EU immigrants will be required to work in UK before being able to claim benefits


According to a recent article published by Daily Express, all EU immigrants will be required to work in the UK for at least a year before obtaining the right to claim welfare benefits.

If such rules are introduced this will deepen the dispute between Britain and the European Commission about the so-called benefits of tourism.

The Daily Express, a staunchly Eurosceptic paper, has reported that ‘Westminster insiders’ have claimed that the UK’s Work and Pensions Secretary, Ian Duncan Smith, is ‘prepared to escalate the row with the Eurocrats’.

The paper says that Mr Duncan Smith intends to introduce a requirement that EU citizens must work in the UK and pay income tax and national insurance for ‘a significant period’ before claiming benefits. The Express claims that this will be between 6 and 12 months.

Britain has already introduced the so-called “habitual residence test”, whose aim is to require all EU nationals to prove that they are genuine UK residents before being able to qualify for benefits such as housing and healthcare.

This requirement has not been popular with the European Commission. The possibility of the introduction of more rules against EU immigrants has additionally angered the EC.

It has consequently announced that will sue the UK in the European Court of Human Rights because of its treatment of EU migrants.

The EC issued a statement saying that the UK discriminates against EU citizens by refusing a large proportion of applications for benefits from EU citizens.

The EU says that its research shows that 64% of EU citizens who applied for UK benefits between 2009 and 2011. 42,810 applied and 27,400 were refused.

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