Cameron seeks Polish breakthrough over anti-Brexit deal
PR dla Zagranicy
British PM David Cameron is aiming to confirm Polish support for a renegotiation of the UK's EU membership during a visit to Warsaw on Friday, but proposed curbs on migrant benefits are a stumbling block.
Prime Minister of Great Britain David Cameron. Photo: EPA/Andy Rain
Cameron's Polish counterpart Beata Szydło told UK daily The Times on Thursday that a draft EU-UK compromise put forward by President of the European Council Donald Tusk on Tuesday was not satisfactory.
She specified that a change in the UK's benefits system regarding EU migrants would not be well-received by Poles.
Several hundred thousand Polish citizens have made a home in the UK since Poland's accession to the EU in 2004 (figures indicate there are at least 508,000 Polish-born workers in the UK labourforce).
Cameron wants to freeze benefits of EU migrants until they have lived in the UK for four years, a goal which the EU green-lit in its draft deal.
However, Poland's foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski said on Wednesday that “from what we know, these are proposals which will not apply to those Poles already living in the UK, these are proposals aimed at the future.”
Such details are likely to be key in Friday's talks.
Meanwhile, UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph has claimed that Warsaw has already found points of compromise, and that Cameron is “likely” to gain support for benefit curbs.
“There will be plenty of rhetoric to reassure domestic public opinion, but I think you will see Poland back the deal because it fits the current government’s objectives to reduce the ‘brain drain’ from Poland,” a source told the daily.
The paper noted that “a Polish thumbs-up might come if London agrees to use its influence to push for Nato bases east of the Odra.”
Following Cameron's Warsaw visit, he will head on to Copenhagen for another round of talks on the proposed EU-UK deal. Analysts forecast that Denmark will be more sympathetic to Cameron. (nh/rg)