Cameron Retreats on Migrant Benefits

EU REFORM

Speaking at the CBI yesterday, Cameron insisted that a four year ban on EU migrants claiming benefits would be a key renegotiation demand. He said:

“On the migrant issue, we have not changed our view at all. We believe that what is set out in the manifesto [EU migrants who want to claim tax credits and child benefit must live here and contribute to our country for a minimum of four years] is right for Britain, right for Europe and needs to change.”

Yet speaking at Chatham House today, the PM gave himself massive leeway on this issue:

“I understand how difficult some of these welfare issues are for other member states, and I’m open to different ways of dealing with this issue.”

Expecting people to pay into a social security system is hardly a particularly drastic demand, yet Cameron is already wobbling and wavering on this reasonable request because it is “difficult” for member states. Shorter version of today’s speech: “I say chaps, can I have a piece of paper saying we won’t cosy up too much and you won’t be beastly?”


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