The European Union Commission says it will take Britain to court over its benefits system, saying the current UK system discriminates against other EU nationals.

"On the basis of the figures given to us by the UK authorities, potentially, tens of thousands of EU nationals legally living in the UK have been refused access to social security benefits, to which they are entitled," EU spokesman, Jonathan Todd said.

"We have been talking to the UK authorities for more than two years now, in order to try to find a solution, but the difference between us is fundamental. The UK authorities claim that their system is fully compliant with EU law. On the basis of the case-law of the court of Justice, we cannot agree. Therefore there is no alternative but to resolve the issue before the Court of Justice in Luxembourg," he said.