As the law stands, people wishing to settle in Britain must demonstrate that they have the means to support themselves, either through work or through an alternative source of income such as a pension. The European Commission claims that this amounts to discrimination against EU citizens, who are supposed to enjoy the same rights as British nationals.
In fact, as so often happens, Eurocrats are disregarding the plain text of their own rules. Article 7(1) of the Free Movement Directive gives EU citizens the right to reside in another member state only if they have “sufficient resources for themselves and their family members not to become a burden on the social assistance system of the host Member State”.
In order to get around this clause, the European Commission is deploying a piece of sheer sophistry. It argues that, if immigrants were able to top up their income with British benefits, they would have “sufficient resources”.
In May, the Supreme Court ruled on the claim of a Latvian pensioner, who had just moved to Britain and had demanded Pension Credit on grounds that her Latvian pension was too small. Although our courts like to rule in favour of immigrants, the law here was so clear-cut that, by 4-1, judges turned her down. If the European Commission were to get its way, she would not only be able to claim Pension Credit, but also council tax and housing subsidies – despite not having paid a penny into the system....so you don't even have to pretend to be looking for a job anymore. Great. If this law passes, Britain will probably be full of bulgarian gipsies in an instant. And it also means all other european countries have to do the same.