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Saturday, November 29, 2014

UKIP wins second seat

Nigel Farage (L), leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), shakes hands with Mark Reckless, the former Conservative Party member of Parliament for Rochester and Strood, during the by-election ballot count at Medway Park in Gillingham, southeast England, November 21, 2014.

It's amazing what a difference the new British political party has made. UKIP has frightened the life out of David Cameron and he's now promised to do what should have been done a long time ago - migrants will have to wait four years for benefits and will have to leave the country after six months if they don't find work.

But he knows he will have a huge fight on his hands with the EU who will try to stop him, particularly Angela Merkel, and if they do, he's dropping hints that the UK may well leave the 28 nation union.

Under current arrangements, EU citizens are free to come to the UK and compete for jobs without being subject to any immigration controls and you have to wonder how this ridiculous situation ever came about.

But it's only a promise - a carrot held out to the British people to re-elect him because he knows they are angry and likely to turn to UKIP in droves.  

If elected, he's promised to renegotiate ties with the EU followed by a referendum in 2017 for the country to vote on whether to stay or leave the EU.

Polls show that immigration is the number one priority for voters and UKIP has just won its second seat in Parliament.

“I will negotiate a cut to EU migration and make welfare reform an absolute requirement in renegotiation,” Cameron said at a factory in central England.  “If I succeed in the negotiation that I am going to undertake, I will, as I have said, campaign to keep this country in a reformed EU. (But) if our concerns fall on deaf ears and we cannot put our relationship with the EU on a better footing, then of course I rule nothing out."

If implemented, Cameron's new rules would affect over 400,000 EU migrants.  Welfare payments for migrants' children would be stopped and jobless EU migrants removed if still unemployed after six months. But all these changes would need the agreement from other EU states.

Under the EU's freedom of movement rules, EU citizens are entitled to work anywhere in the bloc but there's only one problem - they all want to come to the UK and why wouldn't they?  People are fed up watching unemployed EU migrants abuse the welfare system and not before time.

Change is well overdue and if the new UKIP party's recent success is any indication, Britain's general election next year should be very interesting.