The Labour Party love to claim that 'Britain is sleepwalking out of Europe.' With Andy Burnham claiming recently that Britain's place is in the EU, we all know that Labour have still not learnt their lesson from this year's election on the EU. And worse still, Yvette Cooper claims Britain should take in 10,000 migrants, regardless of their backgrounds. It is rather worrying that the Labour Party still do not get that the British people punished them over their refusal to bring in an EU referendum and for their past record on immigration. We as Conservatives should be proud of the fact that we are trying to tackle these two crucial issues.
However, if anything, the recent migrant crisis has shown that the EU is being far too harsh on Britain. Stephen Mayer was quoted in The Times suggesting that this situation could 'harm the bilateral British-German relationship, and certainly to Cameron's ambitions to be successful in the renegotiation.' These comments are causing Cameron to panic and back down on many of his ambitious reforms such as preventing Britain from outright exemption from the EU's social and labour legislation. Also, where is the demand to reform the Schengen area? Many Schengen supporters have admitted that the recent migrant crisis has exposed the flaws in freedom of movement.
These are the most challenging times the European Union has ever faced. The whole EU project has been undermined what with the Greek crisis taking place before this. Like with the Greek crisis, this whole episode over freedom of movement has suggested that it is Germany who are again pulling the EU's strings. Merkel has refused to reform the principle of freedom of movement. What right do the Germans have to tell Britain that they need to do more to tackle immigration? The Office for National Statistics claims that in 2014, Britain took in 641,000 people. Between 67,000-268,000 of those immigrants were from the EU and 42,000-290,000 were from outside the EU. These figures keep increasing. No one denies immigration brings a lot of benefits to the UK, but can we honestly say they all come here for economic benefits? Theresa May deserves to be commended for suggesting that migrants can only come over to this country if they have a job organised for when they get here. It is the attitude of the British Government, which is a correct attitude in this crisis, that is provoking anger from the Germans. Under the Conservative Party, the British Government is finally standing up for British people. This was not the case under Blair and Brown who took integration much too far and left us in this situation now.
The EU does not deserve Britain's membership. The Eurocrats, like the Labour Party, do not get it. Juncker has pushed for further integration in the past with suggestions of an EU Army. If Cameron succeeds in pushing through mild rather than radical reforms, can Britain really afford to stay in an organisation that lacks the courage to reform itself? When has the EU Commission ever been reformed? Britain deserves better and the British people will hopefully see through the EU's bullying tactics by 2017. We are not 'sleepwalking' out of the EU; it is the EU who are pushing us away in this failing relationship.
Matthew Snape is a Conservative party activist from Oxfordshire
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