Cameron to Tusk: I Stand by My Comments about Poles

Bulgaria in EU | January 8, 2014, Wednesday // 14:45|  views

British Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo by EPA/BGNES

British leader David Cameron has rejected Polish prime minister Donald Tusk's criticism over a comment about Poles who work in Britain and claim UK child benefits for their families back home.

Cameron's spokesman said it was "perfectly fair" for Cameron to mention Poles as they had moved to Britain in larger numbers than nationals from other new EU member states when they joined the bloc in 2004.

Cameron had said he thought it was wrong for Britain to be paying welfare benefits for children to Polish migrant workers to help support their families living back in Poland.

His spokesman said he stood by those comments, and that "a very considerable number" of other EU countries shared Cameron's concerns about the impact of migration on benefit systems.

At Tuesday's news conference, Tusk said his country would veto any changes to EU rules aimed at reducing welfare payments for any particular nationality rather than applying equally to citizens of all EU member states.

In an interview with BBC last weekend, Cameron said, "There are European countries who, like me, think it's wrong that someone from Poland who comes here and works hard — and I'm absolutely all in favor of that — but I don't think we should be paying child benefit to their family back at home."

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Tags: Poland, Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, british, UK, David Cameron, Poles, Britain, benefits


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