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This Is How David Cameron Is Trying To Stop Immigrants Coming To The UK

EU jobseekers will need to have a job before they can come to the UK, they won't get "in-work benefits" for four years, and it will be harder for EU nationals to bring their partners to the UK. If the Conservatives win a majority at the general election, that is.

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David Cameron today said he will cut benefits for new immigrants from the EU if the Conservatives win the next election.


The prime minister gave the speech the day after official figures were released showing net migration to the UK had hit 260,000 people a year.

This means there's no chance Cameron can keep his 2010 election pledge to reduce net migration in the UK to below 100,000 a year.

In his speech, the Tory leader made it clear that immigration to the UK is a good thing. "We are Great Britain because of immigration, not in spite of it," he said.


He praised immigration for, among other things, the NHS, "which would grind to a halt without the hundreds of thousands who have come from overseas to help run it".

PM: "national greatness is built on openness". Points to much needed migrants in NHS, the City and to Canadian Mark Carney at BoE

Lucy Fisher@LOS_FisherFollow

PM: "national greatness is built on openness". Points to much needed migrants in NHS, the City and to Canadian Mark Carney at BoE

9:58 AM - 28 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite


But Cameron said it was "complacent" to ignore the fact that immigration to the UK is a "problem".

"It is not wrong to express concern about the scale of people coming into the country," he said.

To counter this, the prime minister said that the government needed more "control" over immigration, claiming most Britons want three things:

– They "want government to have control over the number of people coming here".

– They "want control over who has the right to receive benefits".

– They want the government to have these controls because of pressures on the health service, schools, and housing.

If elected next year, Cameron said, he'll enforce a crackdown on businesses that fail to stop migrants overstaying their visas, extending the policy of "deport first, appeal later".

According to Cameron, EU law means a loophole exists that makes it far easier for the partners of EU citizens to enter the UK than foreign partners of British citizens.


The partners of British citizens need to prove that they can speak English and earn a specific amount of money before coming to Britain. That's not the case for EU citizens entering the UK, and Cameron said this has created a "growing industry in sham marriages".

"We have got to end this abuse," he said.

Cameron said EU migrants who enter the UK should already have a job lined up before they arrive.


Cameron said the current situation means EU nationals can come to the UK and claim benefits while looking for a job at a cost to the taxpayer of up to £600 a month, and that 40% of all EU immigrants don't have a job offer before they arrive.

Under his proposed system, jobless EU migrants "will get nothing", he said, and if they haven't found a job within the space of six months, they'll be forced to leave.

It's worth noting at this point that EU nationals make up 2.5% of the total number of those that claim working-age benefits.


Finally, Cameron said "we want to reduce the number of EU workers coming to the UK".


What would that involve?

– Cameron would look to restrict freedom of movement in for citizens of any countries which join the EU in the future.

– The Tories would cut in-work benefits such as child benefits and tax credits for new immigrants. Cameron said this was a "big financial incentive" for EU nationals to come to the UK, and a Conservative government would therefore end these benefits until they had worked in the UK for at least four years.

– He would also stop child benefits for immigrant workers whose children remain at home. "If their child is living abroad, then there should be no child benefit or child tax credit at all, no matter how long they have worked in the UK and no matter how much tax they have paid," he said.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage quickly took to Twitter to criticise Cameron.

Mr Cameron says we should judge him by his record in Europe. We are, David. We are... It's not good.

Nigel Farage@Nigel_FarageFollow

Mr Cameron says we should judge him by his record in Europe. We are, David. We are... It's not good.

10:33 AM - 28 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The Labour party criticised Cameron's own record too, but Ed Miliband chose to focus on immigration rather than the EU.

"David Cameron has no credibility on immigration" - Ed Miliband

norman smith@BBCNormanSFollow

"David Cameron has no credibility on immigration" - Ed Miliband

11:33 AM - 28 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at

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