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POD05 The UK Immigration Debate : The End of Free Movement


Hello and welcome to the fifth episode of our new series: ‘The UK Immigration Debate’ where we discuss all things immigration.

My name is Ali Zaidi and I am senior UK Immigration Solicitor from leading Human Rights law firm, Zaidi Solicitors.


Please take note that all information discussed in this podcast is for information and discussion purposes only and is not formal legal advice about immigration law and should not viewed as such. If you require further legal assistance please go to the law society website for advice on consulting a specialist UK immigration solicitor.

Today we will be discussing David Cameron’s proposed reforms of the UK’s membership of the European Union.

David Cameron has promised an in / out referendum prior to 2017 and he has stated that “the British people face a huge decision”.

Prior to the proposed referendum the UK are planning reform talks and these reforms are set out in David Cameron’s letter to the President of the European Council that outlines the following 4 goals:

  1. Protection of the single market.
  2. Setting targets for competitiveness by reducing red tape.
  3. Limiting the EU’s migrants from claiming in-work benefits such as working tax credits in order to top-up their income. It has been proposed that EU migrants should only be entitled to in work benefits if they have lived and worked in the UK for at least 4 years.

David Cameron has claimed that nearly 40% of recent EU migrants are claiming in-work benefits and receiving an average of £ 6000.00 per year. However, human rights groups have disputed these Home Office figures. The EU Commissioner has stated that the UK’s planned restrictions on in-work benefits such as working tax credits could infringe free movement laws. While the spokesman for the European Commission President stated that” the benefits restrictions were highly problematic and they affected the fundamental freedoms of our internal market and amounted to direct discrimination between EU citizens”

  1. The UK should be exempt from an “ever closer union” and bolstering UK parliaments. This proposed reform confirms that the UK only wish to remain in the EU as a trading and business partner, however they are not willing to give up their sovereignty. In essence the UK parliament will remain powerful and not be bound by EU laws.

David Cameron has also proposed longer re-entry bans for EU fraudsters who engage in criminal activities such as sham marriages. This issue has been highlighted in the national media and there have been many high profile cases of EU migrants mainly from East Europe engaging in sham marriages with non-EEA nationals for financial gain. Also it has been proposed that increased powers should be provided to the Home Office to deport EU criminals. This measure has already introduced for foreign criminals from non-EEA nationals and in some cases an out of country right to appeal is the only option for foreign criminals who have been deported from the UK.

Labour Party’s Response

The Labour party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn have adopted a more sensible and conciliatory approach to Europe. They believe that the UK should remain in the EU and negotiate any possible reforms with the other EU member states. Therefore, the Labour party feel that negotiation is better than blackmail or throwing your toys out of the pram approach to politics.


David Cameron’s wishes to reduce the amount of unskilled EU migrants coming to the UK and he believes that will result in limiting EU migrants from claiming in-work benefits and the end game is to reduce net immigration.

If the UK’s proposed EU reforms are not accepted will the result of the proposed referendum be immaterial and will this be the end of free movement.

You have been listening to the UK Immigration Debate and please subscribe to this episode on iTunes to ensure you get automatic notification when we release any new episodes.

If you have an urgent UK immigration matter, please contact Zaidi Solicitors on 0207 416 6673 or 01582 431 333 or alternatively go to our website at  and immigration solicitors london.

Remember to tune in again next week to our new podcast series, The UK Immigration Debate. Thank you for listening and bye for now.















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