Cameron 'makes views on child benefits clear' with Polish PM

David Cameron has "made clear his long-standing view" on making changes to child benefit being paid to families abroad in a phone call with his Polish counterpart. Donald Tusk had accused him of 'singling out' Poles for criticism.

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  1. Tom Bradby

PM 'not conducting debate in manner Poles approve of'

The temperature rather ratcheted up earlier today when the Polish prime minister in a press conference said that he was speaking to Mr Cameron at the Prime Minister's request and he expected it to be a rather unpleasant conversation because he was very angry.

As you'd expect, the read out afterwards is a little bit more temperate than that - I don't think either side wants a full-blown diplomatic incident on this issue.

That said, I don't think there's any doubt that the Polish prime minister is pretty angry - he feels that his countrymen come here, they work hard, they pay taxes and he thinks it is very, very unfair to stigmatise them.

Of course, this is a complex issue. He feels that Mr Cameron is saying what he is saying entirely for domestic political consumption, and the reality of this situation is that the freedom of movement of people to work is an absolute founding principle of modern Europe.

The question of benefits is a different one, and I think that even the Polish think that is a fair subject of debate, but there's no doubt tonight that Mr Cameron is not conducting the debate in a manner that they approve of.

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