25 March 2013

PM to detail new UK immigration measures

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In a major policy speech to be given today, David Cameron is expected to announce new UK immigration measures designed to clamp down on migrants' rights to benefits.

UK visa

David Cameron will introduce the new measures in a speech to be delivered today.

With Bulgaria and Romania due to accede fully to the EU later this year, concern within the UK of an influx of migrants has been steadily growing. Although the Government has promised to introduce measures to limit the potential impact on social services, it has yet to detail any specific measures.

In a speech to be delivered today however, Mr Cameron will outline proposals to ensure 'everyone who comes here pays their way and gives something back'.

In an article released ahead of the speech, the prime minister said: "There's been a lot said about Bulgarians and Romanians coming over next year.

"We benefit from new countries joining the EU: they'll buy more things from us and jobs will be created. But as a Government we should make sure that people come here for the right reasons.

"While I have always believed in the benefits of immigration I have also always believed that immigration has to be properly controlled."

Mr Cameron said he will be battling the 'something for nothing culture' by introducing measures intended to make it more difficult for nationals from within the European Economic Area (EEA) - which includes Bulgaria and Romania - from claiming benefits for more than six months.

"Ending the something for nothing culture needs to apply to immigration as well as welfare," said the PM. "We're going to give migrants from the EEA a very clear message. Just like British citizens, there is no absolute right to unemployment benefit."

As well as limiting migrants' access to unemployment benefits, the prime minister is expected to bring in 'stricter charging' to the NHS as well as a waiting period of up to five years for access to social housing lists.

"We should be clear that we have is a free National Health Service, not a free International Health Service."

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