David Cameron will today make his most concerted effort yet to prevent a stampede of his core vote to Ukip by unveiling measures to stem the flow of EU migrants to Britain, including imposing fines on private landlords if they do not check the immigration status of their tenants. Landlords will face fines of thousands of pounds under proposals due to be unveiled in the Queen’s speech today.
The political centrepiece of Cameron’s third Queen’s speech will be a promise to restrict EU migrants’ access to jobseeker’s allowance to six months, issue new guidance to local authorities to give priority to local people in social housing, and place new responsibilities on EU member states to pay if their citizens use the NHS. There will also be tougher fines on businesses that use illegal labour.
The six-month restriction to jobseeker’s allowance will apply to all EU nationals who are not actively seeking work and cannot show that they have a genuine chance of getting work. Cameron will introduce a new residence test requiring most individuals to be lawfully resident in the UK for at least 12 months before they gain access to civil legal aid. But the measures, designed to slow the flow of workers to the UK, come only a day before new EU commission proposals designed to make it easier for EU citizens to work anywhere in the EU. Cameron hopes that such raw meat will soothe the disaffection on the right that was revealed in last week’s local elections. But he will also hope to quell the growing clamour on the Tory backbenches for a referendum bill on EU membership in this parliamentary session.
Ministers say the Article had been abused by criminals to circumvent rules that automatically deport any offender sentenced to more than 12 months in prison. She has already issued guidance to the UK judiciary, but believes only the full force of a change in the law will persuade UK judges not to defer to the Human Rights Act in such cases.