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Britain’s David Cameron in Poland, seeking support on EU reform

Following the victory for his Conservative party this month, Cameron has pledged to hold a referendum that could take Britain out of the European Union by the end of 2017.

By: Associated Press | Warsaw |
Updated: May 29, 2015 3:52:54 pm
David Cameron, britain cameron, poland David Cameron, David Cameron EU, David Cameron european union, David Cameron Poland, European Union, Polish PM, indian express news Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz and British Prime Minster David Cameron talk in the Palace on the Island in the royal Lazienki Park in Warsaw, Poland, Friday. (Source: AP Photo)

British Prime Minister David Cameron pressed his case for renegotiating his country’s relationship with the European Union Friday in Poland, with the Polish prime minister expressing resistance to any changes that would limit the rights of the many Polish migrants living in the UK.

In the meeting, Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz “expressed strong opposition to solutions that could lead to the discrimination of Poles or other EU citizens working legally in Great Britain,” her office said in a statement. “By doing so she defended one of the core principles underlying the single market in the European Union.”

Following the victory for his Conservative party this month, Cameron has pledged to hold a referendum that could take Britain out of the European Union by the end of 2017.

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Cameron says he will campaign to stay in the EU if he wins concessions including curbing benefits, such as the right to claim tax credits, for EU migrants. He also wants to limit welfare benefits to migrants.

Such plans worry Warsaw given the hundreds of thousands of Poles who have settled inBritain since Poland joined the EU in 2004.

As part of a four-country tour meant to win support for his changes, Cameron visited the Netherlands and France before visiting Poland. Germany is the next stop later Friday.

In a statement, Cameron’s office said there were also areas of agreement with Kopacz, such as the need for cutting red tape and “respecting the sovereignty of member states.” It said more discussions were needed on the interaction between free movement and national welfare systems.

Poland’s government, led by the Civic Platform party, is staunchly pro-European. The party’s former leader and prime minister, Donald Tusk, is now the head of the European Council in Brussels.

However, the country has just elected a new president, Andrzej Duda, who hopes to recalibrate Warsaw’s relationship to Brussels. He stood for the nationalistic and right-wing Law and Justice party, which has long fought for greater national sovereignty within the EU. Duda’s victory has given the party new momentum and raised its chances of winning parliamentary elections this fall.

Cameron did not meet Duda during his brief visit to Warsaw.

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