EU Visa’s for Under 30’s

Ben, hi well that’s a very kind introduction Nick thank you, that’s okay it’s an old politicians technique that it stops them throwing things at you if you’re very nice and generous. We are actually asking Ben what makes a good politician? I won’t ask you that because I think you’re the last person like me who should answer it, but let me ask you about the EU Mobility scheme proposal cards on the table. Ben, I actually see a lot of Merit in a proposal like this.

I always felt that controlling our borders was about controlling them, not shutting them and I would have personally had this in the withdrawal agreement as well, that essentially allows young people of the age to be determined in my opinion who can live and work up to a maximum period of three or four years across the EU and likewise EU citizens coming here, what say you?

Well, the way you put it, it comes across extremely reasonably but the relationship that we have with the European Union you know the United Kingdom has with the European Union is not one of trust and mutual respect. The EU is an entity which has sought repeatedly to either new Brexit and once we got the kind of notional Brexit that Boris Johnson delivered, done everything in its power to drag us back in and so when you look at an offer like this, I can’t help but think as a Brexiteer that this is another Ploy, another little grappling hook that they wish to put in the United Kingdom to pull us closer to the European Union.

We’ve seen a number of these tricks, that they trick us to belittle what they’re up to, a number of these Manoeuvres that the EU has used they using it for example as you may be aware Nick through permanent structured cooperation and the agreement for mobility of our troops across Europe, which equally you look at and you go well actually you know that can’t be a bad thing, but when you look at the small print of PESCO Mobility which is a defined EU project in order for our troops to gain the right for their protection by the way to move across Europe without fetter.

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EU wants Young Brits Back

We would have to sign up to not objecting to EU foreign policy for example and a whole host of other things and then there was Horizon Europe where we were invited to join the research program again on the face of it how can it be wrong for the European Union and the UK to collaborate on research but when you look at the fine print it’s for it’s Research into subjects which promote EU political aims including for example the European Defence fund which is an EU based research program for weaponry and the foundations of which require interoperability of weaponry across Europe.

So you can see where that leads as far as British armed forces are concerned and I know this is not the question but I would need to look very carefully at what the terms and conditions are of that freedom of movement of the young people and whether this is really the genuine friendship you know, let’s explore an offer of friendship yeah, let’s explore that because I think it is worth exploring.

I mean my first reaction when I saw it, I must admit I was cynical as well, I first thought actually the commissioner stepping in here because Britain is seeking to make country by country arrangements and clearly other European countries kind of like the idea as well and I thought this was just a power grab by the commission to begin with.

I suppose at my most cynical I would say this will help in the long-term plans of the EU because generations of people up to 30 will grow up having a shall we say a more different view of freedom of movement from probably the prevailing mood that also led to Brexit and there were lots of things about Brexit it wasn’t just freedom of movement, so you could argue that but when we take it at face value, I think I’m prepared to do that because there is an economic impact, we clearly cannot get our own population back to work and in many sectors there will be businesses who will say do you know what, I’d love people to come back from Europe and work here, they work hard, they’re pleased to be here.

Welfare Costs

I’m not having to go through the mill of huge difficulties of getting some of the British population back to work, evidenced by economic activity.

I can’t blame British business if it backs this wouldn’t you say no?

I mean I would absolutely if you don’t mind entirely disagreeing with you on that point, please. So I think it’s letting British business off the hook, part of the problem that big business and it’s not small businesses here, it’s big business that wants cheap imported labour and the reason they want it is because it’s cheap, it prevents them, it doesn’t require them therefore to you know automate and upskill their own businesses, they can go on practicing that kind of third world approach to manufacturing and other processes that they’ve got going, because they’ve got the cheap labour.

It also basically allows our government off the hook in terms of its responsibility to get British citizens into work, to make work pay and develop an aspirational culture in the United Kingdom rather than the dependency one that has been embedded over 25 years of wealth redistribution.

Do you mind if I come back on that and just to discuss that point because one of the, I’ve always said that Tony Blair’s open door policy was an income’s policy, it’s harmed productivity because employers could always go to cheap labour. What I find more attractive about this and I by the way I question the 30-year age limit here, I would have thought 25 would actually be young people that I would have had in mind, is at least there is an element of control here, you would still need a visa although it would be pretty hard to deny it.

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Cheap Imported Labour is not the Answer

I suspect under the agreement you’re also time limiting in this thing and also is are we really are we really talking anything more than people going into elements of our service sector that probably won’t actually automate the sort of people who are going to be working in our high streets where it’s all coffee shops, restaurants and so forth.

But we’ve got six million people I know surviving, we can’t get back to it, look at the fury over Sunak this weekend just over what he’s said yeah, but it’s because he’s broken the labour market the Conservative party and Conservative government has broken the labour market and they’ve done it by over taxing work and being frankly over generous on benefits and it’s good to see Rishi Sunak challenging people who’ve been out of work for a year on mental health issue grounds. We’ve got 2.8 million people who claim to have mental health issues which seem not to have been a problem until very recently and without wishing to impune the integrity of 2.8 million people there are bound to be malingerers in there.

Well there’s also bound to be people, sorry Ben just so I can clarify that Point yeah I think in that 2.8 million there are people that the system is allowing to write off they get the financial support to a degree but actually work would be good, it would help absolutely and the question is not whether or not these people have legitimate health issues frankly, that’s not the question. The question is, can the state go on producing the cash to keep people out of work ad infinite?

We have national debt at the post World War II high, tax at post World War II high, GDP flatlining, 6 million people effectively not working at full tilt. We need Britain working again, so we’ve got to swallow some bitter medicine as far as big business is concerned and stop this cheap imported immigration so that we are forced as a country to get our own people back into work and that will involve wages rising and yes that might be slightly inflationary but that would be a good thing because they’d have more money in their back pockets.

Rebalance the Economy

Interest rates may go up but we would have more money in our back pockets because wages have gone up and the other thing we’ve got to do, is cut taxes on the working middle classes, it’s critical that we do it, they keep saying we can’t afford to cut taxes, we can’t afford not to cut taxes okay.

I agree with that I’m only so forgive me it’s always a little hard for the camera I agree with that point about taxes you know, in fact I think you’re being a bit lefty there, you’re not doing enough on those taxes Ben, but actually going back to the other point I am actually a fan of the minimum wage going up now. I think we’d be taking people out of working tax credits we would rightly getting people paid fairly for the jobs that they are doing and I think we would help people and it might bring people back to work who are economically inactive.

That means we got to tackle the benefits side of the equation as well, surely, I mean if you look at benefits the what we spend on benefits, it’s about £12,000 or £13,000 per head on benefits that we spend and the excise gains about £11,000 pounds per head in income tax from people who work so the maths is simple. Get people off benefits, into work and there’s a £23 – 24,000 per head benefit for the country immediately it’s huge.

So, we’ve got to get that we’ve got to get that equation right, the equation is wrong at the moment and the fact that you’re getting more per head on benefits than you would be paying in taxes per head if you came into work tells you how broken the system is.

You know that the welfare state should only kick in as a safety net, it’s not there as an optional mechanism through which you can survive and economically exist, that’s not what it’s meant to be there for. It’s meant to pick you up, it’s most certainly not a lifestyle choice as the prime minister said.

Ben, I got to have you back in for an hour at the beginning of my show always a pleasure to have you thank you for joining us.

I’m sorry didn’t quite agree on everything but that makes the discussion open for more debate with you.