Nick Clegg backs ’eminently sensible’ EU benefit changes

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Series Details 12.01.14
Publication Date 12/01/2014
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The United Kingdom Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith was reported in an article in the Sunday Times on the 12 January 2014 as saying that he was talking to other EU governments about trying to restrict access to welfare for EU citizens who moved to another EU Member State. Mr Duncan Smith said the UK, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Finland wanted to change EU law.

Later on the same day Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said it was 'sensible' to consider further curbs to the benefits EU migrants could claim. Also Rachel Reeves from Labour said the party might support proposals to extend period for which new migrants are unable to claim benefits.

William Hague and Kenneth Clarke clashed over EU immigration on 12 January 2014. The former chancellor dismissed claims that too many migrants have arrived from EU, saying they have made positive contribution.

On 13 January 2014, the EU Commission released guidelines on social benefit eligibility, calling debate as 'misguided'. On the 15 January 2014, EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso called for an open idea of Europe, away from narrow and "chauvinistic" perspectives which might be seen, according to EurActiv, as criticism to the British stances on the EU.

In January 2014, the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (University of Gothenburg) published a report whereby it showed that the UK would benefit from Bulgarian and Romanian migrants.

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Related Links
ESO: Background information: Cameron to ask Brussels for cap on EU migrants
The Guardian, 12.01.14: Labour toughens stance on EU benefit restrictions
The Guardian, 13.01.14: William Hague and Kenneth Clarke clash over EU immigration
ESO: Background information: Free movement: Commission publishes guide on application of ‘Habitual Residence Test’ for social security / EU spells out rules on migrant access to benefits
ESO: Background information: Speech by President Barroso on the Greek Presidency
Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration: Report, January 2014: The fiscal consequences of unrestricted immigration from Romania and Bulgaria
EUObserver, 15.01.14: UK to benefit from Bulgarian and Romanian migrants, study says
The Local, 15.01.14: 'Migration net benefit ignored in heated debate'
EurActiv [Opinion], 17.01.14: UKIP's call to ban migrants is not just unrealistic, it is counter-productive
BBC News, 17.01.14: European freedom of movement rules: EU reaction to UK plan
BBC News, 17.01.14: Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin on Bulgarians in UK

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