Europe News

David Cameron Changes Tactics On Immigration In Britain

With a general election in just five months, Prime Minister David Cameron discussed proposals that would make Britain less attractive to immigrants.

In a speech delivered in Staffordshire in the English Midlands, Cameron said that if he is re-elected, he would move to prevent immigrants from the European Union from claiming welfare assistance during their first four years in Britain. This includes child benefits and social housing, the New York Times reported.

Cameron hoped to reduce criticism from within his Conservative Party and from the anti-immigration U.K. Independence Party, which has reduced his chances of re-election on May 7. Cameron had pledged to reduce immigration to “tens of thousands” per year, although British net immigration from June 2013 to 2014 was 260,000, up 182,000 from the previous year.

The main proposals in Cameron’s speech would include removing migrants from the UK if they have not found work within six months, speeding deportation of convicted criminals and preventing migrants for claiming child benefit for dependents outside of the UK. EU migrants would not be able to claim in-work benefits like tax credits or have access to social housing for the first four years, the BBC reported.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– David Cameron” author_title=”Prime Minister of the United Kingdom”]

If our concerns fall on deaf ears and we cannot put our relationship with the EU on a better footing, then of course I rule nothing out.


Cameron said he would go so far as to seek an opt-out for Britain if he could not get other EU states to agree to a treaty change that would allow discrimination against non-UK nationals for social housing, the Guardian reported.

Cameron said that migrants who come to Britain should have strong job offers or find work quickly. Citizens of a new member state of the EU should not be allowed to work in Britain until the economy of their home country becomes similar to that of other members, he said.

The measures he proposes would need to be negotiated with Britain’s European partners and unilateral rules would likely be challenged in the European Court of Justice, where they may be thrown out.

Click to comment
To Top

Hi - Get Important Content Like This Delivered Directly To You

Get important content and more delivered to you once or twice a week.

We don't want an impostor using your email address so please look for an email from us and click the link to confirm your email address.