EU rules mean we can't treat British benefit claimants differently from EU job seekers

Published Nov 16, 2015

jane-collins.jpgUKIP Employment Spokeswoman Jane Collins MEP has responded to the employment minister who said she would "make sure" British workers are "supported and protected" if the plans to strip EU migrants of their benefits goes ahead.

Mrs Collins said Mrs Patel "knows very well that one of the basic rules of the EU is that we can't discriminate based on nationality, which means any cuts meant to target EU migrants will hit Brits."

She said it "begged the question whether Mrs Patel is being disingenuous or she is unaware about how the European Union works."


The employment minister was in Brussels with Iain Duncan Smith at the end of September meeting MEPs to persuade them to support the changes the government want.

But Mrs Collins said that as a member of the parliament's employment committee, "I can assure Mrs Patel and Mr Duncan Smith that MEPs have no desire to let Britain change the rules particularly if it will disadvantage their own workers in other countries and of course their own treasuries.

"The principles of free movement and non discrimination based on nationality is enshrined in the EU Treaties. I know it is deeply inconvenient for MPs who want to secure reforms on our membership including on the key matters of immigration and jobs, but these are the facts.

"If we want to put our own workers first then we need to leave the EU."

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