK negotiated a close trading relationship and membership of the single market but with restrictions on free movement and then France and Italy for instance demanded the same then what would be the actual problem with allowing them to have it as well? All it would mean would be that you compromised one of those unquestioned four freedoms - of free movement, by allowing nation states to have some restriction.

Again...so what?

I struggle to see why this is a bad thing?

I bet if you allowed that, you would have had a lot more positivity towards the EU. You would almost certainly have had a majority for Remain in the UK and in other states Euroscepticism would fall significantly.
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limetang
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There are a number of factors (as I see it), influencing this "change of heart" of Merkels. First and foremost, Germany has a federal election in 2017, after the ill-effects of the migration crisis Merkel is on damage control for that. A crucial factor that has come into play however is Trump. When it comes to Brexit negotiations the UK has now gained a few more bargaining chips with the election of Donald Trump. What you've got is a US that is going to become more isolationist, that will more than likely torpedo TTIP and is quite possibly going to be less inclined to get into the business of trade deals with the EU. The UK is, however a potential exception to this, Donald Trump is certainly (at least it would seem that way) more willing to deal with the UK than the EU, so there is a renewed desire to try and make the UK stay even if it does involve allowing the UK to have its cake and eat it as it were.
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username878267
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#7
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#7
(Original post by sleepysnooze)
I want to know too
it would make *some* sense if the only members of the EU were roughly equal economically but why on earth would you have free movement between wealthy and poor countries when the only immigration is essentially going to be *into* the wealthy countries from the poor. why would wealthy countries engage in that kind of pointless and even damaging charity?
the only sense would be if these leaders within the EU were stary-eyed liberal internationalists - but basically no citizen in western europe shares that vision. that's very likely the reason the EU has to be so unaccountable.
I thought you were libertarian and didn't believe in any government interference?

Free movements means that big corporations, that you love, can employ very cheap labour.

Considering you are very much in support of the free market and opposed to state intervention then why do you to support this?
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_Fergo
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#8
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#8
Most biased article ever.

She won't compromise on the principle itself - rather on specific requirements such as when someone can claim benefits. So still no FTA without free movement.

People are still dreaming of remaining to the FTA without free movement... who'd have thought eh.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
The EU leaders keep talking about the core principles of the EU that are non-negotiable, these are mainly the four freedoms: free movement of goods, capital, services and people over borders.

The big question is: who decided that these were the unarguable fundamental principles of the EU? This wasn't a "bottom up" thing where the people of Europe have demanded these, it was "top down" - senior EU politicians have developed this doctrine and decided that they are unarguable principles.
These are there in the Treaty of Rome. They are what the EEC was set up to do. In other words they existed before there were "EU politicians"; when the only politicians were those of the 6 original members. Whilst none of those six member states have ever elected a government in the almost 60 years since the treaty was signed in favour of withdrawing, it is a bit rich to say the people are not in favour.
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MagicNMedicine
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
Whilst none of those six member states have ever elected a government in the almost 60 years since the treaty was signed in favour of withdrawing, it is a bit rich to say the people are not in favour.
The UK hasn't elected a government in favour of withdrawing either. In 2015, it elected a government that recommended remaining in the EU.

Do you therefore believe that the people of the UK are in favour of the EU?
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shawn_o1
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Actually, the UK elected a government that would review The country's membership with the EU, and promise a referendum. Once the government got a deal sorted, they pushed too hard for the remain vote using "do this or else" tactics, which got more people voting The other way unsurprisingly.
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caravaggio2
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
The EU leaders keep talking about the core principles of the EU that are non-negotiable, these are mainly the four freedoms: free movement of goods, capital, services and people over borders.

The big question is: who decided that these were the unarguable fundamental principles of the EU? This wasn't a "bottom up" thing where the people of Europe have demanded these, it was "top down" - senior EU politicians have developed this doctrine and decided that they are unarguable principles.

The problem with these principles is:
1. They basically imply the EU is a unified state as having those as unlimited freedoms makes it like a nation state where goods, capital, services and people flow freely over the borders of cities, counties and states.
2. This level of statehood does not have democratic consent. Which other leading EU countries are going to do what the UK did and have a referendum? None of them, because they think the UK was "foolish" to have a referendum and expose the fact that it didn't have demoratic consent.

The other argument that keeps coming up from the EU leaders is, if we give the UK a deal that allows them access to the single market with free trade but allows them restrictions on free movement then other EU countries will ask for the same....

So what?

If it makes sense then what would be wrong with that, if the UK negotiated a close trading relationship and membership of the single market but with restrictions on free movement and then France and Italy for instance demanded the same then what would be the actual problem with allowing them to have it as well? All it would mean would be that you compromised one of those unquestioned four freedoms - of free movement, by allowing nation states to have some restriction.

Again...so what?

I struggle to see why this is a bad thing?

I bet if you allowed that, you would have had a lot more positivity towards the EU. You would almost certainly have had a majority for Remain in the UK and in other states Euroscepticism would fall significantly.
Thank you mnm, you put it better than I could.
As I said, what amazes me is how they are willing to see the whole shebang collapse around their ears rather than give up one principal, even though it would still work without that principal.
It's almost like there is a secret agenda at work.😒
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
The UK hasn't elected a government in favour of withdrawing either. In 2015, it elected a government that recommended remaining in the EU.

Do you therefore believe that the people of the UK are in favour of the EU?
That is a difficult question.

The "in favour" side are entitled to appropriate those who failed to vote in the Brexit referendum on the basis that those unwilling to vote to do something positive when given the opportunity to do something about it, must be taken as content with the status quo.

However the "against" side can counter by saying that asking someone whether they would prefer to be shot or hanged doesn't mean they are in favour of the one they have chosen, merely that they are less against it than the other option.

Perhaps the best way to put it is this. A majority of people are not so opposed to the EU that they would wish to leave it.

The answer of course is a completely different one to who won the referendum? The referendum, like a sporting competition, is a contest with rules and under the rules laid down for the contest, Brexit clearly won.
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username402722
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I think that some form of restriction of free movement into/out of the EU is something that has to be part of any deal, because it was the main reason I think that Brexit won the referendum. I cannot see any other deal being accepted in the UK. What form the restrictions are is open to negotiation- it could be no benefits for a few years, or no movement without a guaranteed job, or something more restrictive.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by barnetlad)
I think that some form of restriction of free movement into/out of the EU is something that has to be part of any deal, because it was the main reason I think that Brexit won the referendum. I cannot see any other deal being accepted in the UK. What form the restrictions are is open to negotiation- it could be no benefits for a few years, or no movement without a guaranteed job, or something more restrictive.
The deal is essentially obvious and I will come to that in a moment.

However, the elephant in the room is identity cards. When the Major government proposed ID cards in 1993 they were to be called Entitlement Cards and to be basically about accessing public services. By the time of the Labour government's ID card proposals, the security apparatus had taken over. However any settlement of the free movement question has to involve an ID database.

The EU isn't going to tolerate a system of border control which is more onerous to EU citizens than that imposed on non-visa nationals from non-EU states. But without a system to prevent EU nationals without a right of residence here from enjoying the same rights as those with a right of residence here, giving or withholding the right of residence is a wholly futile act.

Many EU citizens here today have no right to reside in the UK under EU law. A stark example is:-
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2016/13.html see paragraph 64

This Italian had been living in the UK since 1952. It was held that he had indefinite leave to remain under UK law from 1973 which had never been documented in any way, but despite being here for 60 odd years he had acquired no right to reside in the UK under EU law. The point is that the absence of any document evidencing his indefinite leave to remain under UK law and the absence of any right to reside in the UK had never inconvenienced him in the slightest during those 60 years.

I am opposed to ID cards but their absence here is one of the reasons why there is very little sympathy in Europe for the UK's immigration problems. Ireland is now getting itself an ID card system.
http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en...ices_card.html



The sensible deal is straightforward.

Freedom of movement was always about freedom of labour. In 1957 or 1973 if you wanted a job on an East Anglian farm you needed to buy and reply to an ad in the Lynn News or knock on the farmhouse door. You don't need to do that today. There is no need to have a right to reside for the purposes of looking for work. That doesn't stop anyone entering the country for interview etc; but the present EU system is that you have a right to move to the UK (or anywhere else) as a job seeker. That puts the onus on the host government to show that right to reside has been lost, because the person has no reasonable prospect of finding work.

Next, there is no need to disqualify from benefits. That distorts the single market because in work benefits like tax credits are a labour subsidy. All you need is that the country of citizenship is responsible for meeting the cost of benefits until the person has contributed enough in social welfare taxes (in our case NI) that he or she should fairly become a charge on our taxpayers. Then at a higher level of payment of social welfare taxes the host government repays the country of citizenship for its earlier expenditure. The key point is that this allies the country of citizenship with the host country in cutting the cost of cross-border benefit claims.
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midnightice
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
The EU leaders keep talking about the core principles of the EU that are non-negotiable, these are mainly the four freedoms: free movement of goods, capital, services and people over borders.

The big question is: who decided that these were the unarguable fundamental principles of the EU? This wasn't a "bottom up" thing where the people of Europe have demanded these, it was "top down" - senior EU politicians have developed this doctrine and decided that they are unarguable principles.

The problem with these principles is:
1. They basically imply the EU is a unified state as having those as unlimited freedoms makes it like a nation state where goods, capital, services and people flow freely over the borders of cities, counties and states.
2. This level of statehood does not have democratic consent. Which other leading EU countries are going to do what the UK did and have a referendum? None of them, because they think the UK was "foolish" to have a referendum and expose the fact that it didn't have demoratic consent.

The other argument that keeps coming up from the EU leaders is, if we give the UK a deal that allows them access to the single market with free trade but allows them restrictions on free movement then other EU countries will ask for the same....

So what?

If it makes sense then what would be wrong with that, if the UK negotiated a close trading relationship and membership of the single market but with restrictions on free movement and then France and Italy for instance demanded the same then what would be the actual problem with allowing them to have it as well? All it would mean would be that you compromised one of those unquestioned four freedoms - of free movement, by allowing nation states to have some restriction.

Again...so what?

I struggle to see why this is a bad thing?

I bet if you allowed that, you would have had a lot more positivity towards the EU. You would almost certainly have had a majority for Remain in the UK and in other states Euroscepticism would fall significantly.
PRSOM

This is everything wrong with the EU in a nutshell. The fact that they think giving the UK this deal would make other countries also want this deal inherently admits that the current deal is not in the interest of the nations and their people. Eurofederalism is so dogmatic.
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
The big question is: who decided that these were the unarguable fundamental principles of the EU? This wasn't a "bottom up" thing where the people of Europe have demanded these, it was "top down" - senior EU politicians have developed this doctrine and decided that they are unarguable principles.

The problem with these principles is:
1. They basically imply the EU is a unified state as having those as unlimited freedoms makes it like a nation state where goods, capital, services and people flow freely over the borders of cities, counties and states.
2. This level of statehood does not have democratic consent. Which other leading EU countries are going to do what the UK did and have a referendum? None of them, because they think the UK was "foolish" to have a referendum and expose the fact that it didn't have demoratic consent.
Freedom of movement dates back to the Steel and Coal Community. The people who ultimately 'decide' whether freedom of movement is a thing are the heads of state in each European country. They are the ones who have ratified the treaties that exist.

1. The EU isn't a unified state, so what's the problem?

2. It does, because heads of state agree to them. They are the representative of their country.
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MagicNMedicine
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
The sensible deal is straightforward.

Freedom of movement was always about freedom of labour. In 1957 or 1973 if you wanted a job on an East Anglian farm you needed to buy and reply to an ad in the Lynn News or knock on the farmhouse door. You don't need to do that today. There is no need to have a right to reside for the purposes of looking for work. That doesn't stop anyone entering the country for interview etc; but the present EU system is that you have a right to move to the UK (or anywhere else) as a job seeker. That puts the onus on the host government to show that right to reside has been lost, because the person has no reasonable prospect of finding work.

Next, there is no need to disqualify from benefits. That distorts the single market because in work benefits like tax credits are a labour subsidy. All you need is that the country of citizenship is responsible for meeting the cost of benefits until the person has contributed enough in social welfare taxes (in our case NI) that he or she should fairly become a charge on our taxpayers. Then at a higher level of payment of social welfare taxes the host government repays the country of citizenship for its earlier expenditure. The key point is that this allies the country of citizenship with the host country in cutting the cost of cross-border benefit claims.
This is an interesting idea but I think its anything but straightforward.

How are you going to get Eastern European countries to sign up for this? They don't have tax credit systems like the UK, but their taxpayer could then be on the line when their own citizens move to the UK to work temporarily in low paid jobs - because of a British tax credit system over which they have no control, they now have to subsidise people working in the UK creating output for the UK economy.

Now what you could do is say that benefit entitlement depends on the benefit system of the country of citizenship rather than the country in which someone works. So Polish migrants in the UK, would be entitled to Polish benefits, paid for by the Polish taxpayer, but not the benefits available to UK citizens in the UK. But also, a UK worker who goes over to work in Poland is eligible for the same in-work benefits as he/she would be in the UK.
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MagicNMedicine
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(Original post by SHallowvale)
Freedom of movement dates back to the Steel and Coal Community. The people who ultimately 'decide' whether freedom of movement is a thing are the heads of state in each European country. They are the ones who have ratified the treaties that exist.

1. The EU isn't a unified state, so what's the problem?

2. It does, because heads of state agree to them. They are the representative of their country.
Re-read what you put there and consider it from the perspective of someone who is not fervently in favour of the EU and you will start to understand what people mean when they talk about the EU feeling like rule by elites.

If the EU is not a unified state, and there's no desire from the people for it to be an unified state, the problem is that it imposes the characteristics of a unified state: free movement across borders, sovereignty of a supra-national court. Why do you think people don't like free movement across the EU but don't mind free movement across the UK: it's because people in the UK accept the UK as the right level of a state, not the EU. Just saying its not a unified state, doesn't take the problem away. You could say that if its not a unified state we don't have to have free movement.

As for point 2, you seem to believe that as the head of state is representative of their country, their judgement has public support. You might argue it has democratic legitimacy in a representative democracy, but that's not the same thing as having public support.

I presume you are opposed to this legal challenge to make Parliament debate Article 50. Surely a UK government can act unilaterally, as it is representative of the people. If there's need for the Head of State (The Queen) to make a decision she will act in support of her Government.
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nulli tertius
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#20
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#20
(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
This is an interesting idea but I think its anything but straightforward.

How are you going to get Eastern European countries to sign up for this? They don't have tax credit systems like the UK, but their taxpayer could then be on the line when their own citizens move to the UK to work temporarily in low paid jobs - because of a British tax credit system over which they have no control, they now have to subsidise people working in the UK creating output for the UK economy.
Effectively they would support it because the number benefiting would outweigh the cost. The entire UK "in work" benefits bill for the entire EU was "only" half a billion pounds in 2013 and that divides up amongst a number of countries. Obviously this doesn't only affect the UK but the numbers seem manageable and the politics seems manageable provided immigrants eventually get onto the host nation's books.

.


Now what you could do is say that benefit entitlement depends on the benefit system of the country of citizenship rather than the country in which someone works. So Polish migrants in the UK, would be entitled to Polish benefits, paid for by the Polish taxpayer, but not the benefits available to UK citizens in the UK. But also, a UK worker who goes over to work in Poland is eligible for the same in-work benefits as he/she would be in the UK.
That distorts the free market in labour. As the cost of living varies between EU states, it is the same as the UK government giving Brits more money than foreigners.
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