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The EU’s latest immigration crisis Michel Barnier's cynical intervention sounds a warning for Europe

President Barnier? Credit: Thierry Monasse/Getty

President Barnier? Credit: Thierry Monasse/Getty


May 14, 2021   4 mins

Over the past month, while the British press busied itself with stories about the type of wallpaper in the Prime Minister’s apartment, France has become embroiled in a crisis that threatens the legitimacy and future of the entire Republic.

Predictably, it all started with a letter. Published in Valeurs Actuelles last month and signed by around 1,000 servicemen and women, including 20 retired Generals, it warned President Macron that Islamist extremists, and the existence of the banlieue ghettos, have the potential to tip France into civil war.

The contents of the letter were disturbing. But so was the timing, coming as it did on the 60th anniversary of the failed generals’ putsch of 1961, when generals of the French Army attempted to topple President Charles de Gaulle. Indeed, it’s hardly surprising that it sparked an extraordinary scandal, with government ministers threatening to punish all the letter’s signatories.

Undaunted by these threats, the warning was repeated this week in a second letter, this time signed by 130,000 members of the French public. Once again the French government condemned it. Elsewhere, their reception has fallen along predictable political lines: mainstream politicians of the Left and Right have criticised the letters, while Marine le Pen has been careful to express support for the signatories.

This is, of course, to be expected. Le Pen will seize on whatever embarrasses the rest of the political mainstream, while the rest of that mainstream will continue to resist anything which could be seen to provide ammunition for Le Pen.

But it is really the longer-term effect of interventions like these that are of most interest. Because what is striking about the debate on immigration, integration and security in France in recent years is not that the same lines keep getting drawn. The interesting thing is that, while this has gone on, French politics has experienced a silent revolution. Indeed, things are today said in France on immigration that would normally end a political career in most English-speaking countries.

The most high-profile demonstration in recent weeks came in the form of Michel Barnier. The Frenchman turned 70 in January, a milestone which precludes him from taking up another job in the European Commission. And perhaps as a result, he is now eyeing up a run for the French Presidency.

How do we know this? Because in an interview on Sunday, Barnier dropped this bombshell:

“There are links between [immigration flows] and terrorist networks which try to infiltrate them… There is a risk of an explosion, particularly on the topic of immigration. We need to introduce a moratorium on immigration. We need to take time to evaluate, check and if necessary, change our immigration policies.”

In this and later interviews the same day, he speculated that France should consider a total suspension of immigration for between three and five years, as well as a reassessment of free movement within the Schengen area. In other words, it is time for France to take back control. Suddenly, external migration and internal movement in the EU are now up for debate in the political centre.

There are several interesting things to note about this. The first is the way in which the events of the last year have already shifted the debate on immigration and border control more than anyone might have expected. For more than a generation, governments in the developed West have argued that high levels of immigration into Western countries are a fact of life; migration cannot be stopped altogether even if the governments of the developed countries wanted to do so.

But the events of the last year have shown this to be a lie. In an extreme event — on this occasion a global pandemic — countries around the world have shown that they are able to close their borders. Even Justin Trudeau’s Canada and Angela Merkel’s Germany, which have made a great show in recent years of being open to migration from around the world, did something that nobody could ever (before the pandemic) have expected them to do: they shut the borders and kept them shut.

The public and some wilier politicians will have noticed something here. If it is possible to close the borders to prevent a pandemic, then it should be possible to close the borders to prevent excessive migration. Whether you agree with the policy or not, it has suddenly become a viable option.

The only discussion, then, is whether a particular set of circumstances is serious enough for a pandemic border response to be enacted. Clearly there are many in France who think they are at this point. And that raises an important question over what is a more serious challenge to the long-term security of France: the Covid pandemic or the ongoing divisions and security concerns brought on by high levels of immigration?

If you go to parts of Paris — even in the city centre — there are migrant tent communities set up that resemble somewhere in the third world, or California. As long as they exist, it is surely understandable for Parisians to wonder why this problem can’t be fixed.

Their Government has shown that it can mandate everyone to stay in their homes, lock the borders and force everyone to wear masks. Why can it not deal with the issue of mass migration? Clearly the thought is out there. Otherwise Mr Barnier would not have taken — utterly cynically, no doubt — up the cause.

And yet it is not just Covid that has changed things. Rather, as I described in The Strange Death of Europe, public opinion in France on immigration has long been shifting in this direction. Very few people, year on year, say that they are less concerned about integration; and very few believe that multicultural France has a happy future if migration continues at the rate of recent years.

Politicians of the Left as well as the Right have long been facing up to this. But the Barnier intervention — like that of the generals — is a demonstration that the political reality, as well as the political rhetoric, in France is changing. Things that were once unthinkable are now being proposed as national policy. No doubt that will all come as a shock to Mr Barnier’s former colleagues, but they would be unwise to ignore it.


Douglas Murray is an author and journalist.

DouglasKMurray

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George Bruce
George Bruce
3 years ago

I watch a moderate amount of French current affairs TV programmes, and one of the good things is that at least on some of them they can at least voice their concerns about mass immigration and especially unsuitable immigration and immigrants, in a way that I do not think people can do on British TV.
It helps raise the awareness when you have an intelligent person with a reasonably high profile telling you about how bad the situation is, say, in the Islamised cities and towns. Or telling you not the standard line in the UK and elsewhere about how Muslims are wonderful apart from an evil few, but that the presence of large numbers of even moderate adherents that alien and hostile religion is a catastrophe.
I wonder how people would explain the fact that the French have managed this on their TV, yet we have not.

Last edited 3 years ago by George Bruce
Looney Leftie
Looney Leftie
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

I believe the French (on the whole) are more patriotic than the Brits, even Macron said no statues will be toppled after the BLM protests/riots, I didn’t hear Johnson say anything like that (??). They also have a revolutionary streak that easily comes to the fore, see the yellow jacket movement for the latest version. Us Brits are more content to go with the flow and not upset the apple cart, and I believe this mindset along with the prevalent cancel/woke culture supported by the British mainstream media (see Piers Morgan) is the reason Brits are so coy.

Last edited 3 years ago by Looney Leftie
George Bruce
George Bruce
3 years ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

Maybe the go with the flow you mention is a big factor.

Looney Leftie
Looney Leftie
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

It’s also worth noting that the socialist movement in France is almost non existent. They are about the 5-6 biggest party I believe (??), and as we know the left are far more in favour of open border immigration policies than the right. So when it comes to criticising immigration there is much less opposition to the critical voices.

George Bruce
George Bruce
3 years ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

I just recalled who Thomas Newton was; had forgotten his middle name was Jerome. You are ideally placed to give a different perspective on immigration!

Dennis Lewis
Dennis Lewis
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Yes, he’s one of the better sort of immigrants, I guess.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

“go with the flow’ unfortunately might mean “I dont really care that much ” – and hence the situations that we have allowed to develop.

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  chris sullivan

football and tv…..the modern opiums of the masses.

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

It’s not “going with the flow”, it’s more that they keep the population confused all the time. They do this by keeping the people guessing as to what exactly does each political party actually stand for. Hence we have the Blairite “conservative” party in government.

Jayne Lago
Jayne Lago
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Lack of backbone!

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

Respectfully you are mistaken, the biggest difference is that French Conservatives have never given up on High Culture. There are plenty of academics, intellectuals in France that are Rightist. In England (and USA) there is hostility toward high culture (anti-intellectualism) so the field is fully controlled by Lunatic Left.

Looney Leftie
Looney Leftie
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Fair enough, point taken. I do agree regarding your point on ‘high culture’, I do admire the French in this appreciation, which seems rather lacking in the UK. Historically France has had many left leaing academics and Philosophers (Satre, Foucault, Genet) although I dont know about the current situation in this field in France. I would also suggest the French are very protective of their history and culture. I’m not sure if the following is an urban myth, but I once heard that on national French radio they had to play a French language song for every 3 songs played. However, I also understand with English being one of the dominate languages in the world us Brits would not need such rules.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

True French protect their culture because they (both left and right) think it is worth protecting. Plenty of people in Africa speak French but French never embraced the idiotic idea of multiculturalism. They know that French culture (morons both left and right in English speaking world call them arrogant for that) is superior. Yes, there was a rule about French songs and radio in the 90s. Stupid but no one is perfect.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Yes, i definitely agree with that.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Fair comment

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

I think the shared language with North America is part of the problem too. No language barrier to the rubbish floating out of USA campuses / USA popculture, all the lunacies fall on a facile fertile ground over here. Meanwhile the French were rather plucky about resisting the anglophone hegemony in mass culture. As i hear, the French don’t have the same young / old division about politics, in fact the young generations tend to support Marine / the RN, whereas the comfortably middle-aged are sticking with the (pro-EU / pro-migration) “centrists”.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

anti intellectualism in USA comes from England. Hence conservatives have abandoned academia. Universities are dominated by Leftie Nutters.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Not quite sure if that’s the case. Anti-intellectual politicised popculture unfortunately comes from the USA, since the ’60s or so. At least that’s how it seems to me.

Last edited 3 years ago by Johannes Kreisler
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Nope, it is old fashion Anglo-Saxon culture of the New England (and southern elite). From the moment that the founding fathers died (one by one) the public scene was taken over by know nothings. The real american is the Redneck (pick up truck, guns and all that). High Culture in USA came (I am simplifying here) with German migration in the mid 19th Century and the children of robber barons that “blew” their inheritance with Continental Art.
Read Mencken to understand the anti-intellectualism in American life.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Being a Hungarian myself with a fairly limited knowledge of America’s historical innerworkings, i will take your word on that, as i see no reason not to. Yes, the “simpleton American” is an old trope still making the rounds here in Europe, even though the know-nothings have overtaken the place (cultural institutions) in much of Europe.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

The intellectualism of Europe (cafes in Paris, Vienna and Budapest) never existed in USA.
Make a list of the greatest philosophers (since 16th Century); how many of them would be French, German and English/American?
It would be an issue for many people in USA (and England) if the US president (or UK Prime Minister) went to Opera. Not in the Continent.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

It would be an issue for many people in USA (and England) if the US president (or UK Prime Minister) went to Opera. Not in the Continent.

In the UK you’ll find that it’s the left (Labour) who have a big issue with tory politicians being ‘intellectual’. There’s no end of the harping in the Guardian about Rees Mogg or Johnson speaking Latin / having classical education / being “Eton boys” etc. etc.

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Because we do exactly what Soros/Gates sponsored Hollywood and California tells us to do. Look at our govt’s and MSM’s kow-towing to Biden and its obvious disapproval for 4 years of Trump.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

Soros (gates does) doesn’t have the money to sponsor Hollywood. Hollywood is liberal (and it is) because liberal (sad but true) are more likely to create art. Conservatives want to conserve.
Do a simple test; consider all the great authors of Western Canon (start with Dante). How many of them at their time would be considered conservative. I can only think of Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Solzhenitsyn.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jeremy Smith
David Nebeský
David Nebeský
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

L.N. Tolstoy in his old age was anything but conservative. His proclaimed “Christianity” would even be too woke for most of today’s left-wing Christian activists – if they bothered to read his essays.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

For as long as I can remember the French have been unabashed on this subject. They just aren’t PC. Perhaps it derives from their anti Americanism.

Last edited 3 years ago by rosie mackenzie
Jayne Lago
Jayne Lago
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Why we have not?…….Hypocrisy of the first order!

J Bryant
J Bryant
3 years ago

Douglas Murray appears to be suggesting that the French establishment are now willing to curb (perhaps even stop) immigration for the next few years. I find that interesting because we read so much about the ascendancy of the woke who, among other things, favor open borders everywhere.
If what Mr. Murray suggests is true, perhaps we are seeing the French state beginning to reassert itself. I don’t know whether they’re allowed to make such a unilateral change without agreement from other EU members, but the fact the French might, at last, be willing to stand up for their country and national identity is encouraging, at least to me.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Too little too late, and only in a desperate search for votes. But I think the people of Europe have seen through all these evil liars that would destroy our societies at the drop of a chapeau.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fraser Bailey
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Too late indeed.

The Islamic Cuckoo has already laid her monstrous eggs, and the chicks are beginning to fledge.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

To have Reconquesta 2.0 still have to get worst…

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

It will.

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

“Otherwise Mr Barnier would not have taken — utterly cynically, no doubt — up the cause.”
Truest sentence in this article. Mr Murray always manages to do this.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

“Mr Murray” wasn’t suggesting it, Michel Barnier is suggesting it, Mr Murray is conveying the spoken words of M. Barnier.

Alex Wilkinson
Alex Wilkinson
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

We’re up against a mentality that regards the concept of a ‘national identity’ as entirely racist. Only certain national identities, of course.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

No one toppled statues in France.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

A lot were (are) vandalised.
And churches too, France is leading with that.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

You are always going to have vandals. Are you saying that ethnic white French were vandalizing churches?

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Not at all. Maghrebis, muslims, blacks – the unfrench, in short. I guess there are a number of ethnic white French antifa-types at it too; there always are in every country. But generally, the nonwhite banlieue people.

Last edited 3 years ago by Johannes Kreisler
Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Macron has stated that he will never give the French people a referendum about eu membership because he ‘knows’ they will vote to leave.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

Surely they would vote for LePen if they wanted that?

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

There will be many of the Remainiacs persuasion nodding their heads at his “wisdom”.

Last edited 3 years ago by Phil Mac
Chris Milburn
Chris Milburn
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Perhaps the first signs of Frexit?

Vikram Sharma
Vikram Sharma
3 years ago

Even the leftist in Denmark have realised that unchecked immigration is a threat to the welfare state. You can celebrate diversity and rub people’s noses in it. Don’t be surprised if solidarity then suffers. The more I am told that my neighbour is different from me, special, more oppressed or more privileged, the less I see him as a fellow being and consider myself as a brother, his keeper.
EU can have diversity or welfare state, but not both.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Likewise, you can believe that we’re all the same and race is a social construct, but you can’t also believe that there should be quotas based on race. Either it exists or it doesn’t.
In philosophy, or religion, or ethics, or politics, two and two might make five, but when one was designing a gun or an aeroplane they had to make four. – George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

Vikram Sharma
Vikram Sharma
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

If races did not exist, forensic pathologists would not be able to tell the race of a person from a bone fragment from the skull or pelvis

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

I was interested to read in a book called Birth and Beyond by a consultant obstetrician, that black women’s pregnancies are slightly shorter than white women’s.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I wouldn’t go as far as China where schools teach old school eugenic race theories, but its evident humans divide into sub species like wall lizards or Ranid frogs. Because we can all breed with each other we must be the same species so the variations are environmental adaptions which do have some effect on behaviour. To me this means we all have the potential to get along despite our minor differences. To people like Labour, Daily Starmer, BNP and i believe Le Pen & co this is seen as evidence we have to enter into conflict with people from different branches of the human tree. The odd thing is they think we should be in conflict for its own sake – even when there are no resources we are conflicting over.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Comment was held up due to use of the scientific name for humans, then allowed when its was changed to humans. Perhaps Unherd staffers should spend a bit more time setting up their boolean filters. This will help get around the problem.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Yes, I have had the same experience when commenting on other sites. Very irritating.

Vikram Sharma
Vikram Sharma
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Mr Otter
You are absolutely correct. We are one species but have adapted to our environment (hence the biological differences).
There is fascinating book called This Thing of Darkness about the relationship between Darwin and Robert Fitzroy, the captain of the Beagle. They were both 23 when they off on the journey. In Patagonia, it was Fitzroy who convinced Darwin that the human there were really human (same species) and planted the seed of adaptation in Darwin’s mind.
There is no point in either celebrating difference or denying it. The differences in races matter in some ways and in other ways are immaterial. Culture and biology are in conflict only in the minds of Guardian readers. The rest of us can think.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Unfortunate Fitzroy went on to kill himself, perhaps because his “ faith” had failed?

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

The differences that matter are not racial at all – they are cultural. And the differences between some cultures are major, not minor – or haven’t you noticed? It is better that some cultures do not come into too close a contact with some others because of the potential for conflict.

Jayne Lago
Jayne Lago
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

Although not a popular conception, I believe that we have seen real evidence that the bottom line is, we are all tribal in some form or other.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Even since ‘man’ crawled out of that cave in the Neanderthal Valley, if not before, he has loved to fight, and any old excuse will do, race, religion, greed, fear, even boredom!*

(* Thus the great Amphitheaters that litter the former ‘Pax Romana’.)

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Also with gender.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

welfare state and diversity are national issues. As per your example – that is why Denmark is hard on migration while Sweden is not. So for which policy is EU responsible; Sweden or Denmark?

Last edited 3 years ago by Jeremy Smith
Jayne Lago
Jayne Lago
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

What a brilliant way to sum it up!

Looney Leftie
Looney Leftie
3 years ago

I believe these series of events could be a massive game changer for France and the EU. If Le Pen is elected next year, she will cause so much trouble for the EU that it will make Brexit seem like a mere trifle in comparison.

Last edited 3 years ago by Looney Leftie
Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

I’m not sure. There would be huge controversy, but there probably wouldn’t be a Frexit. Le Pen must know that leaving the EU would also mean leaving the eurozone and this is probably not something anyone would vote for, especially not now France is in the running to get lots of lovely money from the recovery slush fund. What she would probably do is try and form a coalition in Europe to roll back the EU’s powers and reassert the nation state.

Looney Leftie
Looney Leftie
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I agree, I’m not really referring to France leaving the EU, my comment is more about the demands Le Pen will place on the federation.

David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

That lovely EU money, the “slush fund” has to be paid for and it will be paid for in double as the EU always skims off 50% of tax payers’ money to waste on this, that and the other (themselves). The EU has no money, it’s money they take from tax payers.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago
Reply to  David Boulding

Very true, but that fact is currently being suppressed as far as possible. So as not to dampen the integration euphoria, you understand. And that rarely has anything to do with how well something will work in reality.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

It is not suppressed it is well known. That is how YOU know!

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Actually, how the money out of this fund (raised from issuing DEBT) will be repaid is something I honestly do not know. but if you do – please enlighten me as you seem to know everything – or at least be convinced that you do.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

google it – it is there. It has been mentioned all over the news OVER and OVER again.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

The Trillions in every nation will be repaid only by INFLATION. Powell of the Fed wants 2+% inflation. Taxes directly raised could Never repay it.

Inflation is a TAX on anyone who cannot afford appreciating assets, and so on the ones without stock portfolios.

Those trillions printed and all ended up in the hands of the wealthy – who then pumped them into assets, (stocks, bonds, and hard assets like real estate and agricultural land) running the prices WAY up, and then they will crash taking away the investors who did not get all that free money to invest….

The game is rigged, and it to make citizens poorer, and rich richer! COVID Was totally to take from the middle class and working, and give to the wealthy. It was for Globalism, as Nu-Feudalism.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

You know that France is (and has always been) a net contributor to EU budget, right?

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Certainly since the enlargement to the east. But in the early decades it was a large net beneficiary thanks to the CAP which accounted for up to 80 per cent of the entire budget. That was the reason for de Gaulle’s insistence on it in 1962.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

Certainly since the enlargement to the east

Not true – look at the numbers. They are public information.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jeremy Smith
Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

No. YOU look. You have lot of opinions for someone so profoundly ignorant

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

So France was not a net contributor in say 1998?
BTW I have the numbers since 1976. So show me your numbers!

Last edited 3 years ago by Jeremy Smith
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

To kill this Dragon here & now could you, as briefly as possible, give us those French figures from 1976 please?

Is it also possible to list the UK’s figures for the same period, so that we may have a little comparative analysis?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

1976 Contributions
France – 579M
UK- 152M
Ger – 1.3b

For more details google “EU money go around”

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Many thanks.
Fascinating, and it has dispelled many of my long held, but now obviously erroneous, cherished myths!

BTW have you moved to Luxembourg yet?

Last edited 3 years ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

No, we are still in London. We moved our asset management, investor relations and accounting to Lux – for now.
Front desk (investing) is still based in London. The real issue is how EU regulators will act in the future. Covid has complicated things (people moving)…will see.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

A fortunate escape?

The land of the Philistines is not without its pleasures.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Try going to the true source for data – the Commission. And use NET contributions. And from when the UK became a full member (1979). You punters may fool many but not the people who actually know about these things.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

To be fair, he knows a lot of facts and can actually recall them.

It is his job after all, and we are the beneficiaries!

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago

Have no idea who he is but I worked on EU policy over a period of 40 years starting in 1970 before we joined. This included working for the Commission as a consultant. In 1976 we were in the process of adopting the Acquis – it was to be in six equal stages starting in 1973 – so our contributions which were mostly the tariffs on non-EEC imports had not reached their full level. From 1979 we were a huge net contributor (basically because we were a huge food importer from the rest of the world on which we now had to pay tariffs to the EEC) and France was a net beneficiary. Why do you think Mrs Thatcher made such a huge fuss and demanded a rebate? And why did the other member states agree it? That rebate kicked in from 1985, and reduced the UK “deficit” – and increased the French contribution. It was only with the development of non-agricultural policies (eg regional development via the Structural funds) that UK started to benefit from EEC financing. Then the GATT Uruguay Round lowered tariffs in the 1990s and we had the McSharry Reforms and later area payments for farmers as compensation for the reduced price protection – all of which reduced the discrimination against the UK with its very different trading patterns. I have the data for the 70s and 80s but it’s in the loft somewhere and I am not inclined to spend a lot of time to demonstrate something that is common knowledge.
If one takes the data for 2000 (all this is on my computer as I used to use this stuff when I advised the acceding countries on impacts of adopting the CAP), then France had a net contribution of €676m and the UK €2913m. You will recall that I had agreed that in the later years France was a net contributor. By 2018, the last year on which I have data, the French net contribution was €6192m and the UK’s €6946 – a result of enlargement and the declining importance of the CAP in the budget which is down to 51 per cent from 80 per cent plus in the 60s and 70s.
So you can listen to Mr Smith if you wish. You know my opinion of him.
The sad thing is that these comments vanish after a few days and you may never read this!

Last edited 3 years ago by Jos Haynes
Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Jeremy, yes I am aware, thank you. You know that the new slush fund is being raised by new debt being issued by the EU, not by regular budget contributions, right? And that whether you get some or not doesn’t depend on whether you are a net contiributor or a net recipient generally? And that who eventually has to pay what back and when (because, let’s not forget – a key aspect of DEBT is that it ISN’T YOUR CASH) hasn’t really been agreed (increases in contributions is only one of several alternatives being floated)?

Last edited 3 years ago by Katharine Eyre
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I am fully aware because it has been all over the news.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

France is now a net contributor to the EU budget, and even bigger now that the huge UK contribution has been stopped. It won’t be in the running for any funds, slushed or otherwise, without paying a 150 per cent contribution itself. Somehow, I don’t see that as a benefit!

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

It will be interesting to see how the French state deals with it if she is likely to win. I am not sure if their elections are as maleable as USA, but then bar the usual vote stuffing and ballot box dumping common to UK elections i doubt anyone, including Trump, realised how vulnerable the US system was until last November. On a separate note its good to hear voting reform in the Queens speech. I was worried BJ was as naively optimistisc about human behaviour as Trump. Le Pen and her crew do not seem to be making much noise about the threat of vote rigging. I doubt that’s due to them being cuddly optimists as their politics seem red in tooth and claw. So perhaps the French rul eof law is more robust than UK/US at least where elections are concerned.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

So Democrats “stuffed” the ballots in Republican controlled states like Georgia and Arizona? How come they lost so many congressional seats? Or why didn’t they win both Georgia Senate Seats in the first run?
And Trump was moaning for 4 years (while IN POWER) that he lost the popular vote to illegal voting. How come he did nothing – again while in Power?

Last edited 3 years ago by Jeremy Smith
Mary Bruels
Mary Bruels
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

The so-called Blue states in the US lost congressional representatives to Red states because of population shifts. Blue staters moving to Red states because of taxation and other economic reasons. It has nothing to do with stuffing ballots. And there is still a strong populist sentiment in the US looking for the right leader.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Mary Bruels

Trump was not the right leader?

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

He was the best under the circumstances, as nobody else was on the table. If there was someone with the qualities of, say, Gorka or Bannon, that would have been better, but no such candidate was available. Let’s hope someone like that steps up in the next round.

Looney Leftie
Looney Leftie
3 years ago

Agreed, I think it was Trump himself which made him the ‘wrong leader’, not so much the majority of his policies. To the Democrats he was the ultimate ‘Troll’, similar to how AOC appears to the GOP. I also believe that if the GOP had any other leader than Trump, you probably wouldn’t have the looney Biden adminstration you have now.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

I also believe that if the GOP had any other leader than Trump, you probably wouldn’t have the looney Biden adminstration you have now.

I believe so too. Trump had many brilliant policies, but his personality was just too easy to exploit by his opponents.
The important thing is the quality of the people a leader surrounds himself; however when the leader him(her)self is too vulnerable to lowbrow attacks that’s not a good starting place. If i was Trump, i would have loped off the combover and ditched the fake tan well before the candidacy race. His voter base wouldn’t have missed those, but he could have cut out a large cause for tabloid vitriol with that.

Looney Leftie
Looney Leftie
3 years ago

Yes, the people who hold the important offices of state are almost equally as important as the leader. Going off subject slightly, this is where replacing Starmer is slightly odd to me, although understandable. The problem is who else on the ‘team’ can replace him??? Not many good uns in the Labour Party at the moment, I would suggest. However, I digress. Back to Trump. I also think Trumps manner, and crude way of speaking (and twitting) put many floating voters off. Regardless if you are not part of the ‘swamp’ or not, you still need a bit of decorum.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

You have to distinguish between the real Trump and the media’s version.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

I am happy to quote Ann Coulter
“He tweet instead of doing”

Ludo Roessen
Ludo Roessen
3 years ago

I think public opinion has been with you for many years Mr Murray. The problem is politicians ignoring it, social media contradicting it and BBC & Co lying about it. It is this appeasement we should stop immediately and stand up for our true libertarian values,,,,,,Si vis pacem, para bellum….

George Bruce
George Bruce
3 years ago

As a Scotsman, I am reading appalled by the events in Glasgow reported in the Guardian where a large crowd of the locals plus immigrants gathered in what is described as an immigrant van standoff.
I think you would have to put down a lot of Scots as active or passive traitors to their country and to Europe – an even higher percentage than among the English.

Vivek Rajkhowa
Vivek Rajkhowa
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Wasn’t the van there to deport illegals as well? If so, as someone whose parents came here legally, I must say, I’m very disappointed in those people. Why one rule for them and another for the rest of us?

Andrea X
Andrea X
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

I have not really followed the story, but judging from the pictures one can but marvel at the discipline of the socially distanced protest.

Jayne Lago
Jayne Lago
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

This has happened all through the coronavirus period. Protest after protest…..no social distancing, no isolating by the very people who were more likely to be spreading the virus. Nothing done by the police, politicians etc is it any wonder we now have the green shoots of anarchy. As for the immigrants/van issue why didn’t Nichola sturgeon condemn the people who were stopping the enforcement of law (not that the police looked as if they were doing anything other than supporting ‘the mob’). I guess we all know the answer to that.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

The Scots haven’t experienced immigration at the levels we have in England. They’ll change their tune when they experience the reality.

George Bruce
George Bruce
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

I hope you are right, Mike, but such is the level of bigoted stupidity that the more the English become against mass immigration, the more we will want to show how tolerant we are. It will not end well.
By the way, the immigration numbers must be shooting up. Every time I go back, I am astonished. I was in Union Street in Aberdeen a few years ago and could not believe how many sub-Saharan Africans were walking past me. In the past if you had said I will stand here until two or three Africans have gone past me, your cobwebbed skeleton would have been still there some time later. That day, a minute or two would have been fine.

Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

But will they Mike? I find that people moan about it in private (secretly) but will never actually say anything publicly, even as their own children become minorities in their local school.

Jayne Lago
Jayne Lago
3 years ago
Reply to  Aaron Kevali

It requires courage, conviction, patriotism…….all attributes that are in scarce supply in the 21st century. All attributes that the minorities, black and white, ridicule. It is primarily because of the 21st century’s most destructive element……social media! Where people who try to stand up for their beliefs are destroyed, demonised, sacked, trolled.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

That’s because back in the late 60’s had we sent ‘them’ to Glasgow they would have been stabbed to death. Same goes for Belfast.

Sidney Falco
Sidney Falco
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Even some bllcks about deportations on Eid when the illegals looked like they were Sikhs.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Sidney Falco

A Sikh rang LBC from London to complain at the coverage. He said they weren’t Sikhs but Afghanis in a particular kind of turban.

dean edge
dean edge
3 years ago

I live in a part of Britain that has in its urban areas been radically unrecognisably and above all permanently transformed by unconsidered mass immigration. In the local case, of quite geographically specific communities with considerable internal solidarity and very different, often hostile, social attitudes founded in religion. The results are reflected in various obvious ways from the appearance of the streets, to the collapse of free expression in our educational establishments, and the re-emmergence of criminal actvities with a clear racial motivation, not seen since the viking invasions.
We are going to have to live with it. Closing the door now whilst important and sending a powerful essage is too late. Mainstream culture as reflected in the appalling BBC and like institutions have shown one way of doing it ie submission. We, all of us new communties and whatever you’re allowed to call the rest of us, need to challenge, confront and try to integrate in accordance with our national traditions of tolerance, freedom and the rule of law or the future looks very grim indeed, as it does in many places here.

Robert Hope
Robert Hope
3 years ago
Reply to  dean edge

You must know what you suggest can”t work

dean edge
dean edge
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Hope

If it cant work what are you suggesting? Minarets at Christ Church or violent conflict? It has to work and from my experience there are plenty of people in the new communities who are as horrified by the excesses that attract all the attention as anyone. Its just presently very difficult for them to speak out without making matters worse, and it will only get more difficult if we cannot form new alliances to facillitate internal opposition. You have to remember just how much integration was occuring naturally before the Rushdie affair highlighted the new salafist extremism that appeals like all such things especially to young men. I agree its very very bad, and from where I sit alarmingly so; but coercion isnt going to wash and its never clear who might win if open hostilities break out.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

‘But the events of the last year have shown this to be a lie’.
The actions and consequences arising from almost all political statements invariably reveal those statements to have been a lie. That aside, Barnier is only saying this for electoral purposes. If elected he would be shipping them in faster than you can say ‘A***** A****’ or ‘Death to France’.
Barnier did suggest that there could be a force of 10,000 border guards to protect ‘Fortress Europe’, but why wasn’t this done years ago? The euro has caused millions of young men in southern Europe to be unemployed. Many of them would like nothing better than to be given a uniform, some basic weapons, and the opportunity to protect their homeland from invaders.
Anyway, 58% of French people supported the first letter, which is a good sign for Le Pen.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fraser Bailey
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The left has refused to countenance any debate about whether immigration is ever bad, or whether multiculturaIism is anything but an unalloyed blessing, and has shouted ‘racist’ at anyone who disagrees with them. This has had one consequence already, which is to make the accusation meaningless. I’m afraid the next consequence is that someone much, much, much nastier than Le Pen – who’s an unexceptionable rightish patriot – will actually get elected to a significant office. In fact, it could easily be several someones. f I had to guess where, I would say Italy or France. We’re at or past the point where it will take a dose of a Mussolini to put the loony left back into its box.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Mme Le Pen is not right wing. This is a very common mistake. Examine her policies rather than listening to the crass media. She is what you might call patriotic left.

Last edited 3 years ago by rosie mackenzie
Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago

Anything to keep Le Pen out of office, eh? Shameless and dishonest, our government (esp. Tories) have played this card a few times. “Don’t worry everyone, WE will close the borders, WE will restrict immigration, WE will [insert highly pragmatic and popular immigration policy here]”.
And yet…they never do.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Aaron Kevali

Voted in power by the people!

Leon Wivlow
Leon Wivlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

And the alternative to the Tories was? Labour with their open borders…..

Jayne Lago
Jayne Lago
3 years ago
Reply to  Leon Wivlow

And Marxism fuelled by momentum who are successfully destroying their own party.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago

If you go to parts of Paris — even in the city centre — there are migrant tent communities set up that resemble somewhere in the third world, or California.

Lovely punchline.
Another interesting point about Barnier’s statement is the lack of outrage that has greeted it. He basically called for the same thing as Trump: a moratorium for a couple of years in order to get a grip on things.
But Barnier seems to be getting a free pass.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

That’s because he a French name that sounds vaguely sophisticated. The BBC, Guardian and media- types are a sucker for that kind of thing.

Wulvis Perveravsson
Wulvis Perveravsson
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Spot on, reminds them of the lovely holiday cottage owner whose farmhouse they stay in every summer in Provence.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

To be fair, I often stay at a friend’s house in Provence, sometimes gratis. But I still detest Barnier and the EU.

Wulvis Perveravsson
Wulvis Perveravsson
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I don’t blame you. What I mean is, the folk you speak of have a love of European countries and cultures which is too often based on a rather superficial, sterile, and privileged tourist’s eye view.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Or it could be that many aristocrats that still rule England (are rich) were/are Normans?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

We don’t have any aristocrats worthy of the word.

The Normans/French were bred out eons ago.
We are now ruled by a new generation of plutocrats and spivs. David Cameron being a prime example & Boris another.

Sanitised by both Eton & Oxford does not make a genuine Englishman I’m afraid.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

As a result of the Norman Conquest, even now, nearly a thousand years later, a French name still carries a certain cachet.
Mad when you consider French history from say 1870, but ‘we’ were always “suckers.” for such tosh.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

An American heiress (from both sides of the family – Carnegie Mellon i think) once quipped something like “some of my friends went to England to get titles and husbands, I went to France to get cultured”. She was talking about late 19th Century and the rise of Paris as cultural center. She “blew” a good part of her wealth buying French and Italian art.
At least in USA (intellectual/artsy circles) is the heavy french influence in art, food, fashion, Provence, skiing in the Alps.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jeremy Smith
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

I agree, thanks to our Public School system we have tended to create a gentleman/ philistine culture of ‘hunting, shooting & fishing’. *

For those more intellectually inclined, the ethos of ‘effortless superiority’ was the mantra, and never, ever, be seen to ‘try’ or even worse, ‘work’.

As a result of this pseudo Spartan culture we regard the French as effete and pretentious, the Italians even worse.

However there is plenty of culture in England, concealed by this miasma of anti-intellectualism, you just have to look hard for it! And never ever be accused of the ultimate crime of being, “too clever by half”.

(* perhaps Golf maybe included?)

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

I’d like to make several points:
1) This intervention by Barnier could be a sign that the changes in attitudes towards immigration are starting to be taken over by the mainstream. You can certainly interpret it that way. However, I also wonder whether this is not just a way of splitting the vote on the right so that Marine Le Pen gets shut out, upping Macron’s chances of winning again. Whether a 2nd Macron administration would really take up the issue? I have my doubts.
2) The reaction of the French people I know to the letters in Valeurs Actuelles are uniform: “they are right, but it was wrong of them to speak up.” The same reaction I had when Britain’s head rabbi and other clerics spoke up about the dangers of having Corbyn at No. 10 running up to the 2019 election. I don’t like it when religious figures get involved in politics and they should keep schtum really – but in this situation, it was justified. I suspect that my French friends may be in a kind of denial about how far the social developments in their country have gone.
3) Reading the commentary on the Barnier intervention in the past few days (in the British media who have fallen on the report like hungry wolves), it is quite alarming to see how many writers conflate the freedom of movement (as in one of the 4 freedoms underpinning the EU project) and free movement under the Schengen agreement. These are two separate things. Barnier was in no way questioning the sanctity/indivisibility of the four freedoms. He was questioning the way that non-EU citizens/citizens of countries outside Schengen (or – if I’m going to be blunt: illegal immigrants) can move around in the Schengen zone once they enter it.

Last edited 3 years ago by Katharine Eyre
Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
3 years ago

It has never really been a question of whether it is possible to limit, be more selective or halt immigration, it has always been question of whether it is moral to do so.

To date the pro immigration lobbies have taken the moral high ground for granted. Unfortunately, as with so many utopian ideals, when ideal crashes into the brick wall of reality, it hurts.

That is a trivial way of referring to a situation which has developed all across the developed world – immigrants bring with them a set of values that are essentially incompatible with those of the host population.
Not always, not from every quarter, but sometimes, and with persistency and with pernicious effect.

It is not racist to wonder why we have allowed, along with other `European countries, a group of people to take up residence who point blank refuse to integrate and are so intransigent in their attitudes that they are easy prey for fanatics. It is not racist to see a truck plough into a crowd of pedestrians and wonder why we ever allowed the people who do this, or who can be persuaded to do this, to ever cross our border.

It is quite reasonable to suggest that immigration for this particular demographic be curtailed.

Last edited 3 years ago by Kremlington Swan
G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

It seriously shouldn’t need saying but the point here, and this was undoubtedly echoed to a degree in the Brexit vote, is that the negative effects of ‘immigration’ whatever its source if unchecked, are invariably felt socially and economically by the working classes NOT the well to do, virtue signalling middle and upper classes.

Mass immigration, to the latter two groups, that effectively represents a supply of ever cheaper labour. Cheaper labour that can only ever represent a cost advantage. Let’s make no bones about this.

Does this make indigenous, constantly hard-pressed, sometimes poorly educated through no particular fault of their own then ‘racist’ or ‘xenophobic’?

I would argue not.

It is, in essence, a visceral, natural reaction to a representative threat to their own already precarious existences and yet they are repeatedly hectored and demeaned by a group of self-serving, relatively more powerful individuals who effectively disingenuously seek to portray their own economic advantage as a virtuous position.

Be it witting or unwitting, the net outcome is, frankly, shameful.

Last edited 3 years ago by G Harris
Mark Preston
Mark Preston
3 years ago

Even if you shut down all immigration in the UK today the native population will be a minority in their own land simply because some non-native groups will outbreed them. We’re a few decades too late to really do anything apart from slightly alter the timescale.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

Statistically, that is correct – as I found out from an analysis of census data from 2011. 2001 and 1991. We may find out how fast the trend is developing next year when the 2021 data is released. I say “may” because I suspect it was not a census this year but a voluntary sample survey.

Peter Francis
Peter Francis
3 years ago

In British politics, if a “cause” is supported by groups from different parts of the political spectrum, those groups can punch above their weight. Witness the curious alliance between (on the left) USDAW, the shop workers’ union, and (on the right) the Lord’s Day Observance Society, that managed to keep shops shut on Sundays. When the “cause” is immigration, the groups are (on the right) employers wanting to keep down the unit cost of labour and (on the left) the BBC and large elements of the Labour party. Add to these groups a sprinkling of our metropolitan elite who would prefer to throttle their grannies rather than question immigration levels.
Another difference between the UK and France is that the French still quite like to listen to intellectuals (well, French ones at least and for the last decade, some of them, e.g. Renaud Camus, have given an intellectual respectability to discussion about levels of immigration. Even if a UK intellectual were to think the unthinkable out loud, nobody would listen except the cancel culture squad.

Andrew Hall
Andrew Hall
3 years ago

Farage once said something to the effect that the things he uttered loudly in public were being whispered quietly into napkins at the EU leadership’s favourite restaurants. David Deutsch said rather presciently the EU will collapse because of a single huge failure, while Britain will succeed despite many small mistakes. He reasoned the absence of effective ‘error correction’ mechanisms would cause the EU to proceed unchecked over the evolutionary cliff because there is no check to political Giantism in a top-down Union. Lacking the Soviet Union’s tanks, Europe’s Union will fail in a rather shorter time scale.

D Ward
D Ward
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Hall

We can hope

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Hall

Europe’s Union will fail in a rather shorter time scale

Brits have been saying that since the Steel & Coal days. And yet here we are

Farage once said something to the effect that the things he uttered loudly in public were being whispered quietly into napkins at the EU leadership’s favourite restaurants.

Farage is a liar and a coward – yes coward. Farage banged on about European migration as if Catholic Poles and Orthodox Romanians were the problem. We ALL KNOW who the problem is (hint; they belong to the Religion of Peace). The migration numbers (and historical record of integration) were public record. Since 97 c.66% of all migrants to UK were non EU migrants. Instead Farage banged on about 36.6 million GPB going to Polish children (child maintenance) as if that money was breaking the budget.
Farage had plenty of time/chances to work with LePen (and others like her) in the EU Parliament. He did not. And it was him. Plenty of UKIP members (anecdotal of course) and MEPs wanted to work with LePen. It was Farage that opposed it.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

“ Farage is a liar and a coward ”.
That is unnecessarily vulgar and should rephrased, as I’m
sure you know.

This is not Facebot or Twittertripe or whatever they are called.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

He needed to avoid the obvious ‘racist’ tropes by not making it about race. However you also miss the fact that Merkel opening the doors to millions of Muslim migrants also meant a good portion of them potentially being given EU passports and therefore the *right* to live and work in the UK. I think a lot of voters instinctively understood this and it may well have tipped the vote in favour of ‘get out now, while we still can’.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

He was accused of racism – so his strategy didn’t help him much…did it?
2) There are – literally – millions of Turks in Germany. How many of them have left Germany for UK? How many of the French Arabs (with French passports) have left France for UK?This was another “story” that Farage told the had no bases on reality. Just like he told the story that Turkey was going to join EU and millions of them would come to UK. We all know that Turkey is never going to join EU – and Farage knew that too.
3) People here always say ” we are not allowed to talk about immigration”…well If Farage (black sheep anyway) and UKIP crowd couldn’t make the right argument about migration, crime, integration why do you expect the Lunatic left or the moronic Tories to do it for you? If our side can not make the argument (based on facts not lies)…do we deserve any better?

Jayne Lago
Jayne Lago
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

36.6 million would have purchased a fair few iPads for our children during the pandemic, instead of having to yet again rely on charity from various outlets.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Jayne Lago

Jayne,
UK GOV spends c.842 billion every year.

Andrea X
Andrea X
3 years ago

Honest question, has immigration actually stopped this last 12 months? If we are talking about LEGAL immigration, perhaps, but are we? Isn’t the issue illegal and unregulated immigration? Has that really stopped?

Fred Dibnah
Fred Dibnah
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

http://www.worldometers.nifo shows that the population is rising still

David Jory
David Jory
3 years ago

A picture is worth a thousand of even Douglas’s finely honed words.
However distasteful it may be, a picture of the Bataclan victims published on the front pages of mainstream newspapers is likely to save far more lives by resolving the problem of mass immigration rather than denying the problem.

Andy Paul
Andy Paul
3 years ago
Reply to  David Jory

a family member worked at the Bataclan; he swapped his shift with a colleague that night in order to his wife out to dinner on their anniversary- all fairly banal. His colleague was killed, not to put too fine a point on it he was butchered as were most of the victims that night. If the reality of what happened had come to light then the streets of Paris would have run deep with blood in revenge.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Paul

What reality, weren’t they all shot? Is there more to it?

Andy Paul
Andy Paul
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Some were tortured before being butchered like sheep. Those who were shot and killed were lucky.

decanal15
decanal15
3 years ago

A minor point but Justin Trudeau and Canada at no point actually closed the countries borders.

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 years ago
Reply to  decanal15

Yes, I spotted that oopsy in an otherwise excellent Murray article (as per usual). All that Trudeau has effectively done is make it impossible for Canadians to go anywhere. Right from the earliest days, before the pandemic was a pandemic, public calls for travel restrictions from the source country China were roundly dismissed by Trudeau and his supporters as racist, unnecessary and useless.
Of course we didn’t know until later on that he was trying to buy vaccines from China which didn’t work out very well.
The Canada/US border is closed for ill-defined ‘non-essential travel’ but is otherwise open. International flight arrivals have accounted for over 5000 positive Covid cases since February, almost all of which have been nasty variants which make up most of the current case count in the country.
Daily flights from India were only stopped recently. Mandatory quarantine restrictions are routinely ignored or by-passed by clever travelers. Just last week calls for even tighter controls to close these loopholes were dismissed as racist.
Trudeau can’t wait to re-open the immigration floodgates.

Frederick B
Frederick B
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

Poor Canada. To think that it was once proud to describe itself as “The Great White Brittanic Empire of the North”.

Tom Hawk
Tom Hawk
3 years ago

It would be good for the author to also quote the comments about suspending Schengen. For that is the real bombshell aimed in the heart of the EU project.

Last edited 3 years ago by Tom Hawk
William Hickey
William Hickey
3 years ago

Yes, for a couple of generations liberal politicians, including moderate liberals known as conservatives, have told us not only that immigration was, as Douglas Murray writes, a “fact if life,” but that it was a Commandment, something we had to do. It wasn’t considered an optional government policy.

The pandemic proved the West could stanch the flow of immigrants if it had the will. (Why that was necessary in a world where China, Japan, South Korea and Israel exist is another question.)

But the driving force for a moratorium in Europe could not be clearer. All that anyone has to do, Douglas Murray included, is to search for “Steve Sailer’s World’s Most Important Graph.”

End of debate. Moratorium wins.

Jonathan Weil
Jonathan Weil
3 years ago

If Murray is right about Covid restrictions shifting the Overton window on immigration, it would be the first concrete example of what Sumption warned about — the fact that once you’ve allowed the State to do something once for one reason (of which you may well approve) the genie is out of the bottle and it can and will do it for other reasons (of which you may not approve).

Buckle up…

Bryan Dale
Bryan Dale
3 years ago

It’s interesting to see generals stepping up, not to stage military coups but to defend democracy. This week 124 retired generals and admirals in the United States published an open letter expressing concern about the integrity of the 2020 election and the mental competence of Joe Biden. This is unprecedented in the United States where the military has traditionally stayed out of politics, but the extreme political circumstances warrant it. It remains to be seen whether the United States can recover from the bloodless coup of 2020.

Richard Turpin
Richard Turpin
3 years ago

It astonishes me to this day that non of the main EU political protagonists, especially ‘Muti’ , failed to see the repercussions of their actions and the failed open border policies they embraced. Most importantly, the influx of a religion (often in its purest form) that is fundamentally at odds with evolved western democracies has caused a change in life style and standards nobody cares to admit. France is in a real mess, the apologists that have allowed this to become what it is are now all out of ideas to how to deal with it. In its basic form, the decisions made at the top, to serve economic and financial ends, directly impact the people at the bottom of the financial pyramid, the working class. When the working class hi-light the obvious problems mass migration brings, they are made to feel like criminals for wanting their way of life and cultural attachments preserved and called ‘wascist and bigoted’.
In essence, they are the communities that are forced into a situation without many of the necessary tools to deal with it as well as a community coming in who have arrived with one goal; to survive, settle, and start replicating the exact cultural lifestyle and existence they had without the civil unrest and barbarism they claim to have come from( some have, but many haven’t and are purely economic migrants).
Maybe, rather than exploiting the arrival of cheap labour markets as the Germans cynically did, as-well as paying billions to Turkey to keep people from travelling( although the still kept on coming) , the problems need to be sorted out at the source, rather than importing a new problem that in the long run, will produce exactly what some of the migrants have come from. I look at the way the Greeks and Italians have been completely shafted by the E.U and especially dear old Muti, who have now refused take the migrants who have arrived at their shores desperately trying to get to Germany.
It reminds me a little bit of when the Americans cut deals with the Taliban in an effort to buy tribal allegiances to stop the killing. The tribes took the money, lots of it, and then bought more sophisticated weapons, stored them, and then continued to kill many more people and to this day continue to do so, most recently, a school specifically targeting girls, who were committing the abhorrent sin of ……attending school. Words fail me.

David Foot
David Foot
3 years ago

In UK after June 7 2020 we can say it all with one name: Enoch Powell and it is coming as he promised!
The Empires were destroyed by the Marxists who created the refugees when well administered colonies went to the wall afterwards, now Marxists want to blame the Empires! It is absurd. They take responsibility for nothing.
Before the Marxists in our case India was united, Burma was prosperous, Rhodesia was feeding a great part of Africa, today Zimbabwe consumes aid and produces refugees while Oxford and Cambridge praise decolonization and even want to decolonize themselves. It is incredible even in the face of such a case for Empire such as Zimbabwe is today, and Aden and so many more.
And before you mention slavery, the Empire took it out for the first time ever in the history of man, if it still exists in Africa and Asia it is black on black or Moslem on black still going, plus what Chinese are doing in turn to the Moslems.. the Empire whiter than white! The Marxists don’t want to hear of the truth!

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  David Foot

Ahh but what have the Romans ever done for us.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djZkTnJnLR0

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Brilliant, thanks for posting that!

James Newman
James Newman
3 years ago

I was a supporter of EEA/EFTA before and after the Referendum (a process rather than an event, 52/48 compromise etc) but acknowledged that there were three principal problems (1) EU insistence on EU standards being blindly followed, despite 90% of standards being set by UN agencies, the giants of Geneva. Richard North’s double coffin lid (2) any changes to freedom of movement under EEA second pillar being subject to economic countermeasures, although a need to be proportionate. Bearing in mind annual immigration (not all EU) was at one stage equivalent to a city the size of Lisbon and (3) lack of say, Delors’ co-determination by EFTA states, promised but later reneged.
In life of a state terms, the ink has barely dried on the UK’s departure from the EU and we see on (1) reality has started to bite with the acknowledgement that prevailing standards in the EU/Japan FTA on all things automotive are not EU or Japanese but UNECE; harmonisation of standards is inevitable although will be slow. There are incipient murmurings on (3) and now on (2) Barnier, in hardly a Eureka! moment, is tacking on freedom of movement, demonstrating he is indeed a most accomplished politician, capable of talking out of the both sides of his mouth, almost at the same time.        

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  James Newman

Well, that’s probably worthy of discussion if I could understand it. I don’t know whether it is the punctuation or your attempt at conciseness

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  James Newman

1) EU also follows international standards. You miss the point of UK car market – small (yes, small!) that relies on European (and Japanese) knowhow, capital and technology.
2) Since 97 c.66% of all migrants were from non-EU countries. We know from the past (Southern European migration) that as the countries get rich people move back home. We can see that with Polish migration now. Many are going home.
3) You can not have co-determination because sizes are different. How can Norway be the same as EU?

Sidney Falco
Sidney Falco
3 years ago

Oh come on. Barnier is lying, it’s 100% political posturing.

borrieboy
borrieboy
3 years ago

Good piece, as ever by DM. As well as interesting points made by others here. Frankly it’s just more rhetoric from those that seek support to further their political careers – M.Barnier being one such. Macron knows, as do others, that the immigration bandwagon is now rolling, so time to jump on. When it comes to the second round of the Presidential election, Le Pen will lose again and matters will just revert to the preceding norm. I’d like to be wrong but…

Stephen Pearson
Stephen Pearson
3 years ago

France “taking back control” of its borders? Didn’t someone promise that to us once?

Dawne Swift
Dawne Swift
3 years ago

Barnier’s intervention is just a cynical attempt to garner support amongst the majority of citizens who want immigration (and the terrorism it spawns) stopped. Having been “told” that National Rally is “far-right/fascist” and, unable to think critically for themselves, they are therefore unwilling to vote for Le Pen – “talking tough” on immigration and appearing “mainstream”, Barnier thinks he can launch a bid for the Presidency.
If Macron or Barnier (or any of their ilk) were to retain/gain power the immigration game, which financially benefits the elite, will simply carry on. Plus ça change.

Dustin Needle
Dustin Needle
3 years ago

I will assume all those UK politicians who have spent the past 5 years beating a path to M. Barnier’s door and posing for photographs with him totally agree with this statement.
As others have said, the horse has long bolted. All we can do is learn. But we won’t.

Noah Ebtihej Sdiri
Noah Ebtihej Sdiri
3 years ago

Mr. Barnier is the reflection of everything that is wrong with French politics. For decades, he pushed his internationalist agenda centered around open-border policy and tolerance towards cultural practices that are completely opposite to French values. And now, he is backtracking because he now realizes that if things keep on going this way, then violence is on the horizon. He does not care about France, he only cares about his own political survival.
I am seriously sick of the hypocrisy of the French right. They are responsible for bringing hundreds of thousands of low-skilled non-European migrants, not the Left. To this day, France’s largest corporations still rely on the same cheap and docile labor force. The same economic elites are responsible for outsourcing millions of low-skilled jobs to Asia and promote free-trade policies that have wrecked rural France, forcing young people to seek employment in the metropolises.
France’s woes began in the early 1970s with the political demise of De Gaulle. Pompidou took over and with him came the neoliberals and their emphasis on free markets, free trade, and open borders. They wanted to weaken the Communist party and break the labor movement. In their rush to counter the Red threat, they created an even bigger threat — a civilizational threat.
Since the days of the revolution, the French conservative elites have tirelessly tried to recreate the social structure of the Ancien Regime. For decades they have used immigration and free trade to break the will of the French working-class. They got very scared when the Yellow Vest movement erupted and since then they are willing to support a more unconventional approach as long as their interests are safeguarded.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

‘Mr. Barnier is the reflection of everything that is wrong with French politics’.
And everything that is wrong with humanity. You are correct about De Gaulle being the last decent French leader and I was thinking the same thing just yesterday. They have now had 50 years of disastrous leadership. No country or society can withstand that. Similarly, aside from Trump, the US has now had at least 30 years of disastrous leadership. This can only cause things to break, as we are currently seeing in the US.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fraser Bailey
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Thank god we had Lady T at the right time! Imagine where we would be now without her!