Nigel Mills is a Tory MP on the Immigration Bill committee. At a certain point in his development the higher authority demanded of him: “Man or mouse?” He said: “Do I have to decide now?” “No, no, try both and see how it works out.”
There he was, Mr Mills, proposing a revolutionary New Clause in the important Bill before the House.
He suggested extending the restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian access to Britain for another two years. There are 27m in those two low-wage, pot-holed, pitchfork-waving, baby-selling countries who will have residence and labour rights in eight EU countries including Britain from the beginning of next year.
Mills made a quietly-argued case saying that our economy was below the level when the restrictions were extended last time. We still had very low interest rates and quantitative easing – we could make a convincing case that our labour market wasn’t ready to absorb such a travelling circus.
We must prevent the inevitable surge, “If we can,” he said. “Clearly, we’ve signed treaties to say that we can’t. But we’re a sovereign country. It is our sovereign right.” he said, anxiously. And why couldn’t we be more like the French and practise “the apologise-later approach rather than seek-permission-now.”
Minister Mark Harper said the New Clause would have to be put to one of the EU bodies and be approved unanimously, including by Bulgaria and Romania. “It just isn’t possible.”
Mr Mouse begged leave to withdraw his New Clause.
Still, the bones of an argument are there, should they be needed in the future. If enough Romanians and Bulgars do come over they will sweep UKIP into power.
What’s the official estimate? Migration Watch have suggested 250,000 over five years.
Imagine Cosmina addressing her husband: “Oi, Costica! Here’s what you do. Go to England. Get a job. Live on what you make. Get the Child Benefit sent over from the DWP. It’ll pay the mortgage on a bigger house, and I can get an iPad! It’s not just legal it’s our human right, as in the Convention and the Charter.”
Thus, the Guido Gallery estimate is twice Migration Watch and many times the official estimate (not that anyone knows what that is).