Cameron’s ‘blackmail’ offers a way out of migrant welfare bind

Brussels, Dec. 17, 2015: British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R), his EU ally, exchange grimaces at the bloc’s fruitless December summit (source: dpa)
Brussels, Dec. 17, 2015: British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R), his EU ally, exchange grimaces at the bloc’s fruitless December summit (source: dpa)

Immigration is one of the many pressing issues that European policymakers failed to resolve in 2015. Not only were they unable to arrive at a common view; they could not even agree to a consistent road map. Prime Minister David Cameron’s demands to limit welfare benefits and the threat of Brexit may be giving Brussels an unexpected chance to put things right.

Under normal circumstances, flexible labor markets would ensure that immigrants do not remain unemployed for long. Adjustment would be eased by efforts to enhance their education and technical skills, as well as to reduce the language barriers that prevent the newly arrived from feeling at home in their new environment.

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