Vicky Ford MEP

Member of the European Parliament for the East of England

16 OCT 2016

Cambridgeshire MEP Vicky Ford says 'Liechtenstein solution' could solve PM's Brexit dilemma

Cambridgeshire MEP Vicky Ford says 'Liechtenstein solution' could solve PM's Brexit dilemma

Cambridge News - 16 October 2016

By Adam Care

A Cambridgeshire MEP has suggested Theresa May could have a third option when choosing between a 'hard' and 'soft' Brexit.

According to Vicky Ford, Conservative MEP for the east of England, it would be possible to impose tougher limits on immigration, whilst retaining access to the single market.

Speaking to the Guardian , Mrs Ford, who chairs the European parliament's committee on the internal market, said the UK should look to other EU nations that have devised alternative solutions to restricting migration.

She said: "If you look at a country like Liechtenstein, in the EEA, they have access to free movement of goods within the single market [but they] have an absolute cap on the number of people given residency a year – and it is only 90 people."

She suggested the "Liechtenstein solution" was not perfect for the UK, but demonstrated set migration limits were a possibility.

The also pointed to other countries with harsher restrictions than the UK.

"Look at a country like Belgium," she said.

"To live in Brussels you need to have a social security card, you need to be registered with your local area. And you have to have an employer who is committed to pay your social security benefits – or to be able to prove that you've got substantial private funds.

"In practical terms it is not possible go and live in Belgium and access public services without a job ... Without your social security card you can't get housing, education, healthcare, rent a property."

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My Political Priorities

Economic Stability must come first. Without a strong economy we can not deliver a strong society. I work with businesses and consumers to keep Britain open for business, cutting red tape, boosting trade opportunities and helping to deliver jobs and growth for all.

I support Science and Research which is key to delivering better medical care and improved lifestyles for all our families.

Strong security is vital in today's uncertain world, which requires robust policing and defence and deep international relationships that we can depend on. I work with others to achieve this.

I care about the Countryside and the Environment and making sure that rural and urban communities flourish.