“Lies are repeated until people believe them”, Martin Schultz says in blistering attack on Cameron
Hours after meeting David Cameron for a breakfast meeting, president of the European Parliament Martin Schultz launched a blistering attack on Cameron’s plan for reforming Britain’s EU membership, which he said was based on “outright lies”, and “hatred”.
The attack comes as Cameron seeks to introduce rules that EU migrants must have lived in Britain for at least four years before they are able to claim benefits. The move is believed to be a bid to dissuade people coming to Britain from poorer countries.
But Schultz said Britain was making generalisations and twisting facts.
He said: “There are attempts by people in Europe and also in this country to create new barriers between countries.”
He said that Britain was “stirring a feeling of panic over so-called benefit tourists from Romania and Bulgaria wanting to plunder the social systems of the host countries”.
“Facts are twisted. Sweeping generalisations made. Outright lies told. Then those lies are repeated, again and again until people start to believe them.
“What makes me sad and angry in all this debate is the undertone of national resentment. Hatred is spread. People are used as scapegoats.
“The truth is that no-one can travel to another member state without a job and immediately claim social benefits.
“The truth is that no-one can indefinitely claim a right of residence if they have insufficient means and no genuine chance of getting work. The truth is that our countries benefit from mobile EU citizens.”
Meanwhile, the national French newspaper Le Monde issued a statement in English warning that leaving the EU could be Britain’s “Waterloo”, the Telegraph reports.
“The country which cornered Napoleon cannot succumb to Nigel Farage,” the paper said.