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EU Referendum

If the Brits want to leave, let them leave: European Parliament President says UK is testing member states’ patience and claims MEPs could REVERSE Cameron’s deal

  • Martin Schulz says EU leaders are fed up with PM’s ‘continuous demands’ 
  • Warns MEPs in Brussels could present a ‘serious roadblock’ to reforms
  • Speaking in London he said many EU leaders privately want UK to leave 
  • MEPs could undo months of talks and thousands of air miles by voting to reverse the deal, despite PM claiming all changes will be legally binding
  • But Cameron hits back, saying ‘there is no way’ UK would agree to a U-turn

Britain’s ‘continuing demands’ for EU reform have left European leaders fed up and many now want the UK to leave, the President of the European Parliament has said.

And in an astonishing intervention today, Mr Schulz said MEPs in Brussels could present a ‘serious roadblock’ to David Cameron’s renegotiation and could vote to reverse the reforms – putting months of talks and thousands of air miles jetting around Europe to waste.

Contradicting the Prime Minister’s claim that all changes to Britain’s membership will be legally binding, the German politician said: ‘Nothing is irreversible’.

Mr Schulz added that Cameron’s renegotiation ‘often tests our patience’ and revealed: ‘Many of my colleagues say behind closed doors: “Don’t stop a rolling stone. If the Brits want to leave, let them leave.”‘

But Cameron hit straight back, saying there was ‘no way’ Britain would ever agree to a reversal.

European Parliament president Martin Schulz, pictured left with David Cameron in Downing Street yesterday, said that many MEPs privately wanted Britain to leave the European Union

Cameron, pictured in Copenhagen today alongside Danish prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, hit back at Schulz's comments, saying there was 'no way' Britain would ever agree to a reversal 

Cameron, pictured in Copenhagen today alongside Danish prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, hit back at Schulz’s comments, saying there was ‘no way’ Britain would ever agree to a reversal


Cameron says deal with the EU delivers ‘substantial change’

In a speech in London, Mr Schulz said: ‘Personally I am a strong supporter of the UK remaining in [the] EU.

‘And this, despite the fact – and I admit this quite frankly – that the British often test our patience and good will with their continuous demands.

‘They are demanding. They push hard. They insist. They just don’t let go.

‘Many of my colleagues say behind closed doors: ‘Don’t stop a rolling stone. If the Brits want to leave, let them leave’.’

Asked whether MEPs could seek to amend Cameron’s reform package, he told Sky News: ‘Nothing in our lives is irreversible. Therefore legally binding decisions are also reversible – nothing is irreversible.’

This goes against the Prime Minister’s assertion that all changes will be ‘legally binding and irreversible’ if his reform package is agreed at a European Council summit later this month and speaking this afternoon he hit straight back at Mr Schulz’s claims.

‘If it is agreed it will be agreed as a legally binding treaty deposited at the United Nations,’ he said at a press conference in Copenhagen.

‘It would only be reversible if all 28 countries including Britain agreed to reverse it.

‘Given that it’s the treaty that Britain wants, there is no way we are going to agree to reverse it.

‘So while you can argue that it is technically reversible if we agree to reverse it, it is not in fact reversible.’

David Cameron hails deal to keep Britain in the EU

The Danish PM, pictured right, gave Cameron's deal a thumbs up during a press conference in Copenhagen 

The Danish PM, pictured right, gave Cameron’s deal a thumbs up during a press conference in Copenhagen

David Cameron met Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo, pictured right, in Warsaw this morning as he began his efforts to persuade his 27 EU counterparts to agree to his draft renegotiation to keep Britain in the EU

David Cameron met Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo, pictured right, in Warsaw this morning as he began his efforts to persuade his 27 EU counterparts to agree to his draft renegotiation to keep Britain in the EU


Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo, pictured left, has been a stumbling block to Cameron's hopes of securing changes to benefit rules but today expressed support for his draft deal to keep Britain in the EU

Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo has been a stumbling block to Cameron’s hopes of securing changes to benefit rules but today expressed support for his draft deal to keep Britain in the EU


In his speech at the London School of Economics today, Mr Schulz added: ‘I want to raise my concerns not in some bid to be sensationally controversial thereby putting the European Parliament centre stage.

‘Rather, I do this because the European Parliament needs to see its concerns addressed early on to avoid a serious roadblock later on when legislation will need to be debated and adopted in the European Parliament.

Schulz, pictured in London yesterday, said he was personally in favour of the UK remaining in the EU

Schulz, pictured in London yesterday, said he was personally in favour of the UK remaining in the EU


‘The European Parliament stands ready to act as an honest partner in the renegotiation process.

‘That being said, there are concerns and we will defend the fundamental principles and objectives of the EU.’

His comments came as Cameron kick-started a two-week charm offensive to persuade EU leaders to agree to the draft EU deal he unveiled earlier this week.

He hopes his fellow 27 EU leaders will agree to his renegotiation deal at a crunch summit on February 18.

If he can seal his deal in just over two weeks, the PM will have just months to convince voters he really has achieved the ‘best of both worlds’ for Britain’s relationship with the EU at a referendum in June.

But he was dealt a blow this morning after a poll put the campaign for Britain to leave the EU nine-points ahead in the first survey of public opinion since he unveiled his deal on Tuesday.

The record lead for the Brexit campaign suggests voters have overwhelmingly rejected the Prime Minister’s plans for an emergency brake for EU migrants’ access to benefits and a ‘red card’ for national parliaments to veto EU laws.

The first survey of public opinion since Tuesday’s deal found 45 per cent of voters will opt to quit the EU, while just 36 per cent want to remain.

It is the biggest lead for Brexit since the wording of the referendum question was confirmed last summer.

But crucially, one in five voters have yet to decide which way they will vote. according to the YouGov survey for The Times.

This morning Cameron reiterated his support for Britain’s continued membership of the EU as he arrived to meet Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo in Warsaw.

‘I think Britain is better off in a reformed European Union if we can achieve those changes  and I think it is something that will be good for Britain, good for Europe and also good for Poland.

‘We want to make sure that our cooperation is as close as possible in the months and years to come.’

The Polish premier has been a stumbling block for Cameron as he sought changes to rules on EU migrants claiming benefits in Britain, expressing concern that the 800,000 poles who live in the UK will be hit.

But speaking this morning, she signalled she would support Cameron’s draft deal.

 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3433531/President-European-Parliament-says-David-Cameron-s-EU-deal-reversed-MEPs.html

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