Blair insists on tougher immigration rules for EU citizens

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair insists that tougher immigration policies would "deal with the anxieties" that led to the Brexit camp win.

10 September 2017, 10:28am
Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has called on the government to create new UK immigration policies which will "reasserts control" over immigration.

When he was prime minister, his government - unlike most EU countries - did not apply transitional controls on migrants from Eastern Europe.

But in a UK Sunday Times article, he said "times were different" now, insisting that all EU nationals should register on arrival and should already have a job offer when they land.

However, Mr Blair still opposes leaving the EU, saying it will be “painful”.

He says tougher immigration policies could "deal with the anxieties" that he claims led to the Brexit camp win.

Under existing rules, citizens of other EU countries can be deported after six monthsif they have not found a job, have no realistic possibility of finding one, and require support from the welfare system.

But the new report by Mr Blair's Institute for Global Change says EU nationals should already have an offer of work when they arrive.

Those who didn't earn permission to stay would be banned from opening a bank account, renting a home or claiming benefits.

The report also proposes restricting free healthcare for unemployed migrants and letting universities charge EU nationals higher tuition fees than British students.