EU referendum: Prime Minister David Cameron admits migrant crisis may lead to Brexit as Polish prime minister rejects his migrant welfare cap

Prime Minister David Cameron with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo (Source: Getty)

The migrant crisis could make voters more likely to back Britain leaving the European Union, Prime Minister David Cameron has admitted.

"Two crises for Europe doesn’t make Europe look great," Cameron said. "I get that. I get the temptation for people to say: look, it’s just one thing after another; surely we’d be better off separating ourselves from this organisation? But I think that’s the wrong conclusion to draw, particularly if I get my renegotiation."

Speaking to the Spectator magazine, the Prime Minister said the that in the short term, voters could think "Oh Christ, push Europe away from me, it’s bringing me problems."

But he added: "I think the longer-term reaction might actually be: well, if they are going to have a single currency and they’re on our doorstep, let’s make sure our relationship with them works."

Cameron also conceded that it is "difficult getting 27 other countries to agree to the things that we think will be good for Britain".

Earlier today, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said she and Cameron disagreed over the government's efforts to curb welfare payments to EU migrants.

In a joint press conference with Cameron in Warsaw, Szydlo said that Poland wanted Britain to remain in the European Union, but said the two countries had yet to reach "full agreement".

"There are issues on which there is not a full agreement between us," she said, citing the government's welfare proposals intended to bring down the number of EU migrants in the UK.

"Allowing people the freedom to make decisions on free movement, where they want to live, where they want to work" are the "main pillars of the European Union and the reason why the European Union was established," Szydlo said.

Cameron has proposed restricting in-work benefits for EU migrants for the first four years they are in the UK.

European Council President Donald Tusk said on Monday that there is "presently no consensus on the request that people coming to Britain from the EU must live there and contribute for four years before they qualify for in-work benefits or social housing".

"This is certainly an issue where we need to hear more from the British Prime Minister and an open debate among ourselves before proceeding further," Tusk said, adding that the issue will "require a substantive political debate" at the two-day meeting of European heads of state and government in Brussels next week.

Related articles