Reuters - Video

Edition: US | UK | IN | CN | JP

Video

Cameron calls EU bluff on migrants

Friday, November 28, 2014 - 02:07

British Prime Minister David Cameron launches a bid to win back disaffected Conservative voters with a long-awaited speech on immigration, warning the EU must let the UK stop migrants tapping into welfare or risk Britain's EU exit. Hayley Platt reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

David Cameron has set out his plan to curb the number of EU migrants coming to Britain. He called for more control to restrict the amount of welfare they receive. And hinted he was prepared to leave the EU if it didn't support him. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "If I succeed, I will, as I have said, campaign to keep our country in a reformed EU. If our concerns fall on deaf ears and we cannot put our relationship with the EU on a better footing, then of course I rule nothing out." Tens of thousands of migrants work in the UK service sector. Cameron has seen the anti-immigration UKIP Party make deep inroads into his grassroots support. He said EU migrants should have a job offer before entering the country. And social housing should not be granted unless they've been in Britain for at least four years. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "The British people need to know that changes to welfare to cut EU migration they will be an absolute requirement in the negotiation that I am going to undertake. I am confident that they will reduce significantly EU migration to the UK." Other EU states would have to agree. Something most seem reluctant to do. Under the current EU's freedom of movement rules citizens are entitled to work anywhere in the bloc. Hundreds of thousands have chosen Britain, the EU's fastest-growing economy. The uncertainty is leading to a growing sense of investor risk around the UK ahead of next May's general election, says Daragh Maher of HSBC. SOUNDBITE (English) DARAGH MAHER, FX STRATEGY DIRECTOR AT HSBC, SAYING: "We saw with Scotland that you can get traction, we've now got immigration and it reflects the uncertainty about the election next year. The rise of UKIP and its mandate is forcing the conservatives perhaps down this road. I just think Sterling will be weaker on politics in general." The latest figures show almost 230,000 EU citizens had moved to Britain in the year to June alone -- the highest recorded figure -- adding political pressure on Cameron to act.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Cameron calls EU bluff on migrants

Friday, November 28, 2014 - 02:07