Cameron’s EU package of reforms to keep Britain in the EU had its first test in the House of Commons today.
During Prime Minister Question Time in Parliament, the debate revolved around the EU-UK deal with Cameron defending his plan aimed at keeping Britain in the EU.
The PM said: “My plan is to bring welfare, immigration, and bail out powers back to the UK. This will make us stronger and better.”
The European Union has recently denied Cameron a full four-year ban on EU migrants’ right to claim benefits. Britain will be only allowed to offer the chance to gradually increase them over the four-year period.
Cameron stood by his draft EU deal and tried to persuade MPs to back his proposal which will lead to an IN/OUT referendum that could be held on June 23rd 2016.
The PM faced a backlash from Eurosceptics within his party who said the draft had failed to maintain the promise of his manifesto. Major of London Boris Johnson, who questioned the Prime Minister during PMQS, said before the debate that “there is much more to do”.
Cameron confirmed that EU migrants will no longer be able to claim benefits while looking for work. If still unemployed after 6 months, EU migrants will have to leave the country.
The plan to curb EU migrants access to welfare has been criticised by members of the Labour party:
The Q I wanted to ask “Will the PM thank the 1000s of foreign doctors working for our NHS. A ‘bunch of migrants’ saving British lives” #pmqs
— Liz McInnes (@LizMcInnesMP) 3 Febbraio 2016
PM demonstrates again how little he understands of vulnerable families – he thinks people make a ‘lifestyle choice’ to be on benefits #PMQs
— Steven Paterson MP (@Steven4Stirling) 3 Febbraio 2016
The PM rejected the claims that he thinks Britain would be better off the EU.
“The question is not could Britain succeed outside the EU but how we will be the most successful,” he said.
He eventually ends: “If we can’t secure these changes, I rule nothing out.”
Jeremy Corbyn said his party is fully committed to vote NO in the referendum and criticised the deal for not doing enough to protect workers’ rights.
Video by Soty Bananas 2, www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gKh4JlJXf4
Sub-edited by Giovanni Prati