(London) EU migrants could be forced to register with the authorities so officials can deport them if they are not working
European Union migrants may be required to sign in at police stations as part of the reforms announced by David Cameron to limit the number of foreigners coming to Britain, The Telegraph understands.
The controversial measures could make it easier for a Conservative government to carry out the Prime Minister’s pledge to deport migrants if they do not find work within six months of arrival.
Mr Cameron announced the plans to send EU migrants home if they are unable to find work in a speech on immigration in which he also set out proposals to prevent foreigners receiving welfare or council houses for four years after they arrive.
Questions were immediately raised about how the Tories would be able to enforce deportations of out-of-work migrants, who are unlikely to appear on databases or official records.
However, a Cabinet minister familiar with the discussions said that migrants could be forced to register with police on arrival in the UK, allowing the authorities to check whether they had found work after six months.
“We are considering all options,” the Cabinet minister said. “And requiring migrants to sign in and register at police stations is one of the things we are looking at.”
Making new arrivals register at police stations is common practice in many foreign countries, and ministers believe it would be simple to impose here.
Mr Cameron used his speech to warn that the future of Britain in the EU was at stake if Brussels did not respond to his calls to limit migration.
He made clear that he would not discount the possibility of leading Britain out of the EU if his reforms are ignored ahead of the in-out referendum he has pledged to hold in 2017.
And he warned that he would veto the accession of new EU member states if Brussels did not accept his demand to apply free-movement rules only when the economy of a new member country improved.
He also announced plans for an emergency fund to “help meet the additional demands on local services” in communities that are struggling to cope with large numbers of foreigners.
And in a clear challenge to his European counterparts to accept his reforms, he said that he would not accept “defeatism” and insisted that Brussels must start talking about immigration “properly”.
In a significant boost for Mr Cameron, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, reacted positively to his demands for reform, saying that she would co-operate to “find viable solutions” to the issues raised by the Prime Minister.