Cameron bids to end ‘benefit tourism’

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David Cameron has warned that he will block further expansion of the European Union unless reforms are agreed to crack down on “benefit tourism”.

The threat came at an EU summit in Brussels where he acknowledged that enlargement had been a spur for peace and prosperity.

But he said the system was meant to offer the prize of free movement to workers, not those just looking for cash handouts.

Days after announcing tighter UK controls on’ benefits ahead of an expected wave of Romanians and Bulgarians arriving from January 1, the Prime Minister was looking for support from other EU leaders to rewrite the rules. There was not much sign of it.

However the Prime Minister said he was launching a debate that needed to be tackled, involving treaty change if necessary.

With at least six countries in the queue for membership the Prime Minister pointedly observed that each accession would require the approval of all existing member states.

Croatia joined in July and the accession process starts with Serbia next month.