Nick Clegg: EU Right to Work Not Right to ClaimBulgaria in EU | November 27, 2013, Wednesday // 08:36| views
"Other countries in the EU already have similar policies and are considering the case for going further," said deputy prime minister Nick Clegg. File photo
UK deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has welcomed David Cameron' s plan for a a crackdown on so-called "benefit tourism", citing fears over mass immigration from Bulgaria and Romania.
"Other countries in the EU already have similar policies and are considering the case for going further," said deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.
"Unfettered access to benefits across the member states does not exist."
The Lib Dems said the "sensible" changes would "restore confidence" in the immigration system and "ensure that the right to work does not automatically mean the right to claim".
Speaking in an interview with the Financial Times David Cameron confirmed plans for a crackdown on so-called "benefit tourism", citing fears over mass immigration from Bulgaria and Romania.
Eligibility rules for out-of-work benefits will be tightened and access to housing benefit will be curbed.
The prime minister said people were "deeply concerned" about migration levels from Bulgaria and Romania.
He also questioned the principle of free movement inside the EU, saying this right could not be "unqualified".
In an interview with the Financial Times, the prime minister said the last Labor government had made a "monumental mistake" in not restricting access to the UK labor market when Poland and nine other countries joined the EU in 2004 - which resulted in much larger numbers coming than expected.
He announced a series of measures to address what he said were public concerns about the impact of current and future immigration from eastern European on the UK economy and public services.
The prime minister is said to have come up with the plan as he faces mounting pressure from Britons, who want the UK government to extend restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian migrants.
On 1 January 2014, Bulgarians and Romanians will be able to work anywhere in the European Union as the last of their membership restrictions are lifted.
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