David Cameron, writing in the Telegraph, has said that controlling immigration is a vital part of the UK's long term economic plan.
He then goes on to talk about setting up an immigration system that puts Britain first after Labour's failed policies as well as clamping down on the abuses of illegal immigration, bogus students and the few that come to take advantage of our benefits system.
But what he fails to properly remind us of is that only immigration from non-EU countries can be controlled. Immigration from EU member states is already an open door and we have been assured many times by those that have the true say about it that this will not change.
Also that, whatever he says about restricting benefits to immigrants, the EU and ECHR (which are now effectively combined) may well have something to say on the matter. i.e. we do not have the final say, the EU already has that as far as EU citizens are concerned.
But the real stinger is that he is also omitting to remind us that, as of the first of November this year, all immigration matters come under EU control via the qualified majority voting system (QMV) because Gordon Brown signed the Lisbon Treaty back in 2007.
Immigration is one of the over forty policy areas we allowed to be surrendered to the EU with that one stroke of the pen. Where once every member state had a veto to ensure proposals that could damage their nation never saw the light of day, we are now faced with a qualified majority of the Council of the European Union being able to shape EU policy, potentially to our detriment, and then get it nodded through the EU Parliament that we then have to obey.
This means that the UK will have lost total control of its borders before the ink is dry on any immigration policy the PM can get through to the statute books.
The only thing he can hope is that dodgy back room deals can be done to try and win friends before any vote, then cross his fingers and hope – just as happened when he failed to stop the Jean-Claude Juncker juggernaut.
There is a short transitional period whereby we could ask for proposals to be voted on using the old system but this runs out in 2017.
The truth is that our immigration policy is being morphed into something that is of benefit to the European Union as a federal entity, not to the benefit of the UK, or any particular member state for that matter. This was always going to be the case and it is something that the PM knows all too well, whatever he says.
My guess would be that there is already a proposal somewhere, or there shortly will be, for an immigrant entering the EU from a non member state to be an immigrant into the EU – not into any particular state – and they can therefore move at will around all current 28 countries.
As asylum also comes under QMV at the same time I foresee a push from outlying countries to have asylum seekers viewed in the same way, then have them split among member states on a pro rata basis instead of being dealt with by the first safe state they enter.
The real horrifying part of all this is that we have handed over control in major policy areas to the EU without being told what this means, as well as having absolutely no clue as to what the EU has in mind where these policy areas are concerned.