British PM’s calls for EU migration restrictions are ‘interesting’: Asscher

Dutch social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher thinks British calls for limits to EU migration are ‘potentially interesting’ and plans to study them further, the Telegraaf reports on Friday.

British prime minister David Cameron has suggested a raft of measures to limit inter-EU migration ahead of the end of restrictions on people from Bulgaria and Romania at the beginning of next year.

The Telegraaf says Asscher plans to raise the ‘negative impact’ of free movement for people from Eastern Europe at the next EU leaders’ summit on December 9. The minister is also making agreements with Poland, Romania and Bulgaria to stop workers being exploited.

According to the Independent newspaper, the Netherlands and Austria back Britain’s call for tighter restrictions.

Code orange

In August, Asscher made his own plea for restrictions, issuing a ‘code orange alert’ for the European labour market.

The resettlement of so many people from eastern Europe in the west has had a ‘disruptive effect on some of our poorer and less well educated citizens in the richer EU states like the UK and the Netherlands,’ the article, written together with British commentator David Goodhart, stated.

According to the national statistics office CBS, some 600,000 people from other EU countries currently live in the Netherlands and 20,000 of them are claiming jobless or welfare benefits.

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