Migrant crisis could push UK out of EU – Cameron

© Yannis Behrakis
Britain could be forced to leave the European Union as a result of the ongoing refugee and migrant crisis, Prime Minister David Cameron has warned.

Cameron said the combination of economic problems and increasing levels of immigration into Europe, and the media reaction to such problems, was likely to sway Brits toward a speedy ‘Brexit’.

However, he stressed, he hoped the public would want to explore the option of a renegotiated relationship with the bloc, the PM told the Spectator magazine.

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,’” he said.

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.’

“The short-term reaction can be ‘Get me out of here.’ The longer-term reaction is ‘We must find a better way of working with our partners because we share the same challenges,’” he added.

Cameron promised to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU before a referendum in 2016.

In November he laid out his plans for the terms of Britain’s membership, which focus on reforming its ties to the single market, removal from “ever closer union” and drastic changes to the policy of free movement between nation states.

The PM has insisted Britain would survive if it left the bloc. However, he was dealt a significant blow on Thursday as Poland announced its refusal to acknowledge Cameron’s stance on Polish migrant workers in the UK.

The new laws state Polish workers arriving in the UK for the first time must be employed for four years before they are able to claim benefits from the government.

However, the Telegraph reported officials are likely to tell Cameron they are unhappy with such discrimination against Polish migrants.

The British demand for ‘four years’ is really very difficult for the Poles, and they will want to make Cameron clear on that score,” one EU diplomat told the paper. “The Poles are clear: they will not be humiliated or victimized over this.