Analysis: Migrant crisis could help Cameron secure EU deal

UK demands not the only item on EU agenda.

The migrant crisis is the biggest challenge facing the European Union

FROM a British perspective, the negotiation of this country’s future membership of the European Union is the only item on Europe’s agenda this week.

But for many of the leaders gathering in Brussels, David Cameron’s tinkering with the rules is an annoying distraction from the major issue.

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While European Council president Donald Tusk’s comments on the UK negotiations have been picked over in minute detail, little attention has been paid here to comments in the same statements about the other item on its agenda this week -the migrant crisis.

To the leaders of countries at the sharp end of the migrant crisis, how much a Polish migrant can claim in UK benefits, when he can claim and how much of it he can send back to his family is of little importance when they are faced with hundreds of people arriving on their shores and borders.

Paradoxically, this is likely to help the British Prime Minister move his discussions forward more quickly.

Several of his colleagues will see a concession here and there on the UK talks as a price worth paying to allow them to get back to focussing on a problem that is disrupting communities, posing huge financial and logistical challenges and is putting one of the EU’s fundamental principles, the free movement of people, at risk.