Brussels has launched a ferocious counterattack against David Cameron over immigration, saying his talk of benefit tourism and a something-for-nothing culture among EU migrants is unintelligent and risks stoking “knee-jerk xenophobia”.
Responding to Cameron’s speech last week in which he pledged to restrict access to housing benefits and the NHS for those coming to the UK under EU free-movement rules, the European commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion, László Andor, told the Observer that his claims were misleading and very unfortunate.
“There is a serious risk of pandering to knee-jerk xenophobia,” he said. “Blaming poor people or migrants for hardships at the time of economic crisis is not entirely unknown, but it is not intelligent politics in my view.
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