David Cameron has just managed to convince the rest of the EU’s leaders to agree to give Britain an “emergency brake” on paying some benefits to new migrants, but it turns out the deal might not be legal. The Telegraph is reporting that legal experts say that the deal would probably be ruled illegal if someone challenged it in the European Court of Justice.
Cameron had to work really hard to get the rest of the EU to agree to the emergency brake, and he is going to be using the fact that he got that agreement to argue for Britain to stay in the EU. If it starts to look like the European Court of Justice would say it isn’t legal to restrict EU migrants’ access to in-work benefits, if would severely weaken Cameron’s argument for remaining in the EU.
Writing on his blog EULawAnalysis, Steve Peers, a professor in EU law at the University of Essex, claims that it is a “long shot” that the European Union Court of Justice would accept that the emergency brake plans do not violate the current EU treaties.
However, not everyone agrees. President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker who helped Cameron secure the deal said that he believes the emergency brake is legal, because “it respects basic principles of Treaties.”
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