PM this afternoon said he would accelerate the renegotiation discussions
Mr Cameron has bowed to pressure to set out a timetable for reforms plan
Revelation comes as Mr Cameron arrives in Brussels for crunch talks
David Cameron will finally reveal his long-awaited European Union renegotiation demands at the start of next month.
The Prime Minister this afternoon said he would accelerate the discussions as he bowed to pressure to set out a timetable for laying out his proposed reforms.
As he arrived for a summit in Brussels, Mr Cameron said he would present a list of the demands he is seeking within weeks.
David Cameron, pictured chatting with other EU leaders in Brussels today, will finally reveal his long-awaited renegotiation demands at the start of next month
European Union heads of state and government pose for a group photo at the EU summit in Brussels
‘We will be discussing the British renegotiation that has now got underway. It is going well. The bill for our referendum has passed through the Commons, it is now in the House of Lords,’ he said.
‘The pace will now quicken and I’ll be again setting out the four vital areas where we need change, laying down what those changes will be at the start of November.
‘So we quicken the pace and quicken those negotiations in the run up to the December [meeting of the European] Council.
Mr Cameron held crunch talks with Germany’s Angela Merkel (left) and Francois Hollande (right) in Brussels today
As he arrived for a summit in Brussels, where he held talks with the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker (right), Mr Cameron promised to present a list of the demands he is seeking within weeks
‘I’m confident we can get a good deal for Britain, we can fix these things that need to be fixed and I’m confident this process is well underway and making good progress.’
I’ll be again setting out the four vital areas where we need change, laying down what those changes will be at the start of November
Mr Cameron had infuriated other European leaders by refusing to give them a document listing exactly what he wants to get before the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.
After senior Tories were briefed that Mr Cameron could put off presenting his demands until March next year, Brussels officials and his counterparts in capitals across Europe ramped up the pressure for him to do so sooner.
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said they had so far not made ‘huge progress’, telling MEPs that ‘it takes two to tango’ and ‘our British friends have to dance’.
While Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, called for ‘clarity’ from Mr Cameron.
|UK’S £260MILLION MIGRANTS BILL
Britain could face a £260million bill as part of a deal to help Turkey stem the flow of migrants into Europe.
European Union officials yesterday reached a provisional agreement with the country that could offer up to £2.2billion of funding.
Eased visa restrictions will also give Turkey’s 75million population access to the EU’s border-free Schengen Zone – which does not include the UK – as soon as next year.
In return the country will strengthen its border controls. It will also agree to take back failed asylum seekers deported from the EU after entering from Turkey and eventually give the two million Syrians living in refugee camps there the right to work.
If the scheme is sourced from general EU funds, Britain would contribute £260million.
EU leaders have admitted that they need to work with the Turks to control the migrant crisis. In the first nine months of this year only 50,000 of the 350,000 people who left Turkey for Greece were stopped by Turkish authorities.
Downing Street initially dismissed the pressure, with Mr Cameron’s spokesman saying the talks were ‘driven by substance, not by schedules’, adding: ‘We haven’t got into deadlines or precise timings.’
But yesterday after meeting Mr Juncker for a working lunch Mr Cameron said the demands would be presented early next month.
Mr Cameron has so far only talked about his ambitions for EU reform in broad terms. The four main areas are competitiveness, sovereignty, fairness and migration.
The first involves promoting free trade and markets, the second is the lifting of member states’ commitment to ‘ever-closer union’ and greater powers for national parliaments.
Fairness involves measures to protect countries not in the Euro, such as Britain, and the fourth centres on changes to welfare rules for migrant workers.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel this morning said her country would work ‘constructively’ with Britain but warned that there were some things that ‘cannot be haggled over’.
Speaking to MPs in the Bundestag she said: ‘It goes without saying that there are things that are non-negotiable. That there are achievements of European integration that cannot be haggled over, for example the principle of free movement and the principle of non-discrimination.’
She added: ‘I am convinced that we will be able to find an acceptable compromise.’