David Cameron's migrant welfare reforms rejected as he holds "open and frank" EU talks

 
Ashley Kirk
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Prime Minister David Cameron shakes hands with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel during a bilateral meeting in Brussels (Source: Getty)

David Cameron has held "open and frank" discussions with EU leaders in his ongoing campaign to renegotiate the UK's relationship with the EU.

The Prime Minister met with leaders from Belgium, Spain, Finland and Romania as he continued to push his agenda for EU reform in Brussels.

Migrant benefits become a sticking point

Each of the four leaders rejected Cameron's plans to strip welfare from migrants, saying they could not rewrite existing EU treaties.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said that he respected the UK's decision to hold an EU referendum, but warned against "discrimination of European employees" under any welfare reforms.

He said that he did not want to see the "dismantlement of the European Union", adding:

In Belgium we believe that the principle of free movement of workers is very important, that non-discrimination and equal rights for European citizens are very important.

And on these issues, we hope to find agreement in the negotiations

"Content" with European reception

Following talks with German and French leaders last month, Cameron said he is so far "content" with how he has been received.

In his push to gain EU reform before the referendum, the Prime Minister said that he wants to speak to each of his 27 EU counterparts before next month's European Council meeting.

As well as restrictions on welfare, Cameron is also pushing for greater powers for national governments and a British opt-out against the "ever-closer union".

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