Tony Blair has called on the government to introduce a new UK immigration policy which “reasserts control”.
When he was prime minister, his government – unlike most EU countries – did not apply transitional controls on migrants from eastern Europe.
But in a Sunday Times article, he said “times were different” now, and all EU nationals should register on arrival and should already have a job offer.
However, Mr Blair still opposes leaving the EU, saying it will be “painful”.
He says tougher immigration policies could “deal with the anxieties” that he says led to the Brexit vote – without the UK necessarily having to go through with it.
Under existing rules, citizens of other EU countries can be removed after six months if they have not found a job, have no realistic possibility of finding one, and require support from the welfare system.
But the new report by Mr Blair’s Institute for Global Change says EU nationals should already have an offer of work when they arrive.
Those who didn’t earn permission to stay would be banned from opening a bank account, renting a home or claiming benefits.
The report also proposes restricting free healthcare for unemployed migrants and letting universities charge EU nationals higher tuition fees than British students.