The Home Office has delayed a report into the freedom of movement of EU nationals to work in the UK amid ongoing controversy over the issue.
David Cameron has called for tighter controls in future amid unease about migration levels to the UK since 2004.
An analysis of existing rules was due to be published imminently as part of a government review of EU powers.
But Europe Minister David Lidington said the government had decided to “take a little more time” over it.
The news comes after more than 90 Conservative MPs called for Parliament to be able to veto future EU legislation and repeal existing laws.
Mr Cameron has suggested that a future Conservative government could seek new restrictions on freedom of movement as part of a process of renegotiation – although this is likely to require changes in existing treaties and the approval of other EU members.
The prime minister has said the right of any EU citizen to work and live elsewhere in the union, regarded as a fundamental tenet of the EU, needs to be reconsidered because of the impact of major population shifts in recent years.
The report on freedom of movement was due to be published at the end of last year as part of the government’s balance of competences review – an audit of EU powers seen in some quarters as a potential blueprint for future renegotiation.
“With the removal of employment restrictions on nationals from Romania and Bulgaria, there is clearly not only a great deal of commentary on that but understandable public interest in understanding what happens after,” he said.
“So we have taken the view on that report, let’s take a little more time so we can take account of what has happened in the first part of 2014.”