Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up

'Reducing net EU migration need not mean undermining the principle of free movement', she says

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Indy Politics

Theresa May wants to ban European migrants from the UK unless they have a job lined up.

Calling for significant changes to EU border rules, The Home Secretary has said the current crisis has been made worse by the "European system of no borders".

Writing in the Sunday Times, Ms May argues that the Schengen Agreement allows jobless citizens to move to countries in search of work and benefits, putting pressure on public services and infrastructure.

May also wrote that she would lead a cross-Whitehall crackdown this autumn to kick foreign students out at the end of their courses unless they had graduate-level jobs lined up.

The Home Secretary wrote: “Reducing net EU migration need not mean undermining the principle of free movement.

“When it was first enshrined, free movement meant the freedom to move to a job, not the freedom to cross borders to look for work or claim benefits.

“Yet last year, four out of 10 EU migrants, 63,000 people, came here with no definite job whatsoever.

“We must take some big decisions, face down powerful interests and reinstate the original principle underlying free movement within the EU.”

Many have criticised her calls as being ill-thought through, pointing out that British people would therefore be unable to live abroad when they retire.

Her comments come days after official statistics showing net migration to the UK has reached an all-time high of 330,000.

Last week, the bodies of 71 migrants who are thought to have died from suffocation were found decomposing in a lorry in Austria.

More than 300,000 people have tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea so far in 2015.

Some 200 African migrants are feared dead after two boats sank off the coast of Libya.

In an article for the New Statesman, Green MEP Molly Scott Cato decried Britain’s treatment of refugees as similar to the treatment of Jews during World War II.

She writes:  “As Europe faces its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War we are witnessing a deafening cacophony of xenophobic voices in response to people fleeing their own present-day horror.

“We must therefore reflect on whether there is an uncomfortable parallel in the language being used to describe those seeking asylum today and the language used to describe Jews seeking refuge in the 1930s.”