Former UK Prime Minister John Major said that the "pragmatic solution" to curbing European Union migrants from entering Britain would be to temporarily limit the flow and therefore avoid breaking any "freedom of movement" rules.

Major said that the Prime Minister could introduce new migration curbs for a "shortish period of time", after David Cameron was met with a backlash from EU officials over propositions to limit EU migration into the country.

"As people begin to see the particular circumstances we face, I believe there will be a great deal of sympathy for the difficulty," said Major on BBC TV.

"The EU has a very pragmatic record of finding ways round difficult corners like this and we will need to do so again on this and perhaps on other issues.

"I see it as a shortish-term problem. Maybe not a year, maybe longer. We need a little help over that period."

The UK's population had increased by 7% over the past ten years and is forecast to rise by a further 25% over the next few decades.

Cameron and his Conservative party are under pressure to tackle rising immigration as support for nationalist and anti-EU groups, and heavily controlled migration, is growing across the UK as well as Europe.

UK Chancellor George Osborne said it was in Britain's "national interest" to curb immigration while Cameron is tipped to be announcing his plans to tackle migration issues before Christmas.

However, EU leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has warned that immigration issues are not up for negotiation and it could lead to Britain leaving the bloc.

Since then, three Scandinavian countries have warned against Cameron's plans to curb immigration and claimed that stricter migration controls will "ruin" the European Union.

Around the same time as the backlash, a study showed that immigrants from 10 countries that joined the EU over the last decade has contributed more to the UK economy than they have taken out in benefits.

According to the University College London's Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration, EU immigrants added £4.96bn more into the UK economy in the years to 2011, than they took out in public services, such as the NHS or education.