Warsaw Vetoes Britain’s Migration Rules

Written by | Monday, January 13th, 2014

On Tuesday (January 7) Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk promised to veto any British objections to EU laws that would eliminate the access of migrant workers to social and welfare benefits. Prime Minister reported that if anyone – including Britain’s David Cameron – will try to make any changes to the European treaty on the issue of migrants’ rights, Poland will be ready to block such an attempt. Yet, he acknowledged that Britain certainly has the right to change any domestic policies on welfare benefits for migrants although in his opinion, any, and even domestic changes, must be applicable to all national groups alike. Donald Tusk said that no one should single out Poles as a minority that abuses the social system.
Donald Tusk’s response came after Prime Minister Cameron announced that EU laws should be adapted in such a way that would make it possible for member states to withhold welfare benefits for workers from other EU states as they deem right. The British PM pointed to the Polish minority in Britain as being the major group of beneficiaries, and he described the opening of the British labour market to workers from Central and Eastern Europe as a “monumental mistake”. Mr Cameron added that Poles just “cashed in and sent the social benefits back home”.
Poland’s foreign minister, Radek Sikorski, who interestingly held British citizenship in the past, stressed that Polish workers in the United Kingdom contributed “twice as much” to the social system than London claims. Mr Sikorski admitted that Great Britain has the right to change its social system according to its needs, yet emphasized that any changes should still apply to all taxpayers equally.
Britain’s mood in social policy has deteriorated lately due to the opening of its labour market for Romania and Bulgaria, which had to withstand the transition period of seven years during which their labour mobility was restricted.

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