Theresa May has made stopping EU FoM a red-line in the upcoming negotiations with the EU even , it would appear, at the the cost of loosing our membership of the Single Market.
There is plainly a large proportion of the electorate against immigration in general and against the Free Movement of workers into the UK in particular. However as Tony_nog explains in his excellent blog When is a Majority not a Majority? Brexit and Korean Restaurants there is no way that anyone can suggest that there is a majority in favour of stopping FoM at the expense of loosing our trading position with the EU – and it has been made very clear to all that the UK cannot have both.
So why has Theresa May taken this somewhat extreme position?
If one looks at her behavior over the past few years, it does begin to show a pattern.
In April of this year Theresa May, when Home Secretary, claimed that these EU migrants are “benefit tourists”. When pressed by the EU for evidence of this claim it came to light that in fact there was no evidence to back these claims as the British government keeps no figures on how many European Union nationals claim welfare payments in the UK.
It is now being reported that Theresa May tried very hard to suppress any positive findings in a report on EU migration. Theresa May faces accusations from within government that she tried to remove evidenceabout the positive impact of immigration on the British economy from a critical report that was published before the EU referendum.
Again whilst Home Secretary, at the Autumn Tory party conference, Theresa May claimed that immigration is pushing thousands out of work, undercutting wages and bringing no economic benefit to the UK.
These are just not the facts, as any number of studies show. These claims are debunked in the blog Freedom of Movement isn’t the problem
A new book, All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain’s Political Class, by Sunday Times political editor Tim Shipman, claims May refused to support Cameron’s hardline approach to negotiations with EU leaders and rejected his plans to ask for an “emergency brake” on immigration – a stance Cameron described as “lily-livered”.
Cameron’s director of communications, Sir Craig Oliver, says in his exposé of Downing Street that the former prime minister’s advisers used the nickname “Submarine May” because she never came to the surface to support his efforts. In his book, Unleashing Demons: The Inside Story of the EU Referendum, published in the Mail on Sunday, Cameron’s chief spin doctor says the prime minister pleaded with May to “come off the fence” about Brexit.