How interesting. So the Graun would have you believe these EU leaders are protesting, for purely selfish reasons, against a plan that would turn EU immigrants into second-class workers who will not qualify for in-work benefits despite carrying out the same jobs as UK citizens.
This is a story that tells us more about the Guardian‘s new political position than about the attitudes of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
David Cameron has been told that he will need to launch a diplomatic offensive in eastern Europe over the next two weeks to win Poland and its allies over to his plan to restrict benefit payments to EU migrants.
The prime minister has been warned by Whitehall figures that he has to do more to convince leaders in eastern Europe, as negotiations on Britain’s future in Europe enter their final stages with the publication of proposals by the European council president Donald Tusk for a “new settlement”.
Beata Maria Szydło, the Polish prime minister, told Cameron in Warsaw late last year that Poland and the other three members of the Visegrád group – Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia – are opposed to any changes that will discriminate against their citizens working in the UK.
Downing Street was encouraged when Jean-Claude Juncker, the European commission president, agreed at a meeting in Brussels on Friday that an emergency brake to limit benefit payments to EU migrants for four years could be imposed as soon as a referendum is passed.
However, the proposal is causing concern among east European leaders, who fear a backlash among their citizens in the UK who still have the right to vote in domestic elections.
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