Contrary to the article headlined “Brussels grabs UK welfare” (6 May), the proposed EU agreement with Turkey would create no new benefit rights for non-EU nationals.
The European Commission has no power and no desire to “seize control of the welfare system” or “force Britain to grant benefits to non-Europeans”.
The proposal would simplify the administration of existing rights – and could cut costs.
It would help the growing number of EU citizens who work in Turkey to receive the Turkish benefits – especially pensions – to which they contribute.
Nor is “Brussels planning to sign a deal without Britain’s consent”. The UK is fully involved in discussions in the Council of Ministers, which must approve the proposal.
European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
This letter was published in the Sunday Times on 20 May. The European Commission had made clear before publication of the article concerned that these suggestions were entirely unfounded.