Ed Balls seeks reform of EU free movement of workers rule

Ed Balls seeks reform of EU free movement of workers rule

Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls appeared on BBC Radio’s PM programme yesterday calling for a change in EU rules on free movement to stop migrants from new member states undercutting British workers.

He said: “We should look at the free movement of labour directive to see whether or not it needs to be changed: either to allow transition arrangements to be longer or to prevent the practice where people can come and work in our country and then send benefits back to their own countries.

“I think people find it quite strange … where people come to our country, work in our country and then send back large amounts of money to families who haven’t come to live in our country.”

He continued: “I think we should look at it … personally I think there isn’t public support for that and what it does is undermines, in our communities, support for migration, support for our membership of the European Union.

“I think people sending money back, whether it’s tax credits or child benefit, is difficult. I think we should have a discussion with our European partners to see whether we can go further than we have gone at the moment on restricting that.”

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