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Cameron’s euro rabbit

Cameron will be giving his big European speech this Friday, then.

In anticipation, Kev Peel at Labourlist has set out the five questions he’ll have to answer.  It’s quite good.  Kev’s one of the relatively small bunch of Labour insiders who’s bothered to get to grips with the detail on Europe, and it shows.

However, in assessing Cameron’s likely answer to “Exactly which powers does he wish to repatriate?”, he’s missed the possible rabbit out of the hat.  Mind you, so has everyone else.  Media memories are so short…….

Go back to Spring 2012, and this was aTelegraph story:

The Government is drawing up plans for emergency immigration controls to curb an influx of Greeks and other European Union residents if the euro collapses, the Home Secretary discloses today.

As I set out at the time, the mainstream response to this – that it isn’t possible to do this under European law – was plain wrong.   Article 45 of the Lisbon Treaty said then, and continues to say, that there can be exceptions: to freedom of movement:

1. Freedom of movement for workers shall be secured within the Union.

2. Such freedom of movement shall entail the abolition of any discrimination based on nationality between workers of the Member States as regards employment, remuneration and other conditions of work and employment.

3. It shall entail the right, subject to limitations justified on grounds of public policy, public security or public health:

(a) to accept offers of employment actually made;

(b) to move freely within the territory of Member States for this purpose;

(c) to stay in a Member State for the purpose of employment in accordance with the provisions governing the employment of nationals of that State laid down by law, regulation or administrative action;

(d) to remain in the territory of a Member State after having been employed in that State, subject to conditions which shall be embodied in regulations to be drawn up by the Commission.

Cameron’s team has had months now to think through the logistics on this one, and while I doubt there’ll be an announcement on its immediate of this get-out clause in the Treaty, I would n’t be at all surprised if Cameron makes an announcement about a big step forward towards its use, under the guise of repatriating powers.

Unless of course this blogpost is read by Labour policy types, and they get in ahead of the speech.  Here’s hoping.

 

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