UK Fears Migrant Influx as EU Bids to Relax Rules
Byline: Tim Shipman Deputy Political Editor
BRUSSELS bosses want to tear up European Union immigration rules, leaving Britain vulnerable to a new influx of migrants.
The European Commission plans to use human rights laws to break down border controls.
David Cameron will today go into battle to face down plans to scrap the existing rule that means illegal immigrants and asylum seekers are supposed to be sent back to the country where they first enter the EU.
Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will use a summit in Brussels today to press for the changes.
He wants the rule suspended indefinitely, opening the door to thousands of immigrants heading for Britain to claim more generous benefits than they could get elsechanges where. British officials fear that suspending the rule will mean that countries on the edge of Europe make far less effort to police their borders, since they will not have to face the consequences themselves of letting in too many migrants.
The situation has been made more acute by the fighting in Libya, which has seen thousands of refugees fleeing Colonel Gaddafi's regime to take shelter in the EU.
More than one million people have fled Libya since the conflict began.
Frontex, the EU border agency, estimates that 48,000 have already arrived in the EU.
Italy is expecting another 50,000 to double those numbers.
Eurocrats are demanding the to the existing rules, enshrined in the so-called 'Dublin regulations', after officials lost a legal case in the European Court of Human Rights in January.
On that occasion the Court ruled that Belgium and Greece had violated the rights of an asylum seeker in expelling him to Athens. …