Friday

2nd Dec 2022

Cameron to unveil latest anti-EU migrant plan

  • Cameron is set to deliver another speech with new ideas on migration (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

UK prime minister David Cameron is set to deliver a speech on Friday (28 November) laced with even more ideas on how to keep EU migrants at bay.

The latest plan seeks to increase the crackdown on EU migrant access to benefits by denying them the social security net until they’ve worked for at least four years in the UK.

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“I will negotiate a cut to EU migration and make welfare reform an absolute requirement in renegotiation,” he is set to say, according to a draft copy of the speech obtained by The Guardian.

After reneging on promises to cut migrant numbers in the UK down to the tens of thousands, the conservative leader is largely seen to be pandering to an electorate increasingly drawn to Nigel Farage’s eurosceptic Ukip party.

Net migration figures increased over the past year to around 260,000, stoking fears Cameron can’t deliver on pledges to kick out or prevent more European nationals from seeking a better future on the island.

The poor and less wealthy EU working nationals would be the hardest hit under his latest scheme, which is set to affect some 300,000 already employed in the UK.

The plan hits the working poor the hardest because they won’t be entitled to things like social housing or tax credits for the first four years.

The perceived target is people from Romania, Bulgaria, and their EU neighbours in the east.

Cameron earlier also floated the idea of introducing a cap system in which only a limited number of EU nationals would be allowed to enter.

But the plan backfired because it required a EU treaty change on the freedom of movement.

Germany’s Angela Merkel is reported to have said any brake on the freedom of movement is out of the question.

The UK is set to hold an in/out referendum on the EU should Cameron retain his premiership in the next elections.

EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, for his part, told the Financial Times in an interview that so long as freedom of movement is not somehow impinged, national governments can impose limitations to prevent people from abusing each other’s welfare systems.

Two million UK migrants in EU

It is unclear if Cameron’s policy moves could also have a knock-on effect on the well over 2 million UK migrants living in other EU member states.

UK government figures put forward earlier this year reveal some 2.2 million Britons live in the other 26 EU countries, excluding Croatia, which joined in 2013.

It notes around 1 million UK nationals live in Spain alone.

It says the real figure could be much higher because there is evidence some Brits have not registered in France, Portugal and Spain.

Meanwhile, Cameron is not alone in serving the imputed threat posed by foreigners.

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday described westerners as people who dislike Muslims and who are more interested in following the money than in solving wider problems in the Middle East.

“Only we can solve our problems. I speak openly; foreigners love oil, gold, diamonds, and the cheap labor force of the Islamic world. They like the conflicts, fights and quarrels of the Middle East. Believe me, they don’t like us,” he said at a conference on economic co-operation in Istanbul.

Mooted UK migrant cap would be 'illegal'

The European Commission Monday said reported UK plans to cap the number of EU migrants entering the country to 75,000 annually would be illegal.

EU and UK caught in bad romance, Juncker warns

Juncker has given the clearest hint yet he would be prepared to see the UK leave the EU, comparing the its 42-year membership of the bloc to a romance gone wrong.

Germany gives no ground to UK on EU migration

Merkel gave no new ground to Cameron on curbing EU migration following talks in London, stating that abuse of welfare benefits can be better handled in other ways.

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