Battle for vote: Cameron vows to 'put British first'

Battle for vote: Cameron vows to 'put British first'

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 1:38 am

LONDON – Britain’s prime minister announced new measures to cut immigration on Tuesday in a bid to lure voters from eurosceptic rivals 10 months from a general election.

David Cameron British Prime Minister

David Cameron
British Prime Minister

“We are making changes to put the British people first,” David Cameron wrote in an editorial in The Telegraph newspaper.

Cameron’s centre-right Conservative party is keen to win back voters who flocked to the eurosceptic, anti-immigration UK Independence Party in European parliament elections in May.

The prime minister’s editorial listed a series of measures already taken to limit migration to Britain, including a cap on entry from outside the European Union and closing colleges thought to be helping illegal immigration.

But it also announced a series of new measures, including some aimed to limit arrivals from within the EU.

European migrants will now be able to claim unemployment benefits for only three months, rather than for six months, Cameron said.

The government will also “massively restrict” the automatic advertising of jobs in Britain on a common EU portal when they are listed on the national site.

Recruitment agencies also will be banned from advertising jobs in Britain solely to people abroad, instead being required to also advertise in English in Britain.

The government aims to make it easier to identify illegal immigrants and deport people.

To achieve this, from November landlords will be legally required to check the immigration status of tenants. New rules to prevent illegal immigrants opening bank accounts will be brought in in December, the prime minister said.

The government has begun revoking driving licenses that belong to illegal immigrants, withdrawing 3,150 so far, he added.

Education colleges will be under increased pressure to filter out students who may be refused visas, as they will lose their licenses if 10 percent of those they accept are refused permits, Cameron said.

The opposition centre-left Labour party has a six-point lead over the Conservatives, with 33 percent support compared to 27 percent, while UKIP has 17 percent of the vote, a ComRes poll showed Tuesday.

Cameron has promised a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU if he is re-elected.

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