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2014 07 NOV

Nordic PMs warn Cameron over EU immigration change

David Cameron has faced warnings from three leaders of Nordic countries over his plans to limit immigration from the European Union.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said a change of rules on free movement could "ruin" the 28-member group.

And Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said freedom of movement was "very important" to her people.

Mr Cameron has promised to set out his next steps on curbing immigration before Christmas.

It has been reported that the UK could seek to apply an "emergency brake" to reduce net migration - the difference between those entering and leaving - after it reached a certain level, or to limit the number of National Insurance numbers issued to new arrivals.

And Chancellor George Osborne has insisted this week that the country will pursue its "national interest".

'Rather holy'
But Mr Lofven told the BBC: "The fact that one country believes that one thing is wrong does not mean that we can change because every country might have its own priorities and that may just ruin the European Union.

"I think it's wrong because that means that every country can find their own solutions on different issues. If you first create a common market with common rules and then if the individual countries are supposed to change that on their own, then, I mean, soon, we do not have a European common market."

Mr Cameron is attending a summit of northern European leaders in Finland, whose Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said the principle of freedom of movement was "rather holy", adding that the UK "should be rewarded with an EU medal for bringing forward the holy grail" by opening the borders to Eastern Europe.

Asked for his message to Mr Cameron, he replied: "Thank you for having opened your borders and let's see what we can do about the whole situation to try to alleviate it and facilitate it."


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