pwa wrote:... I do think we could exercise more control over EU immigration than at present. Over the past decade there have been surges of EU immigration interspersed with quieter phases. If we could limit the surges, that would be enough to satisfy me....
My understanding and experience is that the UK is already pretty "open" when it comes to Freedom of Movement (as are other countries). My understanding and experience is that the Freedom of Movement olny technically applies to workers (or people having worked in that country - remaining after working).
Free Movement - EU nationals
Free movement of workers is a fundamental principle of the Treaty enshrined in Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and developed by EU secondary legislation and the Case law of the Court of Justice. EU citizens are entitled to:
look for a job in another EU country
work there without needing a work permit
reside there for that purpose
stay there even after employment has finished
enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages
When I went to work in the Netherlands (permanent contract) I actually had to go and register with the local Police. They required to see my employment contract to confirm it was a permanent position and unfortunately it was a standard job offer and did not use the work permanent. So they stamped my passport with a 1 month temporary stand and I had to get a new contract using the work permanent and that took a few months so I ended-up with a load of 1 month Police stamps in my passport. And the rest of the world does not understand Dutch but does understand the word Police (and similar) and using that passport for travel became a bit of a nightmare because my passport had several Police stamps in it!!
When I went to live in France, technically I was outside the EU freedom of movement (I never bothered to ask, I just brought a house and moved, registered/paid tax, etc.). But that did allow Sarkozy to implement health cover changes to withdraw French state health cover from me as I was outside the "Freedom of Movement".
And when I came back to the UK and needed a minor operation to have a lump removed I had to wait 6 months as I was no longer covered by the NHS (because I had been resident outside the UK). and at the end of the 6 months I had to go to hospital an hour early before the consultant appointment and have an interview and take things like Utility Bills, Council Tax bills, etc., and have an interview to convince them I was now a permanent resident.