Britain is to demand new restrictions to keep out benefit tourists under a new relationship with the European Union, even at the expense of EC free movement treaties. UK Prime Minister David Cameron said the Government should make it harder for European Union migrants to come to United Kingdom and claim benefits.
Cameron said that only working European immigrants should be allowed into the UK, even if it means undermining the EU’s key principle of “free movement”.
Many thousands of migrants from Romania and Bulgaria will arrive in the UK next year once the 7 year transitional arrangements expire.
Hundreds of thousands of Romanians and Bulgarians are already working in the UK, despite work restrictions forcing them to register as self-employed or study, wait six moths for a yellow card and pay for comprehensive sickness insurance in order to work.
Five year old quotas restricting the number of people from Bulgaria and Romania who can move to live in Britain are due to expire. In 2014, 29 million Bulgarians and Romanians will gain full freedom of movement and the right to live and work in Britain, in the same way as immigrants from Poland and other Eastern European countries entered the country when the European Union expanded in 2004.
But many employers are unaware of the distinct difference between ‘A8’ nationals (Polish, Latvian, Slovakian, Czechs, Hungarians, Slovenians Lithuanians and Estonians), who joined the EU in 2004 and more recent members from Bulgaria and Romania. Although both groups have the same rights to freely enter the UK, they do not enjoy the same rights to work, or free movement of labour. See also: Free Movement of EU nationals explained.
Cameron said preventing European immigrants claiming benefits is just one of a number of areas where Britain will try to re-negotiate its relationship with the EU.
Speaking to Andrew Marr on the BBC, Cameron said ministers would now look at making it harder for EU migrants to arrive in Britain and claim benefits and have full access free health care on the NHS.
Cameron said: “Clearly, one of the key reasons for being a member of the European Union are what are called the key freedoms – the movement of goods, the movement of services, the movement of people.
“There are restrictions already on the movement of people if you have, for instance, an emergency. Should we look at arguments about should it be harder for people to come and live in Britain and claim benefits?
“Yes, frankly, we should – so there are areas even in the free movement of people where we might want to make changes.
“We have got this balance of competencies review but all of these areas should be carefully looked at.”
Cameron did not go into how he plans to stop EU citizens claiming benefits or pull out of treaties, but will make a key speech later this month in which he will outline his stance on Europe.
Cameron said that voters will be offered a “real choice” about the UK’s membership of the EU, but ruled out a previously promised “in-out” referendum, which has been demanded by senior eurosceptic Tories and the thorn-in-his-side UK Independence Party (UKIP).
None of the three main political parties want a full “yes-no” EU referendum, as they know the majority of the British public will vote to leave.
The announcement to stop benefits for EU migrants follows a rough week for Cameron in which British higher rate taxpayers lost the right to claim child benefit, which has never been means tested. The move is expected to save the treasury £2 billion. The cuts will anger middle class Tory voters at a time when EU citizens claim millions in child benefits for children not even living in the UK.
The vast majority of EU migrants come to the UK to work, not to claim benefits. The reason employers like Eastern European workers is that they work hard and have the education level and skills to do the job.
If you have been detained, need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed down, Visa, ILR, Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a UK Border Agency or British Embassy refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email:
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Majestic College offer special packages for EU students. They also have a number of employers looking for staff right now and are willing to employ Bulgarians and Romanians.
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