David Cameron has said that he “wants to reform the system allowing immigrants access to housing, the NHS, the justice system, and benefits”. But what can the Government do even if it wants to? UKIP MEP Gerard Batten presents the facts in his latest briefing.
• David Cameron cannot restrict benefit payments, housing, or access to the NHS to EU citizens as he has promised to do.
EU Legislation means that EU citizens cannot be discriminated against on the basis of nationality. The linked document (PDF) lays out the situation not only regarding EU citizens but non-EU citizens.
It would certainly be a good idea and a desirable thing for benefits to non-citizens to be restricted . UKIP policy is that migrants should not be allowed access to benefits until they have paid taxes for five years – emergency treatment on the NHS would of coruse still be available, but visitors would be required to have private health insurance.
It is seldom the case that a UKIP spokesman can agree with an EU Commissioner, but Viviane Reding, EU Justice Commissioner, has said that Britain cannot discriminate against Romanians or Bulgarians or any other EU citizens on the basis of their nationality. This is EU law– as fully subscribed to by successive Tory, Labour and Tory/Lib-Dem Governments. They cannot have it both ways – in Europe but not run by Europe!