BRUSSELS: ‘ BRITAIN RISKS ALIENATING FRIENDS IN EUROPE OVER TALK OF MIGRATION CURBS ‘
#AceNewsServices – BRUSSELS VIEW – October 20 – Britain risks “alienating” friends in Europe by loose talk of migration curbs, the outgoing European Commission chief is to warn.
“It is an illusion to believe that space for dialogue can be created if the tone and substance of the arguments you put forward … offend fellow member states”, Jose Manuel Barroso is to say in a speech at the Chatham House think tank in London on Monday (20 October).
“It would be an historic mistake if on these issues Britain were to continue to alienate its natural allies in Central and Eastern Europe, when you were one of the strongest advocates for their accession”.
The speech describes EU freedom of movement as a “basic right, which cannot be decoupled from other single market freedoms”.
It also urges the British government to make the case for the EU ahead of an in/out referendum in 2017.
“This case is one which needs to be made nationally. It is now high time to get out there and dispel the illusions”.
Barroso’s speech comes amid a shrill debate on EU immigration in the UK.
The ruling Conservative Party wants to renegotiate Britain’s obligation to the EU treaty principle amid electoral gains by the anti-immigrant Ukip party.
British media report one idea is to cap the number of net migrants to 100,000 a year by limiting national insurance numbers issued to unskilled workers.