London Mayor Boris Johnson on Friday voiced support for Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan to slash migration from the European Union, but said “talented people” should not be kept out of Britain.
In a major immigration policy speech to be delivered later Friday, Cameron is expected to announce plans to ban EU migrants from claiming benefits for their first four years in order to curb overall migration.
An advance copy of the speech showed Cameron is also expected to say that EU migrants should have a job offer before moving to Britain and that unemployed migrants should not be allowed to stay.
Cameron has been under pressure to curb immigration from the anti-EU UK Independence Party ahead of the May 2015 election.
Net migration to Britain rose by more than 40 percent in the year to June, official data released Thursday showed.
Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party of which Johnson is also a member, has previously promised to re-negotiate Britain’s membership of the bloc and hold an in-out referendum in 2017.
Johnson said the Conservatives remains “positive about immigration”.
Johnson, 50, is expected to be elected to the House of Commons at next May’s election, and is seen by some quarters as a future Conservative leader if Cameron is forced to step down in the event the party loses.
When asked by reporters in Singapore if he was running for prime minister, Johnson retorted: “I’m going to be mayor of London for at least another 18 months or so.”