John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Do we not have to control our own borders in order to fulfil the popular Conservative promise to cut net migration by more than two thirds during this Parliament? Should not we decide what the rules are, and apply them fairly to the whole world, rather than distinguishing between Europe and non-Europe?
The Minister for Europe (Mr David Lidington): My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has been completely consistent in saying that he accepts the basic principle of freedom of movement for workers, but that that should not become a freedom to choose the most attractive welfare system in the European Union. On our estimate, something like 40% of the people who are here from elsewhere in the EU are receiving benefits or tax credits of some kind, and action on that front will have a significant effect on the pull factor that our welfare system exercises at the moment.