Welcoming the 2013 EU Citizenship Report which sets out 12 concrete ways to help Europeans make better use of their 'EU rights', West Midlands MEP and Lib Dem Employment spokesman Phil Bennion said:
“British citizens already benefit from free healthcare and cheaper mobile phone calls while in other European countries due to our EU membership, but these new plans would make moving home, travelling and shopping across continental Europe even easier.
“One of the proposals is to extend the period during which unemployment benefits for job-seekers from other EU countries are paid for by their home nation to six months.
"This would help address concerns about so-called ‘benefit tourism’ as well as help the growing number of British people seeking work in other EU countries.
“British consumers would also benefit from improved rules for settling claims over faulty goods bought online or in another EU country, with much faster refunds through the European Small Claims procedure."
Also proposed is a new EU disability card, which is designed to enable disabled people properly to exercise their free movement rights through access to transport, public services and other disability benefits across EU countries.
Phil Bennion added: “Some EU member states have not made nearly as much progress on mobility impaired access as Britain has and this will be a spur to further action.”
“It is important to remember that if Britain were to leave the EU, British people would lose all these important rights that so many of us rely on when travelling or working in other EU countries, or living there in retirement – as millions of us now do.
“Instead of obsessing about referendums or repatriation of powers we should be working hard to empower the public to get the most from their EU rights and lobby to improve the way the EU institutions work.
“The constructive incremental approach to improving the European Union is much more in Britain’s interest than grandstanding or constantly threatening to leave.”
Notes: Details on the 2013 EU Citizenship Report can be found here: