EU summit: Poland wants minimal pain from British benefit cuts
PR dla Zagranicy
Warsaw is pressing at a EU summit in Brussels for potential cuts in benefits for the children of Polish workers in Britain to be kept as low as possible.
Konrad Szymański at the Brussels summit. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymański said on Friday that “exported” child benefits were a key stumbling block in reaching a summit deal between London and Brussels designed to persuade Britain to stay in the EU.
London has demanded curbs in payouts claimed in Britain by Poles and other immigrants from EU states for children left back in their home countries.
Szymański told reporters that any cuts in benefits for Poles must be "as low as possible."
Negotiations in Brussels dragged on into a second day on Friday as political leaders tried to hammer out a compromise.
On Friday afternoon, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło twice met with British Prime Minister David Cameron on the sidelines of the summit to discuss the benefits issue, the PAP news agency reported.
Szydło earlier said: “Poland's standpoint at the Brussels summit is clear. We want an agreement, but not at any price.”
Cameron, who has promised to hold a referendum by the end of next year on whether his country should stay in the EU, has demanded wide-ranging reforms by the bloc to address British voters’ concerns over issues such as immigration and sovereignty.
European Council President Donald Tusk has warned that a so-called Brexit - Britain exiting the EU - "could mean the beginning of the end of the European Union." (pk)