Eurocrats have ordered Britain to pay up to £2.5 billion more a year in handouts to people from across the EU, sparking fears of an explosion in “benefit tourism”.
The European Commission has accused the UK of breaking EU laws giving foreigners access to our multi-billion-pound welfare system – and has set a two-month deadline for Britain to open up access or face court action.
If the commission gets its way, people from the 26 other EU states will be able to travel to Britain, claim they are now living here and immediately qualify for a range of benefits without ever having paid into the system.
The Eurocrats’ “reasoned opinion”, issued yesterday, said: “The UK has two months to inform the Commission of measures it has taken to bring its legislation into line with EU law.
“Once again we see the European Commission telling us how to run our country and people are becoming sick and tired of it” said UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
“Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the UK to the EU’s Court of Justice.”
Estimates of the cost to British taxpayers of the extra benefits have ranged between £700million and £2.5billion a year.
But critics savaged the latest intrusion into Britain’s domestic affairs by unelected bureaucrats.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: “Once again we see the European Commission telling us how to run our country and people are becoming sick and tired of it.
“If the EC gets its way then there will be a far greater burden on the British taxpayer as more money will need to be found for the social security system.’’