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U.K. Premier seeks to limit social benefits to control immigration

Last Updated on Friday, 28 November 2014, 22:12 by GxMedia

British Prime Minister David Cameron

London, Nov 28 (EFE).- British Prime Minister David Cameron proposed Friday giving European Union, E.U., citizens six months to find work if they want to settle in United Kingdom and limiting their access to social assistance programs so as to control immigration.

Cameron outlined his plan to reduce the number of European immigrants that is to form a part of negotiations with Brussels on E.U. reforms before holding a referendum that he has promised to conduct on Britain’s membership in the union.

Less than six months before general elections, the British prime minister said that he is not against immigration, but supports maintaing controls over the number of foreigners entering Britain to look for work.

Under Cameron’s scheme, if returned to power in next May’s polls, the Tory government will grant a six-month period for E.U. immigrants to find work; otherwise they will have to leave the country.

They will only have access to social benefits such as housing aid after having resided in the U.K. for four years, Cameron stressed.

E.U. immigrants will also find it harder to bring over family members to settle and individuals who have committed any kind of fraud on its territory will be denied re-entry if they leave the U.K.

The Prime Minister admitted that while his proposed reforms may be radical, they are also reasonable and fair.

“People want government to have control over the numbers of people coming here and the circumstances in which they come,” he said.

Although Britain supports the principle of free movement within the Union, Cameron noted that abuses must be addressed and dealt with.

Cameron said that amendments will be at the top of the agenda during talks with European partners before a vote in 2017 on whether the United Kingdom should remain in the European Union.

The prime minister made his remarks after the Office for National Statistics reported a sharp increase in the numbers of immigrants to the country for the June 2013-June 2014 period, to 585,000 new arrivals. EFE