Where to hold the negotiations?

The Tories are obsessively trying to find something to complain about with regard to EU migration, so that they can puff up their chests and say, “We’re standing up to those meddlers in Brussels! You don’t need to vote for UKIP.” The Tories will go into the next election with the slogan “We hate foreigners too. (But we’re not crazy about it.)”

Lacking a British equivalent to FOX News their polemics about “benefits tourism” have gained little traction because the phenomenon barely exists. Migrants come to work. So now they have a new strategy. He wants to be able to deny benefits — such as Jobseeker’s allowance — to EU migrants who have been here less than 4 years.

I have no strong opinion about the merits of this proposal, though I tend to oppose it. But how do I know that this is a very serious proposal directed at making the UK’s cooperation with Europe all that much more harmonious, and not merely a cynical electioneering ploy?

The proposal, which would require a rewriting of the EU’s social security rules, and possibly treaties, is to be delivered in an address in the West Midlands

Of course, that’s just where a British leader would present a proposal to rewrite treaties to allies whose concerns and opinions you take very much to heart. Will the negotiations be held entirely inside David Cameron’s skull, or will there be room for wider participation?

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