Brussels has stepped up its fight-back against UK attempts to curb EU immigration as leaders of the European parliament declared that rules on freedom of movement were completely non-negotiable, and made clear that attempts to change them would be blocked, The Guardian writes. In the latest response to calls from UK politicians to unpick the EU treaties and rewrite one of its founding principles, European parliament president Martin Schulz said that while he took UK demands for reform of the EU "very seriously" there was no question of the parliament agreeing to reopen the rule-book on free movement.
Schulz, a German Social Democrat, said he would like to see David Cameron's plans for EU reform, and wanted the UK to remain inside the EU to shape policy on everything from climate change to the single market and development policy. But he added: "Where we differ is that I would rather see the UK making its case for reform from within the EU rather than with one hand on the escape hatch.
"As to the debate on free movement, this is happening not only in the UK but across many member states. The principle of free movement of people has been one of the greatest successes the EU has, it is a fundamental principle and it's not up for negotiation any more than renegotiating the principle of the free movement of goods, services or capital."