Documents to download

The Benefit Entitlement (Restriction) Bill [Bill 47 of Session 2014-15] is a Private Members’ Bill presented by Christopher Chope. The Bill makes provision “to restrict the entitlement of non-UK Citizens from the European Union and the European Economic Area to taxpayer-funded benefits.” The Bill provides that the restrictions on entitlement are “notwithstanding the provisions of the European Communities Act 1972.”

A similar – though not identical – Bill was introduced by Mr Chope in the 2013-14 Session which was supported by the same group of MPs. It was one of around 40 bills tabled together in June 2013 by a group of Conservative Members which together, it was reported, were intended to form an “Alternative Queen’s Speech.” The Second Reading debate was on 17 January 2014. The then DWP Minister, Mike Penning, said that the Government could not support the Bill as it would breach EU law. The Bill was defeated by 30 votes to 5 at Second Reading.

Labour, the Conservatives and, most recently, the Deputy Prime Minister, have all signalled their support for further measures to limit access to benefits for EU migrants, on top of those already introduced by the Government in the past twelve months.

The following Library briefings give further information relevant to the wider debate about access to benefits for EU migrants:

SN06847, People from abroad: what benefits can they claim?

SN06889, Measures to limit migrants’ access to benefits

SN06561, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit for children resident in other EEA countries

SN06955, Statistics on migrants and benefits

Documents to download

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