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Tony Blair and Andrew Adonis Catfish Hunter Jersey , his former Downing Street policy chief, have made separate if coordinated proposals for new controls on UK migration as a viable route back from Brexit and for the UK’s continued membership of the EU single market.
To some, the proposals appear like a pro-remain version of Boris Johnson’s love of having and eating cakes – another British offer to remain in the single market so long as Britain can destroy it. To others, it is an attempt to inject some political and strategic realism into the remain position.
The ideas lean heavily on the presumption that there is an untapped mood in France and Germany to help the British pro-Europeans. The Blair pamphlet makes references to a smattering of largely middle-ranking former ministers and a thinktank to suggest there is a mood for reform.
Lord Adonis suggests that French and German politicians might support free movement reform and make a direct appeal to the British people over the heads of the UK government next summer as the moment of Brexit arrives, thereby making a referendum on the terms feasible.
A similar claim about a hidden flexibility has been made for more than a year by Nick Clegg, the former deputy prime minister who does have good connections with senior liberal politicians on the continent. Blair has good European contacts of his own: for instance Andrew Triggs Jersey , he visited the commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and met Sandro Gozi, the influential Italian European minister, in London last week.
Blair specifically suggests Britain can make common cause with Emmanuel Macron, the mercurial French president who, sensing the political danger of unfettered free movement, has issued a démarche against wage undercutting permitted by the 1996 EU posted workers directive – an initiative that has led him over the past months into direct and personal conflict with the Polish government.
In Germany Cheap Oakland Athletics Hats , it is said that if Angela Merkel is re-elected on 24 September, she may, especially if in a coalition with Free Democrats, show a new flexibility and might support the idea of an emergency brake on migration – an idea she rejected in her largely fruitless discussions with David Cameron before the referendum.
The Blair-Adonis axis argues argue that it is clear next year’s Italian elections may well turn on the issue of migration. There are changes to migration that Europe could either adopt, or allow the UK to adopt, that do not breach the fundamental principle of free movement Cheap Athletics baseball Shirts , one of the pillars of the EU. This makes a new settlement possible.
At a minimum, Blair is right to say the UK could have done more to control migration within the EU framework than it has. He is also right to say the single greatest ingredient of modern politics is volatility and soothsaying is the most discredited profession.
But scanning French, German or indeed European commission politics, there is precious little sign that the EU is willing to shift on the principle of free movement, even in a concession to pro-Europeans such as Blair. The intellectual energy in Europe is devoted to greater future political and economic integration, as evidenced by Macron’s strongly pro-European speech to the Greeks alongside the Parthenon last week.
With the exception of the posted workers directive Cheap Athletics Pullover Hoodies , the bulk of the EU’s concern about migration concerns people from abroad, from Libya and Turkey, but not about internal free movement within the EU.
The remarkable aspect of the German election is the extent to which migration has not been the issue to damage Merkel. Germans seem reluctantly willing to accept 2015 was a one-off response to a humanitarian disaster and Merkel does not offer a policy of open borders. The German elections are focused on security, Turkey, childcare and the necessity of Europe in the age of Donald Trump – not on keeping eastern Europeans out of the country.
In the case of France, Blair is right to say Macron Custom Athletics Jerseys , facing a battle over labour and welfare reform, has tried to gather some political capital by going into battle over social dumping – the practice whereby employers use cheaper labour than is typically available locally by using migrant workers. He has won the support of Germany, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.
His changes to the posted workers directive, due to be discussed at EU level on 23 October Cheap Athletics Jerseys , are not trivial – and he has toured eastern European capitals to explain his plans. They say that no posted worker should be given a secondment of more than 12 months; that pay, including transport and accommodation, should be guaranteed at the same as the local rate; and that a European platform should be set up to crack down on fraudulent countries.
The Polish prime minister, Beata Szyd?o, who is fearful that tens of thousands of Poles will lose pay or work, has denounced Macron’s initiative as “a fundamental attack on the pillars of the European Union” Walt Weiss Athletics Jersey , calling it “protectionism”.
Reform to the directive would have some practical impact on wages of eastern European workers in the UK, and perhaps a marginal impact on low skilled labour market. The EU recorded more than 54,300 posted workers in the UK in 2005. But it is hardly a game-changer.
Blair, however, has failed to find much evidence that the EU would be willing to accept an emergency brake on the number of EU migrants reaching the UK, as opposed to a brake on their benefits Tony Phillips Athletics Jersey , the deal Cameron negotiated with the commission in 2016.
Macron, at least temperamentally, seems to have put UK membership of the EU behind him to focus on what he describes as the miracle of Europe. In his speech in Athens, he repeatedly conceded Europe’s egregious mistakes, its lies and the need to be refounded. “In Europe today, sovereignty Terry Steinbach Athletics Jersey , democracy and trust are in danger … We must rediscover the enthusiasm that the union was founded upon and change, not with technocr Unlik.