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Scruton RogerRoger Scruton is a writer and philospher.

The greatest difference between being governed by a national
Parliament and being governed by a treaty is that, in the former case, law can
be made immediately, in response to every change in the situation of those
affected by it, and mistakes can be rectified before their full toll of
destruction has been reaped. In the nature of things treaties forbid this. They
exist to enforce a particular decision, made in particular circumstances, for a
particular goal. And even if they include provisions for amending and adjusting
as circumstances change, their immovable goal perpetuates the thinking from
which they arose, long after circumstances have made it irrelevant.

Thus the
Treaty of Rome included, among its four freedoms, the freedom of the labour
force to move across national borders. This freedom, itself backed up by
long-since exploded economic theories concerning the role played by the
‘factors of production’, seemed harmless at the time, when there was near full
employment and parity of income in the member states. Everything began to change,
partly as a result of the Treaty. And when the decision was taken, from which
the people of Europe were, as ever, excluded, to extend membership to the newly
liberated countries of Eastern Europe, the result was a mass migration from places
devastated by communism to places where the rule of law, private property and
representative institutions had kept in being the old spirit of Europe. Nothing
could be done to stop this, we were told: at best it could be delayed. For a
few years our government was able to postpone the influx from Romania and
Bulgaria. Now, it seems this influx is to come, and our Parliament and our law
can do nothing to prevent it.


Those who
know Bulgaria and Romania will have some awareness of what this will mean,
although current forms of censorship will prevent them from saying it. However,
in the current discussion the principal matter is never mentioned. The greatest
single problem that this country faces is not economic decline. It is
over-population. Look at the real tensions in our society and you will find
this always at their heart. Rising unemployment among the young, as jobs are
seized by incoming workers from Eastern Europe. Escalating demands on our
health and welfare system from people who have never paid a contribution to it.
Ever more painful shortage of housing, and the impossibility of finding a house
that a young family can afford. Threats to both town planning and the
countryside from the pressure to build, and the rapid crumbling of our
infrastructure, which was in recent memory the most effective in Europe. The
collapse of education in our cities, as schools strive to accommodate classes
in which hardly a child is a native speaker of the language. The growth of
criminal networks located beyond our borders, in places where our long-standing
rule of law has never been known. And so on. All these things result from a
global change that was not foreseen by the founders of the European Union, and
which the EU institutions cannot possibly address – which is the mass migration
from places devastated by brutal forms of government to the anglosphere, and to
Britain in particular.
Unless
controlled, this mass migration will quickly destroy our country’s remaining
cultural and economic assets. But the treaties forbid us to take action, and
meanwhile our government sits tinkering with irrelevant details. If there is to
be a renegotiation of our EU membership, should it not have this matter as its
primarily purpose – namely, to restore to our Parliament the capacity to
legislate, in those matters on which our national survival depends?

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