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Do British voters hate foreigners, or merely freeloaders? That is essentially the question British Prime Minister David Cameron posed in his long-awaited speech on immigration from other European Union countries, delivered last month at the headquarters of the construction-equipment manufacturer JCB.

Cameron’s gamble is that voters do not mind Poles or Lithuanians operating JCB’s machines on construction sites all over the United Kingdom. What they mind is people immigrating to the U.K. to take advantage of its welfare benefits.

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