Clegg yesterday called for a major overhaul of EU benefit rules in a bid to stamp out payments going to European citizens who do not live in the UK.
The Deputy Prime Minister vowed to end the payment of child benefit abroad, a practice which currently supports 34,268 children in nations outside the UK. Clegg said he would not wait for a treaty change, adding that he was pushing EU leaders to reform existing rules in order to pay child benefit at the lowest rate possible, while countries negotiated a full benefits overhaul.
Clegg’s comments come in the wake of an EU court ruling, signalling that member states have the power to refuse benefit payments to migrants who have never had a job in the host country.
And yesterday, former Prime Minister John Major warned the EU risked “divorce” with the UK unless immigration rules were changed.