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EU (Freedom of Movement)

Volume 589: debated on Tuesday 2 December 2014

15. What recent discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on freedom of movement within the EU. (906382)

I have discussed EU migration extensively with my counterparts as part of a series of visits to EU capitals to discuss EU reform and renegotiation. We are not alone in seeing EU migration as a qualified right. We secured reference in the June European Council conclusions to the need to protect EU migration from misuse, and last week the Prime Minister set out his proposals for doing just that.

Will the Secretary of State confirm that we should use the Dano judgment, which confirmed that member states have significant leeway, to ensure that people who come to the UK come to work, not to claim? Will he also confirm that we can do that without threatening our position as a member of the EU?

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. The Dano judgment has once again shown that sometimes we in this country assume that the body of EU regulation requires us to do things that it actually does not. We sometimes find, as we did in that case, that there is more flexibility to work within the existing treaty powers than is assumed.