The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

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Immigration, Asylum and the Revived EU Constitution

PRESS RELEASE

New EU Constitution Threat to UK Border Control
More breaches of the Government’s Red Lines

Robert Oulds

Immigration Asylum and the Revived EU Constitution

The Bruges Group has uncovered that the revived and renamed EU Constitution will blow a hole wide open in Britain’s borders allowing the EU to take full control over Britain’s asylum and immigration policies.

The Treaty that Gordon Brown is expected to sign Britain up to next week includes new provisions; these will impose upon the UK the duty to be:
“fair towards third-country nationals”.
'Fairness' is subjective. This will allow the European Court of Justice to rule that an Australian style quota policy cannot be used to restrict immigration.

There will also be more costs placed on the taxpayer. The asylum provisions contain a solidarity clause. Under Article 69 c there will be increased demands on the taxpayer as Britain will be expected to share the financial burden of immigration. This will lead to Britain supporting asylum seekers in EU states that have a lower GDP than the UK.

Dr Lee Rotherham

EU expert Dr Lee Rotherham says,
“Once again, the renamed EU Constitution proves to be a Trojan Horse. Now we find that our ability to get a grip on asylum and immigration issues is under threat - our opt out is dangerously undermined.

“When we pick at the details the Government’s case for downplaying the text endlessly unravels. We must have a referendum.”

How the EU’s immigration plans affect the Red Lines

The Benefit System
One of the Government’s so-called Red Lines relates to Britain’s system of benefits. This will be breached because the EU desires that migrants to the UK should receive the same benefits as UK citizens.

Home Affairs
The safe guards will not stop the EU pressurising Britain to hand over these important home affairs powers, thus breaching another red line.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights
The red line relating to the Charter will also be shattered by the EU’s immigration policies because Protocol 22 will make the Charter of Fundamental Rights apply in cases of asylum.

Key provisions of the Treaty

The Bruges Group has argued, now with the support of the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee, that the Government’s opt-out clauses are not watertight and will not adequately defend Britain’s interests. This will allow the EU to fulfil its long-term plans to take full control over asylum, immigration and Britain’s border controls.

Article 69 1 (a) The EU shall ensure:
‘the absence of any controls on persons, whatever their nationality, when crossing internal borders’

Article 69 1 (c) The EU shall introduce:
‘an integrated management system for external borders’

Furthermore, Article 69 2 will give the EU the power to decide on who and for how long residents of non-EU states, even those from the Commonwealth, will be able to stay in Britain. The European Union will also determine the border checks that those people face.

Article 69a sections 1 and 2 will give the EU full power over asylum and introduce easier immigration for those that it feels should receive subsidiary protection.

Article 69b gives the EU full control over Britain’s immigration policy.

Under sections 2, 3 and 4 of that Article the EU even has the power to determine the rules that apply to people from so-called third-countries; this could end Britain’s close ties with other Commonwealth nations.

The implications of EU control over immigration

If the Treaty is ratified we can expect that the implications will be severe:

    A Threat to British Civil Liberties:
    Section 3 of Article 69 even gives the EU the power to force Britain to adopt identity cards without our Parliament being able to reject them


    More immigration:
    Mutual recognition of asylum decisions across the EU, allowing asylum seekers who received their status in one EU county to travel to Britain and automatically be given the same rights and benefits in the UK
    Britain being forced to take on the burden of immigrants arriving in other EU member states, particularly those arriving in Southern Europe
    Described as ‘mobility partnerships’ the EU will take control over migration and will make it easier for people to enter Britain
    Refugees that are awarded indefinite leave to remain in one EU country can then come and reside in Britain
    Asylum seekers that have been in Britain for more than five years will also be allowed to remain here indefinitely, regardless of change of circumstances in their country of origin. This will make it almost impossible for the UK to return refugees to their country of origin


    A more costly asylum system:
    The EU will replace the minimum standards for asylum seekers with costly mandatory standards to improve their treatment
    The EU will also force the British government to spend more on integrating asylum seekers
    The EU will force Britain to give immigrants and asylum seekers the same access to benefits as British citizens


    Ending British control:
    The EU will even take away power from the UK Government to implement the policies by establishing a European Support Office and determining common guidelines on enforcement of the rules relating to asylum seekers
    The EU will create a single process for designating and assessing applications for refugee status
    The EU will also decide, not the British government, who should be eligible for subsidiary protection thus allowing them access to the UK
    The EU will also take control over the UK’s borders by awarding MORE power to FRONTEX (the EU agency for the management of operational cooperation at the EU's external borders)