British PM David Cameron Proposes Benefits Curbs to Cut ImmigrationWorld | November 28, 2014, Friday // 21:24| views
British Prime Minister David Cameron leaving 10 Downing Street to answer questions from MPs, 26 November 2014. Photo EPA/BGNES
British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday announced proposals aimed at restricting the flow of immigrants to the UK from other EU member states.
Immigration is expected to become a key issue in next year’s general election in Britain with the economic downturn in Europe that followed the recent financial crisis having given rise to anti-EU sentiment across the continent including the UK.
Immigrants from the European Union will have to work in Britain for four years before they can claim benefits, Cameron said in a much-awaited speech.
Jobless EU nationals will be barred from receiving out-of-work welfare benefits. Welfare payments to EU migrants' children living outside Britain would be stopped, and jobless EU migrants would be removed if they were unable to find work within six months.
The British Prime Minister made it clear curbs on tax credits, child benefits, jobseekers allowance and council housing for immigrants will be a key condition he would set out in talks on renegotiating the UK’s membership of the European Union.
He also threatened to block any new countries joining the EU unless controls are put into place to prevent their citizens migrating to Britain in the hope of benefitting unfairly from the country’s buoyant economy.
“I will negotiate a cut to EU migration and make welfare reform an absolute requirement in renegotiation,” Cameron said.
His speech comes a day after official figures revealed a sharp rise in net migration to the UK, which the coalition government blames on a leap in the number of new arrivals from the EU.
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