Conservatives counter proposed free-movement diktat

12-Mar-2014 @ 9:0

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Conservative MEPs will today vote to reject "rigid and dictatorial" EU legislation which threatens to impose a central interpretation from Brussels of how rules on free movement of workers should be applied.

The proposed directive, drafted by Slovakian MEP Edit Bauer, sets out provisions to ensure the "uniform application" of the rights under EU law of free movement for workers.

Conservatives are concerned that the inflexible approach could be used to restrict Britain's right to set its own rules on key aspects such as access to benefits, healthcare and housing.

Employment spokesman Anthea McIntyre said: "We have clear concerns about the impact that unlimited free movement can have on welfare and public services.

"Freedom of movement is an important principle, which is why it cannot be a completely unqualified one. Not least because abuse erodes public confidence.

"It is important we ensure that people who go to other EU states do so for the right reasons – that is, to work. But a complete halt to migration within the EU is not the answer either.

"We must co-operate to address the key factors that drive people to abuse the system – but we do not agree that rigid and dictatorial new EU law is needed to bully people into submission over unfettered free movement. That is neither necessary or proportionate."

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