British Prime Minister David Cameron has faced warnings from his counterparts in three Nordic countries over his plans to put in place measures aimed at curbing immigration from the European Union. While attending a summit of northern European leaders in Finland, Mr Cameron was told by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven that a change of rules on free movement could “ruin” the 28-member group. Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on her part stressed freedom of movement was “very important” to her people. Mr Cameron has pledged to reveal more details about his next steps on limiting immigration before Christmas, while UK Chancellor George Osborne has vowed earlier this week that his country would pursue its “national interest”.
The UK could reportedly either seek to apply an “emergency brake” to reduce net migration – meaning the difference between those entering and leaving – after it reached a certain level, or to set a limit for the number of National Insurance numbers issued to new arrivals. Responding to these plans set out by the British government, the Swedish Prime Minister has argued that although some EU member states may object to certain policies, they are not free to simply change their law because different countries have their own priorities and such attitudes may just ruin the European Union. Also Finish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb chose to quite openly criticize Mr. Cameron’s anti-immigration agenda by referring to the principle of freedom of movement as being “rather holy”, while concurrently praising his country because the UK “should be rewarded with an EU medal for bringing forward the holy grail” by opening the borders to Eastern Europe.