Cameron has outlined plans to stop immigrants from inside Europe claiming various benefits in a move criticised and rubbished by Brussels.
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The free movement of European citizens is a fundamental principle which must be upheld, the President of the European Commission has warned David Cameron.
Jose Manuel Barroso said he underlined this belief to David Cameron during a telephone conversation last night where Mr Cameron informed him of his plans for a crackdown on new EU arrivals claiming benefits.
Responding to a question from ITV News Europe Correspondent Emma Murphy, Mr Barroso said free movement was "one of the most valued" principles by European Union citizens.
The 10-minute call between the pair was described as "very cordial".
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The Prime Minister has been accused by Brussels of an "unfortunate over-reaction" after he pledged to stop new arrivals from the EU getting out-of-work benefits for three months.
In an outspoken intervention, European employment commissioner Laszlo Andor warned David Cameron that Britain risked becoming seen as the "nasty country" of the EU.
He also cautioned Mr Cameron not to interfere with the rules underpinning the European single market, saying it could be the start of a "slippery slope".
Ukip leader Nigel Farage has said that David Cameron's plan stop new arrivals from the EU getting out-of-work benefits for three months will do nothing to stop an influx of migrants from Bulgaria and Romania.
He likened the strategy to a "catapult made from soggy spaghetti".
He's trying to shoot UKIP's fox with a catapult made from soggy spaghetti.
Cameron's proposals will do nothing to prevent an influx of new migrants from Bulgaria and Romania.
The leader of the UK Independence Party has said David Cameron's plan to stop new arrivals to UK soil claiming immediate benefits would do nothing to prevent an influx of new migrants from Bulgaria and Romania.
Nigel Farage, speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, said: "Under his proposal somebody can come here on January 1 from Romania and within 12 weeks be entitled to unemployment benefit. I think that's outrageous.
"I wouldn't call that tough. I would say that we are still being far too generous even if he does have the guts to put this in place.
"This does nothing to stop an unrestricted flow of a very large number of unskilled people coming into Britain at a time when we have a million young unemployed people."
The government have unveiled new plans to curb the rights of European Union migrants ahead of Romanian and Bulgarian becoming full EU members on 1st January 2014.
David Cameron said the changes will stop immigrants being able to claim full benefits in the UK.
There had been widespread fears that a huge influx from the countries could head to the UK.
- New immigrants will not eligible to out of work benefits for the first three months. If after three months an EU national needs benefits they will only be able to claim for a maximum of six months.
- There will be a new minimum earnings threshold to prevent access to benefits such as income support. Newly arrived EU jobseekers will not be able to claim housing benefit.
- Beggars or those sleeping rough will be removed and barred from re-entry for 12 months.
- There will also be a clamp down on those who employ people below the minimum wage. With a fine of up to £20,000 for every underpaid employee – more than four times the current fine, in an attempt to help native workers.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper says the government are 'flailing' over their immigration policy:
The Prime Minister is playing catch up. Why has it taken him eight months to copy Labour's proposal to make the Habitual Residence Test stronger and clearer?
After Labour proposed this change in March, the Government said it was all fine and nothing needed to change. Yet now, rather than following a coherent plan, they are flailing around.
No wonder public confidence in the Government's handling of this issue has collapsed.
This change was only one of Labour's proposals. The Government should also be beefing up enforcement of dodgy gangmasters and targeting sectors that are reliant on migrant labour to ensure they are working to train employees.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg insisted his Liberal Democrats were fully signed up to the rule changes - although senior sources stressed that the post-2015 ideas had not been agreed.
These are sensible and reasonable reforms to ensure that the right to work does not automatically mean the right to claim.
Other countries in the EU already have similar policies and are considering the case for going further - unfettered access to benefits across the member states simply does not exist.
Anyone who believes we are better off as an outward facing nation should support these changes. If we don't get to grips with these issues, pro-Europeans surrender the debate to the UKIPs of this world.
David Cameron has pledged to stop new arrivals from the EU getting out-of-work benefits for three months ahead of an expected increase in Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants.
Writing in the Financial Times (£) the Prime Minister said: We are changing the rules so that no one can come to this country and expect to get out of work benefits immediately; we will not pay them for the first three months.
"If after three months an EU national needs benefits - we will no longer pay these indefinitely. They will only be able to claim for a maximum of six months unless they can prove they have a genuine prospect of employment.
"We are also toughening up the test which migrants who want to claim benefits must undergo.
"This will include a new minimum earnings threshold. If they don't pass the test we'll cut off access to benefits such as income support. Newly arrived EU jobseekers will not be able to claim housing benefit."
Downing Street aides said currently some immigrants could access Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA) within a month of arrival in the UK.