European Commissioner Designate – UK has no hope of changing Freedom of Movement rules


At the same time as David Cameron was making his keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference placing immigration controls at the very heart of his EU renegotiation strategy, pledging he will "not take no for an answer" on free movement; the European Commissioner in charge of employment and labour mobility was being questioned by UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall today at confirmation hearings at the European Parliament. In her answers to Paul Nuttall she said she was "not prepared" to consider given Britain back control of its borders or allow Britain to restrict the access of EU immigrants to Britain.

Marianne Thyssen, a Belgian eurofederalist who spent 23 years as an MEP before becoming named to the new commission, was asked by Nuttall if she would be willing to give Britain full rights to control its own borders and restrict access to European migrants and said that: "Freedom of movement and the single market is something I am not prepared to shake". 

In reply to a second question by Nuttall, the new commissioner was asked if there were any concessions at all she would be willing to give Britain on the freedom of moblility across Britain's borders. She said it was"not our intention" to alter "fundamental principles" saying: " has to be clear that we have rules a treaty, fundamental principles written in...Otherwise the very structure of European integration will be torn apart that cannot be our intention."

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