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Who do EU think you are kidding Mr Cameron?

Deal turns to farce as PM caves on immigration demands.















A “red card” system to allow a basic majority of 55 per cent of the EU’s national parliaments — or 15 out of 28 — to club together to veto new EU laws.

What it really means

VERY difficult to achieve in practice as it will take a monumental effort of co-ordination.

In 2008, William Hague said of the idea: “Even if the European Commission proposed the slaughter of the first-born, it would be difficult to achieve such a remarkable conjunction.”

The parliaments also only have 12 weeks to act before the new EU laws become untouchable. So forget about it if something bad gets thrown at us in the middle of the summer holidays.

The UK has not won back ultimate control over its own affairs. We still face long, torturous battles to get our own way over issues like the Common Agricultural Policy or annual financial bills.  Nor are our own judges supreme, a move long argued for by Boris Johnson.

Tax credits

AN “emergency brake” on in-work benefits such as tax credits for up to four years to deter more migrant arrivals. It will be triggered if the UK can prove “exceptional” pressure on our welfare system.  The EU Commission has agreed the brake should be triggered now.


What it really means

ACCESS to benefits will gradually be increased over the four-year time period rather than the complete ban Cameron wanted.  And control of it will be held by the EC Council in Brussels, not London. There is no agreement yet on how long the brake should be applied for.

This is far away from what the PM originally demanded.  The Tories 2015 election manifesto pledged a full four-year ban on benefits. No ifs, no buts, no tiered access to them — and no reliance on Brussels to authorise it.

It may take 18 months for the benefit restrictions to come into effect because of the law changes needed. Worst of all, we will have to beg all 27 other EU leaders to pull the emergency brake for us.

Experts say it will have almost no effect on immigration. Why not? Because most migrants come from poor Eastern European countries to work, not claim. They are still far better off here without a penny in tax credits — especially with the minimum wage rising to £9 an hour.

Only 28 per cent of EU migrants claim in-work benefits, so the restriction will only deter a maximum of 37,000 a year. Net migration to the UK from Europe is running at 180,000.

Child benefit

THE amount of child benefit the UK has to pay to foreign workers in Britain whose children live abroad is to be slashed.  Handouts will now be “indexed” at local levels paid out in the home country.


What it really means

CUTTING the amount of child benefit going to children abroad is also a far cry from the PM’s original demand for an end to the payments.  Cheques go out to more than 20,000 families abroad each year.



FOR the first time the Pound is protected in law as the EU formally recognises it has more than one currency.  If a number of members outside the Eurozone believe their interests are being overridden they can request talks.  And we won’t be involved in any future bailout of a bankrupt single currency country.

The EU has offered to cut red tape, especially to small and medium-sized businesses, plus an annual audit of EU rule.


THIS should ring-fence the City from a French bid to slash its dominance.  But there could be trouble ahead.  The PM has only won the right to bring up rows at EU leader level.

And Mr Cameron’s victory on red tape and competitiveness was an easy win. EU leaders are desperate for the kind of economic recovery the UK has experienced, even though the EU is committed to a culture of red tape.

Referendum countdown

Feb 18-19: Intense haggling at the crunch EU summit. Referendum as early as June 23 if a deal is struck.

March 17-18: EU summit — referendum could be held in Sept if a deal is sealed.

May 5: Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland elections — so no referendum.

June 16: Feel-good factor as Euro 2016 kicks off with England v Wales.

June 23-24: The next scheduled European Council meeting. If a deal is done, the next realistic date for a referendum is October.

May 2017: French presidential elections.

Sept: 2017: The latest the referendum could take place in order to meet the 2017 deadline laid out in legislation.



With thanks to The Sun for publishing this article on 3rd February. Click here to read the original article.



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