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    'Get Me Out of Here': UK PM Fears Migrant Crisis Could Lead to Brexit Vote

    © AFP 2019 / Leon Neal
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    British Prime Minister David Cameron is worried voters will think "get me out of here" as the number of refugees and asylum seekers arriving in the UK increases.

    In an interview with Spectator magazine, the PM said that the "short-term" reaction by British voters to the rising levels of migrants entering Europe will increase support for a so-called Brexit.

    The refugee crisis has compounded the economic crisis in the Eurozone, according to Mr Cameron, who said:

    "I think with both the Eurozone crisis and the migration crisis, the short-term impact is for people to think 'oh Christ, push Europe away from me, it's bringing me problems.' "

    With an eye on future decisions made by voters in Britain, David Cameron told the Spectator: "I think the longer-term reaction might actually be, well if they are going to have a single currency and they are on our doorstep and they are going to try and make it work, let's make sure our relationship with them works and then we have safeguards, not least for our vital financial services industry, so that the system doesn't work against us."

    Brussels vs Britain

    David Cameron is visiting Eastern European countries to canvas support for his proposed reforms to Britain's membership of the EU. It includes curbing one of the founding treaties — the freedom of movement between member states — to prevent economic migrants coming to Britain to access public services, like welfare and the NHS.

    But Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, says every EU country is "against" David Cameron's plans to stop migrants accessing benefits in the UK for the first four years of their stay.

    Also looking ahead, Tusk warned that Cameron would not be "satisfied one hundred percent" once he has finished renegotiating Britain's relationship with Europe. 

    Poles Apart

    And it's not just Brussels erecting barriers to Cameron's proposals. His Polish counterpart, Beata Szydlo, says she doesn't see "eye to eye" with Cameron's welfare reforms.

    Poland is fiercely opposed to any reforms that would stop its citizens accessing the UK's benefit system for four years.

    Beata Szydlo said that the EU's freedom of movement rule was "fundamental."

    The Polish premier isn't too keen on Cameron's suggestion that the migration crisis could force a Brexit, expressing a desire for the UK to remain in the EU.

    "There are also discussions and issues about which we do not see eye to eye today, but I believe these issues will be further discussed by us," said Szydlo.

    David Cameron's charms haven't worked on Beata Szydlo, and if Donald Tusk is correct, they won't work on any other country opposing his reforms either.

    And if the British PM fails to renegotiate the UK's rules of engagement with the European Union, the future of the UK's membership with the EU could be at the mercy of the migration and refugee crisis, leaving Cameron with no other choice but to "Brexit".

    Related:

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    Tags:
    free movement, European integration, Brexit, welfare, EU membership, negotiations, referendum, reforms, politics, diplomacy, immigration, European Council, European Union, Beata Szydlo, Donald Tusk, David Cameron, Great Britain, Europe, United Kingdom, Brussels
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