Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2016-09-13-Speech-2-971-000"

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"Madam President, the European Union seems almost purpose-built to encourage social dumping. Freedom of movement seemed to work okay when only a few countries were in the club and all were at similar stages of economic development, but following the various rounds of enlargement, particularly with the arrival of the A8 and A2 countries, all that changed. Suddenly countries with wage levels only a fifth of those that pertained in the more established members were part of the club. Without major restriction of the right of free movement, the outcome was inevitable: vast migration from poorer countries to richer ones and the undercutting of wages and conditions. Yet the Commission permitted only short-term transitional controls, and the UK did not even take advantage of those. Rather than tailor controls to the long-term closing of the living-standards gap, the ideology of European integration took precedence and immigration soared. The result in the UK has been beneficial to big corporations – an endless supply of cheap and compliant labour – but terrible for pre-existing working-class communities, with pay and conditions undermined and competition for public resources, such as social housing and school places, greatly intensified. This was not the only factor behind the Brexit victory in our referendum in June, but it was a major one. To sum up, as an ardent Brexiteer, I must offer you my heartfelt thanks as a Union for your bureaucratic inflexibility and your political incompetence. Britain will soon have within its grasp the national controls needed to support working people and ensure their wages and conditions are not grievously undermined, but other countries of northern and Western Europe will have no such powers. More fool them!"@en1

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