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Even Ed Balls has admitted the EU needs ‘proper borders’ as migrant crisis threatens to overwhelm Europe’s free movement rules

  • Balls was an advisor when Labour decided against EU expansion controls
  • He had since admitted that was a mistake and today called for new rules
  • Ex-shadow chancellor issues a warning about ‘unprecedented’ migration 
  • For more on the EU refugee crisis visit www.dailymail.co.uk/refugeecrisis
Since being chucked out of Parliament by the voters, Mr Balls has joined Norwich City football club as chairman, pictured 
Since being chucked out of Parliament by the voters, Mr Balls has joined Norwich City football club as chairman, picturedEd Balls has warned free movement in the European Union will have to be ended in response to the migrant crisis.

Mr Balls, who was a senior Labour advisor when Britain decided not to impose border controls on countries joining the EU in 2004, said the flow of people into Europe meant ‘proper borders’ were needed.

He endorsed Prime Minister David Cameron’s renegotiation and backed reforms which will look set to place limits on migrants’ benefits.

But the former shadow chancellor said the sense that migration was ‘out of control’ would destroy Europe’s ‘Schengen’ borderless system.

His intervention comes as Mr Cameron launches a final diplomatic offensive ahead of next week’s crunch EU summit.

Britain has an opt out from the Schengen agreements meaning there are border checks at UK ports.

Mr Balls told the BBC today: ‘I think if you look at politics in France and in Germany, in Sweden and in Denmark, you see echoes of what’s happening in Britain.

‘People feeling that things aren’t in control, that politicians aren’t rising to the challenge.

‘And the reality is that without the refugee crisis maybe you could sustain this Schengen borderless Europe, but at a time when things sort of feel out of control, it’s very hard to see how you can carry on without proper borders…. The movement of people on this scale was not expected, it is unprecedented.’

He added: ‘I support the argument David Cameron’s been making that we need to move away from free movement.

‘At the moment it looks like he’s going to secure restrictions on benefits paid to migrants.

 ‘I think in the end we will end up with moving away from free movement and national controls on the amount of economic migration.

‘But I don’t think it will happen quickly enough for the referendum. But what we’ve got to do is say to people is ‘let’s stay in and win that argument over time’.’

Mr Balls said the success of Mr Cameron’s renegotiation in recent months had demonstrated the strengths of Britain’s EU membership.

But the claim was dismissed by Tory MP Marcus Fysh who dubbed the intervention ‘#EUBalls’ on Twitter.

He said: ‘Ed Balls says stay in EU to address its migration disaster by getting all 28 members to abandon their cherished free movement.

‘Balls then, balls now.’

Tory MP Marcus Fysh dismissed Mr Balls intervention on the debate about freedom of movement declaring it to be '#EUBalls'

Tory MP Marcus Fysh dismissed Mr Balls intervention on the debate about freedom of movement declaring it to be ‘#EUBalls’

Mr Balls, who was the highest profile casualty of Labour’s disastrous 2015 election campaign, has acknowledged Labour made serious mistakes in the middle of the last decade in its assessments of migration.

He said last month: ‘When it came to the expansion of the European Union in 2004, we didn’t see the extent to which low-wage people would move.

‘Fundamentally, we didn’t think they would.’

The desire of many EU nations to protect the principle of free movement has proved to be the biggest stumbling block in Mr Cameron’s negotiations.

His ambition to apply a ‘brake’ to the number of migrants coming to Britain has been reduced to a taper on benefits paid to working migrants – and redrafts suggest this was only conceded because of Labour’s failure to apply transitional protections in 2004.

Mr Balls, pictured as he was defeated by Tory Andrea Jenkyns, right, on election night, was the highest profile casualty of Labour's disastrous 2015 election campaign


 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3444576/Even-Ed-Balls-admitted-EU-needs-proper-borders-migrant-crisis-threatens-overwhelm-Europe-s-free-movement-rules.html

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