EU referendum: Danish PM publicly backs Britain's EU deal

Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Lkke Rasmussen.
Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Lkke Rasmussen.

DENMARK welcomes the British-EU deal as Danish Prime Minister indicates benefit clamp down could pave way for other states to reform their social security.

Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen said David Cameron's wish for an emergency brake on in-work benefits paid to EU migrants is 'perfectly understandable and acceptable' to people in Denmark.

He also said he recognised Britain had a particular problem relating to the in-work it benefits it is paying out to EU migrants.

A close ally of Britain, Denmark's leader was expected to agree with David Cameron's case for EU reform and his supportive words were clearly appreciated by the Prime Minister, who left the press conference in Copenhagen smiling after a week of negativity around the deal.

Mr Rasmussen said: "I truly believe adopting this package will create a better Europe."

He told the conference that the document released by President of the EU Council Donald Tusk earlier this week was a 'good basis' for the coming negotiations and he made a plea to British voters to remain within the union.

"It contains many elements which Denmark strongly supports," he said.

"First of all I support all the elements on access to welfare benefits, in particular I welcome the proposal to index child benefit for children living in other member states.

"If this is agreed, which I hope, we will have created an excellent basis on future discussion on EU rules in this regard.

"We need to ensure that EU citizens move across borders to work and not to seek high level of benefits. We must be able to protect our national welfare system."

The visit to Denmark is the latest in the Prime Minister's dash around Europe to convince heads of state that his reforms should be agreed, so that he can then hold a referendum later this year.

Earlier today he visited Poland.

At the press conference in Copenhagen, Mr Cameron, defended criticism from Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament, that the reform plans are weakened by the fact they can be over-turned.

He said: "It would only be reversible if all 28 countries including Britain, agreed to reverse it.

"Well given that it's the Treaty Britain wants, there's not way we are going to agree to reverse it."