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BREAKING NEWS

Britain wants the EU to overhaul its laws on free movement amid concerns over so-called 'benefits tourism'.

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Britain wants the EU to overhaul its laws on free movement amid concerns over so-called 'benefits tourism'.

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The call comes ahead of restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian migrants being lifted at the end of the year.

Britain’s interior minister.

“I think we need to be able to slow full access to free movement until we can be sure that mass migration is not going to take place. That, for example, could be requiring new member states to reach a certain level of income, or economic output per head before full access to free movement rights are allowed.”

Germany has hinted it supports some changes to the rules.

The new coalition agreement states that the next government will tackle “uustified benefit claims by EU citizens”

“We need a common position, how to protect the freedom of movement, how we can prevent abuse – but if we need to, we will need to agree multilaterally on a common approach outside the structures of the European Union

But EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding said member states should get their own houses in order first.

She told reporters the right to free movement in the EU is not up for discussion.

“In some member states, the national laws are much too vague, are much too positive and they really call for fraud, now the member states should do their homework and fight the fraud. It is possible to be done according to the European laws.”

The UK is already locked in a battle with the EU executive on how it interprets residency rights and access to welfare payments.

London hopes a change to the rules would force the commission to drop its legal challenge.