Tuesday

26th Mar 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. EU tables plan for joint approach to 5G security
  2. MEPs agree to scrap summer time clock changes by 2021
  3. European Parliament votes on reform of copyright
  4. New French-German parliament meets for first time
  5. EU parliament reduces polling ahead of elections
  6. UK parliament votes to take control of Brexit process
  7. EU publishes no-deal Brexit contingency plans
  8. EU urges Israel and Gaza to re-establish calm

Opinion

Catalan independence trial is widening Spain's divides

What is really needed is not the theatre of a rebellion trial, but a forensic examination of whether public funds were misused, and a process of dialogue and negotiation on how the Catalan peoples' right to self-determination can be satisfied.

Orban hosts Weber in Budapest for EPP showdown

The future of the Viktor Orban's Fidesz party inside the European Parliament's centre-right EPP political group hangs in the balance. On Tuesday, Orban and EPP chief Manfred Weber meet in Budapest in a final effort to iron out differences.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  5. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  8. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID

Latest News

  1. EU lawmakers pass contentious copyright law
  2. France takes Chinese billions despite EU concerns
  3. Europe before the elections - heading back to the past?
  4. Romania presidency shatters EU line on Jerusalem
  5. The Spitzen process - a coup that was never accepted
  6. Russia and money laundering in Europe
  7. Italy takes China's new Silk Road to the heart of Europe
  8. What EU leaders agreed on climate - and what they mean

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us