British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday met with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, focusing on two topics – military cooperation within North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union (EU) reforms.
Szydlo urged Cameron to respect the EU’s “free movement of peoples” principle over his plan to stop European Union migrants from claiming social security payments until they have spent four years in the UK.
However, he added: “I think the longer-term reaction might actually be: well if they are going to have a single currency and they’re on our doorstep, let’s make sure our relationship with them works”.
EU President Donald Tusk said on Monday that there was “no consensus” among member states on the issue of welfare curbs.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis will welcome British Prime Minister David Cameron at the presidential Cotroceni Palace on Wednesday, with the two officials to make a joint press statement, official sources said on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister has conceded that a deal on the UK’s demands will not be reached at next week’s European Council summit, but “we will have a substantive discussion about all the reforms that I have proposed” at the Brussels meeting ahead of a possible showdown on his proposals in February.
The comment was widely interpreted as an indication that concessions may be needed from the Prime Minister, who has himself said that he is “open to different ways of dealing with this issue”.
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”.
The major stumbling block is Mr. Cameron’s demand for restrictions on European Union migrants’ access to benefits, something critics claim is discriminatory and contravenes the rules set by Brussels.
Mr. Cameron, under pressure from some in his Conservative Party to curb immigration, said Thursday that the scale of movement of people across Europe over the last decade has placed pressure on Britain’s public services.
He continued: “Net migration in the United Kingdom is running at well over 300,000 a year and that is not sustainable”.
Tens of thousands of Romanians protested lax safety regulations after the fire, which led to the collapse of the center-left government and the appointment of a government of specialists, headed by Ciolos, a former EU Commissioner for Agriculture. “This is, among others, the issue of welfare benefits”.
“That is the problem we need to address and I believe with the type of political will I have seen here in Poland we can find a way”.
Cameron also said current net migration to Britain was unsustainable, a theme that is at the heart of the public debate back home about the pros and cons of being in the EU.