Britain Shrugs Off Report of Merkel Disquiet over Immigration Policy

Britain Shrugs Off Report of Merkel Disquiet over Immigration Policy

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Chancellor on Monday shrugged off a report which said German Chancellor Angela Merkel would abandon her attempts to keep Britain inside the European Union if it pressed ahead with plans to curb immigration from other EU states.

“I think it’s a little bit thin,” George Osborne said of the report in Der Spiegel, saying his own contacts with the German government had shown Berlin understood British public disquiet about unemployed EU migrants claiming welfare benefits.

“The British public want this addressed. We are going to do this in a calm, rational way,” Osborne told BBC TV, referring to a promise by Prime Minister David Cameron to set out new ideas about how to tackle the issue before the end of the year.

Under growing pressure from the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) ahead of a May 2015 national election and from many of his own MPs, Cameron has said he’d like to try to curb EU immigration if re-elected – a move Brussels says would infringe the right to free movement.

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