Cameron’s migrant benefits ban disappoints Eurosceptics

European Council President, Donald Tusk.

THREE YEARS of discussion on EU reforms, have finally secured David Cameron his ’emergency brake’ concession which will allow him to ban migrants from claiming in-work benefits for four years, starting after the UK referendum. 

Other terms of Britain’s renegotiation of EU membership are still to be ironed out as the Prime Minister failed to finalise the content of the draft proposal during a Downing Street dinner with European Council President Donald Tusk, on January 31. 

Mr Cameron and Mr Tusk will now sit through a further 24 hours of talks to hammer out additional terms before the draft of the UK’s renegotiation text is published.  

If all goes according to plan, EU officials will then consider the proposal at a summit meeting on February 12, during which the Prime Minister will seek Angela Merkel’s endorsement. 

In what appears to be the EUs first official acknowledgement that freedom of movement puts strain on small, prosperous countries like the UK, the emergency brake concession has been described by one Downing Street source as “very significant.”

Eurosceptics were quick to diminish Mr Cameron’s achievements, with one businessman, Luke Johnson describing them as “relatively trivial” and “condescending” on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show.

The Brexit backer refuted claims that economic disaster would befall Britain outside the protection of the EU, arguing that “Britain is the fifth largest economy in the world; the City of London is the leading financial centre in the world. We have a great independent future, just as countries like Norway and Switzerland enjoy.”

The emergency brake deal was also dismissed by Tory MP Steve Baker, chairman of the Conservatives for Britain group. 

Speaking on BBC One’s Sunday Politics, he claimed the deal would make minimal difference in reality and that it could be swiftly derailed by “just one case brought by activist lawyers.” 

The Wycombe MP went on to describe the benefits ban as “a red herring, undeliverable, a bad joke.”

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    • Mike

      01 February 2016 • 19:28

      The man is a bag of hot air and fairly smelly air at that 😉

      I really don’t understand why this man thinks that the British Eurosceptics will buy this… farce!

    • Roy Peters

      01 February 2016 • 19:54

      All this talk about migrant benefits is but a small part of what we need to change to stay in the Union.
      Yes, we do need to cut down on the never-ending payments to scroungers, and those who do not want to work or have a family in their homeland but that is not all.
      Just as important is to get rid of the Human Rights Court influence in Britain which is making a mockery of our justice system. Before all this started we had a very good and fair system.
      Also we need the right to say who can come and live in Britain and who cannot, and not be dictated to by Brussels.
      Few of these subjects are even open for discussion, that is why we need to leave.

    • Mike

      01 February 2016 • 21:14

      I do agree Roy and cannot see what he actually thinks he can achieve with the basis of this ‘reform’. When you consider before he entered Downing street he had a list of things he wanted to change including the European bill of human rights by reinstating a British bill of human rights, the man is a sellout and the sooner we are out the better!

    • kay peukert

      02 February 2016 • 08:58

      what I would like to know is does this effect brits returning to the uk?
      At the moment ex pats have to wait for two years before
      any help – does this mean we have to wait 4yrs too?
      The comment about the european court – we got WFA paid to us by them and I still fail to understand how IDS was able to stop us having this payment.
      If one goes into things DWP throws money away right left and centre


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