At least Jeremy Corbyn tells the truth: being in the EU means unlimited immigration


Source: The Telegraph

Jeremy Corbyn has faults almost too numerous to count, but, in one regard at least, dishonesty is not among them. Interviewed about Britain’s place in the European Union and the immigration that stems from it, Mr Corbyn was asked about the limit on European immigration that some of his party colleagues have recently suggested. “I don’t think you can have one while you have the free movement of labour,” he replied.  He was absolutely right. As the EU is currently constituted, there is no way for any member-state to limit the number of EU nationals entering its territory. To be in the EU is to accept free movement and thus give up control of the number of people from other EU countries that enter your country. Some of those people, incidentally, may be recent immigrants from outside the EU given citizenship by other members: member-states gave passports to 889,139 migrants in 2014 alone.

None of this is a secret, but Mr Corbyn is remarkably rare among politicians campaigning for a Remain vote in the EU referendum in being willing to admit it so bluntly. Too many other Remain campaigners have sought to gloss over the reality of EU migration rules and the effect on Britain’s communities and public services. Worse, some pro-Remain politicians seek to stigmatise opponents who raise concerns about immigration.


Whatever the merits of the “breaking point” poster unveiled last week by Nigel Farage of Ukip – even senior Leave campaigners such as Michael Gove have expressed grave doubts –  George Osborne has done nothing to make Britain’s national conversation about immigration more sensible by saying that Mr Farage is practicing the politics of the 1930s over the issue.

This newspaper has consistently called for a measured, factual debate about the EU and the consequences of membership. Likening political opponents to Nazis does nothing to bring that about.  Instead of slurs, Mr Osborne would have been better to make a positive case for European immigration while honestly conceding its costs.

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