By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
THE Bulletin yesterday learnt of a number of cases of British expatriates living here in Majorca who are locked in the battle to win the right to receive exportable benefits from the British government and all have been forwarded to the Conservative MP Roger Gale who challenged Gordon Brown on the issue in Parliament on Wednesday.

Yesterday, as the MP for Thanet North told the Bulletin on Wednesday, Gale, not convinced that the Prime Minister will “look into the matter and write to the Honourable gentleman”, contacted the Head of Unit at the European Commissions' Director General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.

BREACH OF LAW

In a letter to the Head of Unit, Jackie Morin, Gale has asked what the EC and the European Court of Justice is going to do, should the British government continue “to breach the law”, as it has been warned against over the past 18 months by both European bodies.

As Gale explained on Wednesday night, the British government could be penalised and fined if it continues to try and “wriggle” out of complying with EU law and paying Disability Living Allowances and other exportable sickness benefits.

Yesterday, he stressed the urgency of the situation to the Commission and that Brussels needs to make a swift decision because “in some cases this (receiving exportable benefits) may literally be a matter of life and death.” Gale has made it clear that he is prepared to personally travel to Brussels to discuss the situation with the Commissioner in person but, in the meantime, stated that he expects the European Commission to “instigate further enforcement action.”

The cases received by the Bulletin in response to yesterday's lead article have, as requested, all been passed on to Roger Gale who has already responded to those concerned with advice and help

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