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Poland warns David Cameron not to fool voters over EU referendum

Rafał Trzaskowski, Polish minister in charge of EU policy, rejects migrant benefits cut and says travel and jobs will be hit if UK quits… The British people must be told the brutal truth about the damaging consequences of leaving the European Union, and not be duped into believing that they can “keep all the goodies and forget about the costs”, the Polish minister in charge of EU policy says.

In an outspoken interview with the Observer, Rafał Trzaskowski, Poland’s secretary of state for European affairs, who met David Cameron 10 days ago in Warsaw, says that if political leaders do not tell the people of the UK the facts in advance of the planned in/out referendum, many will vote to leave, unaware of the devastating consequences.

The minister, who reiterates his country’s refusal to accept Cameron’s central demand – that social benefits should be denied to all EU migrants for at least four years after arriving in the UK – says Britain would no longer be an important player, in Europe or the world, if it left the EU. He warns that the ability of British people to travel as freely as they do now, and to work and buy homes in other EU countries, would also be lost, and that UK businesses would suddenly face new problems, as the country would no longer be able to influence the rules of the internal market.

Trzaskowski, reflecting growing fears in the EU that the UK government is setting itself unrealistic targets for reform which British people are being led to believe are achievable, says all European leaders want Britain to stay in the EU, but not if it means undermining EU principles, such as the free movement of labour. “No one in Europe says, ‘We don’t care, take it or leave it.’ No, we say, ‘Guys, OK, some of your fears are justified, some of your sensibilities should be taken into account, and some of your idiosyncrasies, even though for us they might seem strange. We should talk about it.’ We do not say ship out. But there are certain red lines. We cannot start questioning the cornerstones of integration, because it will have far-reaching consequences.”

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