Home Secretary Theresa May says a review of Britain's relationship with Europe will examine free movement between member states
Europe could dominate Conservative conference, with David Cameron promising to block EU budget rises
By Matt Chorley, Mailonline Political Editor
PUBLISHED: 11:57, 7 October 2012
UPDATED: 11:58, 7 October 2012
Border controls could be introduced to block European immigrants flocking to Britain, Theresa May revealed today.
The Home Secretary unveiled the dramatic proposal which will be seen as a direct challenge to one of the central principles of the European Union.
The freedom of movement directive, which allows 500million people to move freely between member states, is under now review as part of a study into Britain’s relationship with Brussels.
Europe is likely to dominate much of the Tory party conference in Birmingham this week, with David Cameron vowing to block any ‘outrageous’ increases in the EU budget from 2014.
Ms May expressed concern at an expanding EU and work restrictions on migrants from Romania and Bulgaria being lifted from next year.
William Hague, the foreign secretary, is carrying out a strategic review of the UK’s relationship with the EU which Eurosceptics hope will lead to the renegotiation and repatriation of significant powers.
Ms May revealed it would look at immigration controls.
‘We are looking at this whole area of the abuse of the freedom of movement. But we will go further on this, and the issue of free movement will be part of the review,’ she told the Sunday Times.
‘It will be looking at where the decision-making powers are between the EU and the UK, how they are operating and what the impact of those are.
‘That will then enable us to have a good evidence base on which to look at these issues.
‘I was very clear that we wanted to make sure the free movement of persons was in that because I think it is an important issue that we need to look at.’
Visas could be introduced for migrants from some countries while others will be able to come to Britain freely.
However, it would mark a major challenge to the free movement of people which is one of the four ‘fundamental freedoms’ enshrined in the EU’s founding treaty in 1957.
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