David Davis comments on German proposals to expel unemployed immigrants


As originally published in The Daily Telegraph:

David Cameron facing calls to expel jobless EU migrants. A German proposal to remove out-of-work EU migrants is prompting Tory demands for the Prime Minister to bring in a similar radical measure

David Cameron is facing Tory calls to expel out-of-work EU migrants after Germany drafted plans to adopt the radical measure.

A number of the party’s MPs told The Times that proposals from a German government panel, stating that EU migrants would be removed if they failed to find work within three months, should be adopted in Britain.

At the start of the year, ministers rushed through reforms aimed at easing concerns about mass migration to Britain from Eastern Europe.

None of the proposals, which included making EU migrants wait three months before receiving benefits, went as far as the planned German move.

Now Mr Cameron’s allies in the party are claiming that the German plan shows the Prime Minister is winning support in his attempt to overhaul rules allowing migrants to move freely throughout Europe.

Commenting on the legality of the German move, European Commission sources said member states were entitled to refuse residency if a migrant was unemployed after three months and did not have the financial means to avoid becoming a burden on the host country.

Nigel Mills, the Tory MP who led a rebellion over immigration, said that removing unemployed migrants was a sensible step forward.

“We have not gone as far as saying we will send people home if they have not found work. Even free movement to come and work should not be unrestricted, but this sounds like a very sensible proposal,” he told the newspaper.

Last month Angela Merkel acknowledged, in a speech in London, British concerns over the abuse of free movement within the EU and appeared to hold open the door to limited reforms.

The new German proposals received the backing of Dominic Raab, an influential Tory backbencher, who said it was reasonable to expect EU migrants to Britain to be self-reliant.

“This German report shows the Conservatives’ call for restrictions on EU migration was prescient not populist, and David Cameron’s influence with Angela Merkel is paying off,” he told the newspaper.

David Davis, the former Shadow Home Secretary and Tory leadership contender, said the radical move was eminently sensible.

“I suspect where Germany leads, it will not just be us that follows. There will be a sizeable support group,” he said.

The German chancellor commissioned the report into EU migration in January after public concern about the end of restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian citizens.

An interim version of the study, published recently, backed making it harder for migrants to claim child benefit and expelling those who have failed to find a job after three months.