If I wanted to be charitable to Hannan, I’d say that his position is that we’ve got to decide one way or the other: either we let people come to the UK but without benefits for doing so, or we limit immigration and we enforce our laws properly.
Everyone is talking about "immigration" and "immigrants" as though there were only one type. There aren't.
There are two types of immigrant to this country: EU citizens and non-EU citizens.
EU citizens—through EU law—must be allowed all of the same benefits as the natives. That means that they can claim the same benefits, use the same services, etc. and have complete freedom to move or settle in any EU country.
As some people may know, over the last six months or more, I have been dealing with the British government's disgusting and inhuman attitude to the second set of immigrants—the non-EU citizen.
Non-EU citizens are not allowed any benefits, despite paying full taxes. Non-EU citizens are often not allowed to stay in the country if they have no job—the most common Tier 2 visa is tied to an immigrant's job: if they lose the job, they have to leave the country immediately (it doesn't matter whether they can still support themselves, through savings, etc. They have to leave).
The problems that we have are not with the latter group: it is not they who are putting a strain on public services. The problem is with the EU citizens, mainly from poorer parts of the EU, who we must treat as though they were natives.
Now, whichever of the two approaches above you consider to be right (or, like me, you might consider that the both of them are completely stupid) doesn't tremendously matter—but any debate on immigration must acknowledge the fact that not all immigrants are equal in this country.
Regular readers will know, of course, that your humble Devil proposed his own solution to the immigration problem.
So, here is my proposed solution, and it is a solution designed to be implemented tomorrow—that is, it assumes that we are still in the EU, etc. So, here it is: no immigrant may claim benefits until they have been working—and contributing tax (i.e. cash in hand work will not count)—for four years.
But wait! The EU will not let us treat EU citizens any differently to British citizens. Great! The same thing applies across the board, for British citizens too.
When National Insurance was first implemented, you had to have been paying in for a certain amount of time—and earned your "stamps"—before you could start getting payouts. To an extent, this is still the case, but other benefits are not, theoretically, part of the National Insurance system, so they are paid out without any requirement to have paid in.
This should stop, right now.
So, everyone—regardless of where they are from originally—gets treated in exactly the same way: no one shall receive any benefits until they have paid tax into the system for four years (an arbitrary number—we could make it higher, if you like, or lower—four years seems a reasonable time to me).
In this way, we can stop paying for people's lifestyle choices (including encouraging the feckless to have children); we can diffuse the resentment based on the "bloody immigrants, coming here and stealing our benefits" argument; we give people an incentive to pay tax rather than do cash-in-hand work; we stop people coming here with massive families in order to soak our ridiculously generous benefits system (and thus reduce immigration); we can remove these spiteful bars to non-EU immigrants working (and thus allow private companies to hire who the fuck they want); it will provide us with an incentive to ensure that our schooling is up to scratch (since natives will be competing with immigrants on an equal footing); it allows us to open our borders to those who want to come and work here (and neutralises Hayek's problems with doing so whilst a Welfare State exists); and, of course, we will substantially reduce our social security bill.
This seems to be a sensible solution to me, and it stops the disgustingly racist separation of non-EU and EU citizens (yes, it is racist, since it is based on where you come from and thus your race) that is inherent in our two-tier immigration system.
Oh, yes: and it stops hard-working people who want to remain here from being kicked out of the fucking country by a bunch of inhumane, jack-booted shitstains who, frankly, make our country look like some kind of fucking authoritarian's pleasure-ground.