Migration controls, protection for pound — UK’s European Union demands

David Cameron delivers a speech setting out the reforms he wants the EU to agree

Pic Kirsty Wigglesworth Pool Getty Images David Cameron delivers a speech setting out the reforms he wants the EU to agree

In a speech delivered at foreign affairs think-tank Chatham House in London and later summarized in a formal letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, Cameron said he was launching the “formal phase” of the renegotiation.

Schinas told a press conference in Brussels that the European commission considered the letter “as the beginning, not the end of the negotiations”. This was followed by visits by chancellor George Osborne in late July, with Cameron pursuing further visits in September, as well as hosting European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Cameron told British voters that their decision would be crucial and the final say on the issue – a “once-in-a-generation choice”.

The Survation poll of 2,007 voting United Kingdom adults, conducted on behalf of the Leave.EU campaign, was the first to be held since David Cameron revealed the concessions he is seeking in his negotiations with other European leaders.

Speaking during a visit to HMS Bulwark in Valletta harbour, he said: “I think people can see that Britain is absolutely determined to get these changes for the good of Britain but also for the good of Europe”.

Meriden MP Caroline Spelman is campaigning for the UK to stay in the EU
Meriden MP Caroline Spelman is campaigning for the UK to stay in the EU

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said it was “clear that Mr Cameron is not aiming for any substantialrenegotiation“.

Soon after Cameron’s speech, there were indications that the government could be preparing to compromise on the demand for a four-year benefits residency qualification.

Cameron emphasized the notion of a “union with more than one currency” when introducing the four-step EU reform plan earlier in the day, urging “flexibility between those inside and outside the eurozone”. Dominic Cummings, director of the Vote Leave campaign, said he expected Cameron “to get what he’s asking for – but what he’s asking for is trivial”.

Many believe that if Britain were to leave the European Union, it would be a huge negative for the economy in the near term. But it’s exactly how Mr Cameron hopes to present the debate. He said the ambition should be “Europe where necessary, national where possible”.

He also said British taxpayers should “never be financially liable” for supporting the euro.

A few issues which are hard, like ever closer union and relations between the Euro ins-and-outs, and a few things which are highly problematic, as they touch upon the fundamental freedoms of our internal market.

“I argued that the European Union needed to reform if it was to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century”.

“That’s why big business loves the European Union because it provides an unlimited source of cheap labour, allows British workers to be discriminated against and lands us with the bill”.

The centre-right European People’s party (EPP), the largest group in the European parliament, said it was “ready to continue listening to and accommodating the needs of the British people” and “supported… the need to increase competitiveness and cut burdens on businesses in the EU”.

“Mr Cameron’s speech was an attempt to portray a new “Third way” relationship with Brussels that is simply not on offer”.

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