He said: “On the UK’s relationship with the European Union, we have a clear plan of reform, renegotiation and referendum.
“And at this Council I set out the case for substantive reform in four areas: sovereignty, fairness, immigration and competitiveness.”
But, as the British Government looks likely to fail to secure actual treaty changes before the referendum, many of these long-term pledges are bound to fall flat.
According to reports, the Prime Minister now accepts that treaty change will not happen before the end of 2017 – beyond any referendum date.
Cameron recently discussed the possibily of EU renegotiation with Merkel GETTY
From the total of 24 original pledges, David Cameron now only has a chance to implement three of the proposed changes without treaty change – but, even then reform will prove difficult.
The Prime Minister wants to block further political integration, push for a new EU free tradedeal as well as cut Brussels red tape.
However, Britain by itself cannot sign a free trade deal nor force the rest of the countries to drop certain bureaucratic laws.
Owen Paterson MP is part of the Leave EU campaign GETTY
Cameron’s pledges appear to be crumbling because of the Government’s botched renegotiation plan GETTY
“It now looks like he won’t get nine out of the ten things that he promised the British people.
“The Government’s ‘renegotiation’ has been watered down hugely.
“This is very disappointing for those of us who have backed the Prime Minister in his bid to get real reform in the EU and negotiate a new relationship based on trade and co-operation, allowing us to make our own laws in our own Parliament.”
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker recently demanded Mr Cameron to ‘quicken up’ and ‘articulate’ his demands.
However, adding to the unclear atmosphere surrouding the negotiation, the demands are set to be initially revealed in a confidential letter to EU Council President Donald Tusk, before being shared with MPs and made public.
Areas that the Prime Minister had previously signalled his desire to change but now appear off the agenda include limiting the reach of the EU’s Court of Justice, returning power over employment legislation and stopping the flow of any further powers to the EU.
In previous statements, the Mr Cameron has also declared his intention to cut the overall number of EU institutions as well as regain the power to deport dangerous criminals from Britain – but, both of these are now off the agenda of negotiation.
Powers over limiting EU spending and safeguarding the City from EU rules also appear off the agenda in the EU talks.
Under analysis, Mr Cameron’s proposal to force new migrants to live in the UK for four years before claiming any benefits is believed to be illegal under current EU law.
On top of this, changes to migrant entitlement to social housing and introducing a parliamentary ‘red card’ system would require significant and lengthy treaty change.