Tuesday

22nd Jan 2019

Rutte: EU would retaliate against post-Brexit immigration laws

  • The mildly eurosceptic Rutte (r) is a political ally of Cameron (Photo: The Council of the European Union)

If the United Kingdom left the EU and installed tougher immigration laws, European countries would respond with tit-for-tat rules for British citizens, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said on Wednesday (1 June).

“It will immediately mean that we will get this race to the bottom, that it will move against the interests of the population,” Rutte told the BBC in an interview, saying it would be “impossible” for EU countries not to retaliate.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Boris Johnson (r) wants the UK to leave the EU (Photo: Prime minister's office)

His comments follow a proposal by two prominent Vote Leave campaigners, UK justice minister Michael Gove and former London mayor Boris Johnson.

Gove and Johnson said that after a Brexit, the UK should introduce an Australia-style points system for immigration.

EU citizens who want to move to the UK, would then be assessed based on their skills, they said in a statement published earlier on Wednesday.

“The automatic right of all EU citizens to come to live and work in the UK will end, as will EU control over vital aspects of our social security system. EU citizens will be subject to legislation made by those we elect in Westminster, not in Brussels,” the text said.

It was also signed by employment minister Priti Patel and Labour MP Gisela Stuart.

The 23 June EU referendum has seen a split within the ruling Conservative government, whose prime minister David Cameron is calling on citizens to vote Remain.

The pragmatic and mildly eurosceptic Rutte, who as prime minister of the Netherlands chairs the European Union until 30 June, is a close ally of Cameron.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Cynical campaigns harm public trust

With a month to go before the vote, the Leave and Remain campaigns have made claims that would make the average pub bore blush.

G7 warns Brexit could hurt global growth

G7 leaders in Japan warned that the UK leaving the European Union is a "serious threat" to global economic growth, as EU leaders draw up plans in case British voters choose to leave the bloc.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Turning the EU migration debate on its head

Costs and benefits of migration are one of the main issues in the EU referendum campaign but the debate is mostly based on myths.

No EU plan for Brexit, Eurogroup chief says

Jeroen Dijsselbloem says EU leaders have no plan in case British voters choose to leave the union and says the pro-EU camp should address emotional as well as rational interests.

Cameron warns of Brexit 'madness'

In an TV debate three weeks before the EU membership referendum, the British prime minister defended his promise to curb migration and warned that leaving the EU would be "economic self-harm".

News in Brief

  1. May U-turn on fee for EU nationals in UK
  2. French data watchdog gives Google €50m fine
  3. EU hits Russians with sanctions over Salisbury attack
  4. 'Don't look for answers to Brussels', EU tells UK
  5. Germany warns UK not to 'misuse' EU patience on Brexit
  6. Germany sent 8,658 asylum-seekers to other EU states
  7. Poll: Macron popularity up four percent
  8. 'Economy is broken' says Oxfam in global inequality report

Opinion

EU parliament vote strengthens whistleblower protection

We must not undervalue what a massive step the European Parliament vote represents. The hard work has paid off. We can take a moment to celebrate, but the hard work begins again for finalising strong protection for European whistleblowers.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. Turkish NBA star takes on Erdogan
  2. 'Meme ban' still on table in EU copyright bill, says MEP
  3. Brexit power grab by MPs hangs over May's 'Plan B'
  4. Polish mayor's funeral marred by Tusk TV dispute
  5. Salvini and Kaczynski - the new 'axis' powers?
  6. Seven member states miss climate plan deadline
  7. Aachen treaty and Brexit endgame This WEEK
  8. Germany led way on EU rights protection

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us