This is not a moral argument but a brutal, simple economic one.
It is a simple fact of supply and demand. If there is an oversupply of unskilled labour wages drop. Opening our doors in January to all Bulgarians and Romanians will create an even greater oversupply than we already experience, writes UKIP Leader Nigel Farage MEP.
•In less than two months anybody from Bulgaria or Romania who wishes to come to the UK may do so.
Many people here are talking about this but unlike most of them I have visited shanty towns in both countries and know what they are like.
In December 2006 I visited Romania with the Daily Express on the invitation of the Romanian government as the country was on the cusp of joining the EU. I stood in the mud of a street market and talked to the locals. It was clear many wanted to come to Britain.
Many already have. Then in May I went to Bulgaria. I visited Fakulteta outside Sofia, a place described as a “gypsy ghetto”. I received an incredibly warm welcome. I was supposed to be the political ogre from Britain who opposed their right to move to the UK and yet, as always in Eastern Europe, the food was served, the drink flowed and we got on famously. The simple reason is that, unlike our formal diplomatic representatives, I was honest. I told them that I believed large numbers will come to the UK and they laughed and generally agreed.
Anybody who has visited these places will understand why so many people wish to come to the UK. They will understand the grinding poverty and base discrimination that people on the edges of Balkan society face, they will understand how Britain with its easy-to-access welfare system would look like a reasonable option.
Factor in, in the case of the Roma, that the Eastern European Roma have already moved to the UK from countries such as Slovakia and Hungary – having already set up family and social networks here – and the problem is amplified.
Ukip’s position on the relaxing of rules for Bulgaria and Romania has always been clear. They are countries whose GDP is several factors lower than our own. We know there are job agencies setting up in both countries advertising work and others giving advice on how to access the UK benefits system.
It is in the words of immigration specialists a significant pull factor. The UK has more than 20 per cent of under-25s out of work, nearly a million of our young people, and yet through ignorance, short sightedness or mere loyalty to our membership of the EU the Government seems to care more about the lives of those in Falkuteta than they do for those in Warrington, Wigan or West Byfleet.
It is a simple fact of supply and demand. If there is an oversupply of unskilled labour wages drop. Opening our doors in January to all Bulgarians and Romanians will create an even greater oversupply than we already experience. Scarce jobs will become even harder to find and employers will have every reason to reduce wages – in part explaining why much big business is so keen on both EU membership and mass migration: it lets them keep wages low and profits high.
This is not a moral argument but a brutal, simple economic one. Given that we have downgraded our education system by refusing to allow selection it is no surprise that our young people are increasingly unsuited to compete. And yet the political elite from the main parties blame our young for their unpreparedness for the jobs market. It is not our under- 25s who have had their hands on the tiller of education.
Alongside the genuinely hardworking and well-intended migrants who will come to Britain to seek employment will come two further groups: those who are already being trained to access our welfare system and those who wish to exploit the new open borders for criminal purposes.
Those who plan to exploit the generous benefits available in the UK will soon find ways round our system while criminals will seek ways to maximise the opportunity of being in the more affluent UK.
It is a sad but true fact that countries such as Bulgaria and Romania have not yet recovered from decades of communist rule. Those discriminated against in their own countries often have limited access to legitimate employment to make an honest living and have turned to crime in order to survive. And make no bones about it, many will bring this lifestyle to Britain with them.
The City of London police told us earlier this year that there have been more than 27,000 arrests of Romanians over the last five years out of a then total of 87,000 living here.
While these figures are horrifying in themselves worse is the fact that, due to our membership of the EU, we cannot even deport those who are convicted.
We CAN send them home, we can even pay people to go back but under EU rules all they need to do is to get on the next plane, train or coach if they wish to return. As we have seen that is exactly what they do. And who can blame them?
The Daily Express is running its new crusade to demand that David Cameron puts national interest first and blocks the change in law that will mean on January 1 all Romanians and Bulgarians will have equal rights to our system.
It must be supported in its crusade. We are deliberately, knowingly importing economic, social and cultural problems that are entirely avoidable. I call for a referendum on our membership of the EU in part because of this. The migration problem is an EU problem. Until we leave there is nothing we can do to address it.