Gove supports PM's view on UK immigration

25 Nov 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Education secretary Michael Gove has backed up the prime minister on his views on UK immigration.

Reports from the Sunday Times state that PM David Cameron is considering increasing the period that EU migrants need to have spent in the country before qualifying for benefits from the current level of three months to a full year.

Cameron's plans, however, could put the UK at odds with other EU countries and there has already been some stirrings of opposition. But Mr Gove has come out in support of the prime minister, stating on the BBC's Andrew Marr show that he thinks that Cameron has “struck exactly the right note on migration, which is to celebrate the achievements of the people who've come here, to recognise migration has to work for people who are already here - from whatever background”.

He added that action needs to be taken to ensure that people do not “take advantage of what is rightly a generous welfare state”.

Labour shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, admitted that her party had made some mistakes when it came to managing UK immigration, but stated that she believes it is “important to recognise that most people who come to this country do come to work and to contribute”.

Also speaking on the Andrew Marr show, she added that changes should be made to prevent people moving to the UK and seeking Jobseekers' Allowance straight away.

Cameron is aware that his move to increase the length of time that new arrivals will be required to spend in the country before qualifying for hand-outs will be controversial with the European Commission in Brussels, which bans member states from discriminating between their own citizens and other Europeans when it comes to deciding eligibility for benefits.