Top political stories right now
David Cameron has insisted that his stance on European immigration will be directed by "the British people" rather than the European Commission president.
The Prime Minister issued a firm rebuke to Jose Manuel Barroso this morning as he vowed to press on with plans to restrict EU migration.
Mr Barroso has said that Downing Street's favoured option of quota system for EU migrants would be in breach of treaty obligations.
But Mr Cameron said this morning: "What we need in Britain is a renegotiation of our relationship with the European Union and a referendum where the British people decide whether to stay in this reformed organisation or do we leave it."
He added: "Now that's what I will pursue, that's what I will deliver and at the heart of that renegotiation we need to address people's concerns about immigration. I'm very clear about who the boss is, about who I answer to and it is the British people. They want this issue fixed, they're not being unreasonable about it. I will fix it."
The Prime Minister has been signalling that he will unveil new measures to restrict migration from other member states and the row follows reports at the weekend that Mr Cameron intends to cut low-skilled immigration from the EU by limiting the National Insurance numbers available to such workers.
Downing Street is yet to confirm the plans and has said the Prime Minister will reveal his latest thinking "in due course".
Mr Barroso yesterday said there could be no “arbitrary cap” on the number of people coming to the UK from the EU, and today he went further, rejecting the idea of limiting access to free movement until a nation's GDP reaches a certain level.
The president of the European Commission, who is leaving his post next month, told an audience at Chatham House: "What will be the criteria [for restricting free movement]? The criteria of the wealth of the countries? Are we going to create in the European Union first and second-class citizens? No. No. So this is a clear point. We have to see the proposals. I cannot yet tell you exactly the response, but it seems to me an arbitrary cap can never be accepted."
Vince Cable this morning echoed the comments from Mr Barroso that a quota system for EU migrants would be in breach of treaty obligations. "It almost definitely is illegal," the Business Secretary told the Today programme.
On The Way Up
Today in Health and Social Services
Today in Foreign affairs & defence
Today in Economy & Employment
Today in Domestic Affairs
Today in Party Politics & Reform
News, gossip and insight from PoliticsHome Editor Paul Waugh
This morning's top ten must-reads
Today's Five at Five
Find out more about the professional political news service
Bits and bobs from the political day
Hand picked politics - Live
Twitter 18:48 | Breaking:.Labour reshuffle Pat McFadden in as Shadow Europe Minister. Three other changes duePaul Waugh
Blog 18:00 | Labour’s (mini) reshuffleLabourList
Opinion 17:30 | Where have all the working-class actors gone? | Alex AndreouThe Guardian
Opinion 17:27 | Ukip Calypso by Mike Read? The horror! The horror!The Independent
Blog 17:21 | The final four in the Boston and Skegness selection are namedConservativeHome
Opinion 17:09 | Once we’ve decided what a 'troll' is, then we can work out if they need jailingThe Independent
News 17:01 | UKIP's alliance in Europe rescuedBBC
Blog 17:00 | LISTEN: The UKIP calypsoConservativeHome
Blog 16:53 | Irony alert as Poles ride to UKIP's rescue in a classic Brusselsstitch-upOpen Europe blog
Blog 16:47 | The Tories lie about the NHS in Wales to distract us from what they’re doing in EnglandLabourList
Latest opinion research and analysis
Most read around the web
Most read on PoliticsHome
Click to see todays front pages and political bits
The political diary