Alan Johnson: Why preventing EU migrants claiming in-work benefits will do nothing to curb migration

Alan Johnson
Alan Johnson
Mr Alan Johnson

The former Home Secretary Alan Johnson has said that Prime Minister David Cameron’s “emergency break” will not be helpful in curbing migration.

Mr Cameron has proposed a plan to restrict benefits to European Union workers.

“The issue of in-work benefits is not a draw factor. Indeed, this is a two-way process – no country has more of its people working in other countries than Britain, more than Poland, more than any other country in Europe,” The quoted Mr Johnson to have said. “Go into a pub in Paris, go into a pub in Madrid, you will hear English voices. It is not a draw for them either.”

Mr Johnson added: “There are all kinds of factors why … people choose to move around the European Union to work, I don’t think that’s one of them.”

The former Home Secretary said it was right to require migrant workers to first contribute before having access to benefits. “For British people the problem is not xenophobia, it’s not anti-Europe, it’s not any kind of racism – overt or covert; it’s a fairness argument, it’s that you should be putting something into the system before you draw anything out,” Mr Johnson said.


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