David Cameron sinals that curbing migrant benefits still on table in EU discussions

The British Prime Minister is demanding that in-work benefits come with a four-year waiting period

Islamic State, video, threat, Britain, David Cameron, UK Foreign Office,

File photo of David Cameron who has promised to crack down on Islamic State (IS) sympathisers | Image: Andrew Milligan / PA Wire/Press Association Images

David Cameron has signalled that a proposal to extend the wait for in-work benefits for migrants to four years is still on the table in EU discussions.

The British Prime Minister has been giving a news conference after having talks with the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

His comments came after he warned Germany that support for the EU among the British public is on the wane.

He told the news conference: "Let me be clear, I support the free movement of people. What matters is that we deal with the scale and pressures and sometimes that movement can create those.

"Britain's welfare system has provided an additional draw in terms of movement of people and it is that that my proposal of the four-year wait for welfare benefits is designed to address.

"We have had good discussions, we have a limited time between now and the February European Council, but I'm confident if we work hard with goodwill on all sides, we should try for an agreement at that council."

His earlier remarks in an article for German newspaper Bild, come amid the Prime Minister's drive to reform Britain's relationship with Brussels ahead of an in-out referendum.

Mr Cameron said backing among the UK population for the EU has "declined over many years", and argued the changes he is seeking will help solve problems affecting Germany and other European countries as well.

He said: "The problems in the EU that we are trying to fix are problems for Germany and other European partners too."

Mr Cameron has held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about progress on a deal after dinner at a conference of her Christian Social Union party in Bavaria.

Earlier this week, Mr Cameron confirmed ministers will be allowed to campaign for a no vote in the referendum, even if he declares his renegotiation effort a success.

Downing Street hopes a deal can be secured at a summit of EU leaders next month, paving the way for a referendum later in the year.

The main point of contention appears to be the demand for the four-year ban on migrants being able to claim in-work benefits - one of four areas in which he is seeking reform.

Downing Street said Mr Cameron and Ms Merkel "agreed that work should continue at pace, building on the progress which had been made at the last European Council, with goodwill and a commitment from all member states to find solutions in all four areas which matter most to the British people".

Mr Cameron said as well as EU reforms, he and Mr Orban discussed Syria, the threat from Islamic State, the migration crisis and Europe's competitiveness.