Prime Minister David Cameron arrives in Poland to seek support for his EU reform agenda….reports Asian Lite News
Cameron said the net migration to the UK was “not sustainable” and EU members should be allowed to reform benefits rules to reduce incentives.
He acknowledged that “some areas are more difficult than others, particularly the reforms I have proposed on welfare”.
Eastern European countries including Romania and Poland have been major sources of migrant workers coming to the UK, and their politicians are sensitive to any measures which could discriminate against their citizens.
Cameron insisted: “Net migration in the UK is running at well over 300,000 a year and that is not sustainable.
“So we do need to find ways to allow member states to make changes to their social security systems that will help them to deal with this issue.”
He also expressed concern that the influx of people into Europe could harden British opinion against the EU, the Huffington Post reported.
“I think with both the eurozone crisis and the migration crisis, the short term impact is for people to think, ‘oh Christ, push Europe away from me, it’s bringing me problems’,” Cameron told The Spectator.
In an indication that he may consider delaying a referendum until nearer the end of the 2017 deadline he has set, Cameron added: “I think the longer term reaction might actually be, well if they are going to have a single currency and they are on our doorstep and they are going to try and make it work, let’s make sure our relationship with them works and then we have safeguards, not least for our vital financial services industry so that the system doesn’t work against us.”
He added: “The short term reaction can be get me out of here, the longer term reaction is we must find a better way of working with our partners because we share the same challenges.
Cameron has already been forced to concede that there will be no agreement on his reform agenda at this month’s summit of European leaders, with a showdown on his demands now likely in February.
His remarks come as the number of people claiming asylum in the EU this year passed one million according to Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency.
Mrs Szydlo said she was also concerned about UK proposals to end the practice of sending child benefit overseas.
She said she had common ground with the UK on many of its negotiating objectives but she suggested Mr Cameron’s welfare proposals undermined the principle of free movement.
“Allowing people the freedom to make decisions on free movement, where they want to live, where they want to work… these are the main pillars of the European Union and the reason why the European Union was established,” she told a press conference in Warsaw.
Mr Cameron said: “We don’t yet have agreement, it is going to take time, but I do feel we have the goodwill to reach an agreement that will be of benefit to the British people.”