The only negotiating position to have with the EU is to exit and leave. It does not have to mean that we do, but it’s clear that the EU will not move unless a very strong resolution is presented. This has always been my view, and I hope it’s Mrs May’s.
For me the hard-ball is to be played over migration because whatever people like to think, the facts on migration all point in one direction, fiscal benefit. David Lammy MP in The European used some very robust statistics in his article (13th January)
“A recent study published by the Economist showed that between 1995 and 2011 migrants made a positive contribution of more than £4 bn to Britain, compared with an overall negative contribution of £591bn for native Britons” This really does seem to nail the lie that it’s migrants who slum it on benefits, they don’t, we do!
Even the most reviled “economic migrants” from Eastern Europe make a major input, ” Between 2001 and 2011 the net fiscal contribution of recent arrivals from the eastern European countries who have joined the EU since 2004 has amounted to £5bn ….even during the financial crisis 2007-2011 their net contribution was £2bn” (Migrants from the rest of Europe added £8.6bn). These figures show the net contribution of people who come here to work and pay their taxes and stay away from the benefits system. Not all do but it’s clear that if our record was a patch on those of migrants we wouldn’t have any problem funding our public services! I’m not saying they should but it’s certainly not a problem we can blame on migrants.
And the truth is, that halting or limiting or managing migration will make this situation much worse. I hope Mrs May is listening!