EU Reform

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 11th September 2015.

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Photo of David Nuttall David Nuttall Conservative, Bury North

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, which EU treaty articles would need to be amended or deleted in order to allow the UK not to be bound by the current or future EU social and employment legislation or rulings of the European Court of Justice in the same area.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe

EU social and employment provisions are based on a number of treaty articles and are also contained in areas of secondary legislation made under the treaties. For example, Article 21 TFEU promotes the free movement of persons. Article 45 provides for the free movement of workers. Article 46 provides for secondary legislation to bring this about. And Article 48 provides for secondary measures in the field of social security including the payment of benefits to persons resident in the Member States. Regulation 883/2004 sets rules on Social Security Coordination, while the Residence Directive 2004/38/EC sets out measures on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the Union. The number of articles or pieces of secondary legislation needing review would depend on the nature of any changes a Member State sought to achieve. The Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron), has been clear that there are four areas where the UK is seeking change: sovereignty, economic governance, competitiveness and immigration. The Prime Minister is confident that, with goodwill and understanding, he can and will succeed in negotiating to reform the EU and Britain's relationship within it. As he has said, if he succeeds he will campaign to keep the UK in a reformed European Union.

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