As national sovereignty increasingly becomes a thing of the past for most Europeans, the controversial European Union is taking the British government to court in an effort to force taxpayers to supply more welfare for immigrants in the United Kingdom. Analysts, however, say the move is likely to backfire, with fuel essentially being poured on the fire as escalating anti-EU fervor sweeps across Britain ahead of a promised public vote on secession.
After two years of “discussions” between London and the emerging Brussels-based super-state resulted in an impasse, so-called “eurocrats” still claim that British authorities are improperly denying welfare benefits to some immigrants. “Tens of thousands of EU nationals living legally in the U.K. have been refused access to benefits to which they are entitled,” alleged EU spokesman Jonathan Todd, citing “official figures” showing that British authorities had denied welfare to almost 30,000 immigrants between 2009 and 2001.
The U.K. government denies the allegations, with officials saying that they will continue enforcing the “right-to-reside” test before handing out public funds to foreigners. "We will not only fight this action but press ahead with plans to strengthen Britain's benefits system to ensure it cannot be abused," the government said in a statement cited in media reports, adding that the welfare requirements were "a vital and fair tool.” Proponents of the rule, which was put in place almost a decade ago by a Labor party-led government, say it is necessary to crack down on “benefit tourism.”
The European Commission, somewhat similar to an executive branch, argues that the requirements for immigrants to obtain welfare in Britain violate EU “law” because they go beyond what is required from Britons. As such, European “authorities” — now responsible for more than three fourths of the “laws” governing formerly sovereign member states — recently announced that the bid to saddle taxpayers with more bills would have to be resolved in the self-styled “European Court of Justice.”
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