Monday

20th May 2019

Cameron kicks off EU reform tour

  • Cameron: 'the British people are not happy with the status quo'. (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

UK prime minister David Cameron kicked off a week of talks on Britain's future in the EU with a meeting with EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday (25 May).

According to a statement released by 10 Downing Street, Cameron “underlined that the British people are not happy with the status quo and believe that the EU needs to change in order to better address their concerns”.

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Juncker told Cameron that “he wanted to find a fair deal for the UK and would seek to help”. The two “talked through the issue at some length in the spirit of finding solutions to these problems”.

Cameron, whose party secured a majority in the House of Commons earlier this month, had promised he would negotiate “a better deal” for the UK in Europe, and then would put that deal to the test in a referendum before the end of 2017.

He is meeting Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte, and French president Francois Hollande on Thursday (28 May).

The next day, he will sit down with his Polish colleague Ewa Kopacz in Warsaw, and German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

He aims to speak to all of them before an EU summit in Brussels at the end of June. That summit will be the first meeting of all EU government leaders since Cameron's re-election.

Cameron has already said he will use each summit to discuss Britain's negotiation plans.

However, at the June summit Germany and France will present a plan that looks to go in the other direction, towards more European integration.

According to French newspaper Le Monde, the two founding EU members have prepared a document that would bring the countries in the eurozone closer together.

The eurozone reform would be done without having to sign new treaties or reopen the current treaty – something that Cameron wants to do.

Analysis

Waiting for Cameron

Both sides have something at stake. Cameron doesn't want to be the man who led the UK out of the EU and the EU would be severely diminished by a UK exit.

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