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David Cameron has outlined his plans to curb the rights of migrants from the European Union to access Britain's welfare system.
Under the proposals, EU nationals would be expelled from the UK if they fail to find a job within six months, and will be required to wait at least four years before becoming eligible for in-work benefits.
The Prime Minister also promised that EU migrants would not be allowed to receive child benefit and tax credits for children living outside of the UK regardless of their tax contributions, and said access to social housing would be dependent on residency in the UK for a minimum of four years.
Mr Cameron said he would “rule nothing out” in terms of campaigning to leave the EU if he could not push through his changes, claiming he would reveal his stance only if he failed.
“We shouldn’t have to leave the European Union… But I’m absolutely clear nothing – and I mean nothing – is ruled out,” he said.
During his speech, delivered at a JCB factory in Staffordshire, Mr Cameron claimed voters had "real concerns" about immigration which must be heeded by fellow European leaders.
"Our concerns are not outlandish or unreasonable," he said.
"We deserve to be heard, and we must be heard. Not only for Britain’s sake, but for the sake of Europe as a whole. Because what is happening in Britain is not unique to Britain. Across the European Union, issues of migration are causing real concern and raising real questions."
Mr Cameron confirmed that if securing a Europe-wide agreement on his proposals "should not prove possible", he would instead push for a "UK-only settlement."
However, the Prime Minister has chosen not to pursue a cap on the number of EU arrivals, in spite of yesterday's news that net migration is now at a higher level than when Labour left office in 2010.
He defended his unmet pledge to reduce annual net migration to below 100,000, but conceded that the Government's action on immigration had "not been enough to meet our target of cutting the overall numbers to the tens of thousands."
"The figures yesterday demonstrate that again," he said.
"As we have reduced the numbers coming to the UK from outside the EU, the numbers from inside the EU have risen. In other words, our squeeze in one area has been offset by a bulge in another.
"The ambition remains the right one. But it’s clear: it’s going to take more time, more work and more difficult long term decisions to get there."
And he committed his party to a series of new measures to try and lower immigration levels, including revoking licences from colleges and business which "fail to do enough to prevent large numbers of migrants they sponsor from overstaying their visas", as well as extending a policy of "deport first, appeal later" for immigration appeals.
Ed Miliband reacted to the speech by accusing Mr Cameron of having "absolutely no credibility" on immigration.
The Labour leader added: "This is somebody who made a promise at the last general election. He said, no ifs, no buts, he will get net migration down and it’s gone up. And he actually said ‘kick us out in five years if we don’t deliver’. Well, I certainly agree with that.
And Mr Cameron also came under fire from Nigel Farage, who accused the Prime Minister of "playing catch up" on the issue and dismissed his proposals as unworkable.
"The most significant thing is that the Prime minister, right through the speech, used the world ‘control’," the Ukip leader rold the BBC.
"Once again, it’s a Prime Minister, I am afraid, trying to deceive the British public. The fact is, while he may have taken away, potentially, one or two of the pull factors, you cannot control immigration as a member of the European Union because we have total open borders with the other member states."
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