On Tuesday 10th November 2015, David Cameron set out the government’s four main demands on EU reform as follows:
The integrity of the single market must be protected.
Reduce the burden of existing trade regulations and commit more to free flow of capital.
Britain must remain in control of its own sovereignty and laws and end its obligation for an ‘ever closer union’.
The curbing of in-work benefits to EU migrants.
A predominant issue within his demand relates to the restriction of in-work benefits to EU migrants such as tax credits, child benefit and social housing: “We have proposed that people coming to Britain from the EU must live and contribute for four years before they qualify to claim in-work benefits or social housing.”
The current EU migrant benefits system are as follows:
EU migrants, including families with dependants who are not working, cannot claim any benefits for the first three months of their stay.
After three months they must be working or actively seeking work with genuine chance of success.
They lose their eligibility for Job Seekers’ Allowance if they have not found a job after three months.
EU migrants cannot claim housing benefits if they are not working.
EU citizens have to pass an EU legal requisite known as the Habitual Residence Test to reside in the UK.
The UK has an additional ‘Right to Reside’ test that must be passed by EU migrants to qualify for permanent residency in the UK.
EU migrants who maintain employment are entitled to benefits such as tax credits and housing benefits.