UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Leader of the Conservative Party says he wants to to restrict immigration from the EU. However, there is uncertainty on how this could be done. Free movement of Labour is an important principle of the EU.
The proposed changes are a reaction to the UKIP victory in a recent by-election, where Douglas Carswell, a former Conservative MP, became the first UKIP MP elected to Parliament. The Conservative Party now worries that more voters could swing to UKIP in the upcoming general election, which will be held in May 2015.
UKIP Party leader Nigel Farage commented that the result showed that 'the whole of British politics has been shaken up in a way that the complacent Westminster class could never even have contemplated.'
David Cameron is now set to make a series of manifesto changes, particularly on the issue of immigration, which UKIP has been particularly hard-line about. Cameron hopes that by appearing to be equally as tough the Conservatives might win back some of the disaffected voters who have diverted to UKIP.
Grant Shapps, the Conservative Party chairman, said: 'What people are worried about though is migration from the EU, and the Prime Minister made very clear last week that has got to be one of the key things at the heart of renegotiation that we will have before that referendum which we will deliver in 2017.'
Cameron also warned that by voting UKIP in the next general election, it could inadvertently hand power to the Labour party, as although UKIP is gaining in popularity it is unlikely that it will generate enough votes to see Farage as the next Prime Minister.
Cameron said: 'If you vote UKIP, you're in danger of getting a Labour government with Ed Miliband as prime minister, Ed Balls as chancellor and you'll get no action on immigration, no European referendum, and obviously – most importantly – you won't get a continuation of the plan that is delivering success for our economy and security for our people.'
However, Farage believes that if no majority is reached in the general election UKIP there is a good chance of UKIP being invited to form a coalition government with the Conservative Party – as happened last time with the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats – handing UKIP the 'balance of power.'
Farage was criticised last week, for suggesting that migrants with HIV should not be allowed to enter the UK.
The Labour Party leader Ed Miliband also faced criticism, this time for not addressing the issue of immigration, which many believe is the reason they are losing popularity; many former Labour voters now support UKIP. Miliband admitted that the Labour Party must do more to address 'specific concerns' regarding immigration.