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EU executive to Britain: Freedom of movement rules 'non-negotiable'

European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding addresses the European Parliament's Committee on civil liberties, justice and home affair
European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding addresses the European Parliament's Committee on civil liberties, justice and home affair

LONDON (Reuters) - The European Commission told Britain on Wednesday that European Union freedom of movement rules were non-negotiable and that London had to accept them if it wanted to remain in the bloc's single market.

"Free movement is non-negotiable," Viviane Reding, vice-president of the EU executive told Reuters when asked about plans by Prime Minister David Cameron to impose tighter controls on migrants from Romania and Bulgaria and to try to restrict freedom of movement rules for poorer EU states.

"If Britain wants to leave the single market, you should say so. But if Britain wants to stay a part of the single market, free movement applies. You cannot have your cake and eat it Mr Cameron!"

(Reporting by Andrew Osborn and Peter Griffiths; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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