Thursday

15th Nov 2018

Cameron asks Germans to help keep Britain in EU

  • Cameron wants to enlist Merkel's support for his EU reforms (Photo: Consillium)

UK prime minister David Cameron appealed to Germany on Thursday (7 January) to support his proposed changes to the EU, arguing they would help to persuade Britons to stay in the bloc.

Cameron is on a visit to Germany, where he met with chancellor Angela Merkel in Bavaria on Wednesday and will outline his reform ideas on Thursday at the annual conference of the sister party of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, the Christian Social Union.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The UK prime minister campaigned in the EU’s largest economy to enlist its support for his reform proposals ahead of EU leaders’ meeting next month in Brussels.

If a deal is reached in February, Cameron could call for a referendum in June.

In an article appearing in Germany’s biggest-selling newspaper, Bild, Cameron argued support for the UK’s membership has declined and the changes will help address the concerns of the British people.

"But these changes will benefit the EU too, and Germany can help deliver them," he wrote.

"The problems in the EU that what we are trying to fix are problems for Germany and other European partners too," he argued.

Cameron wants to cut EU bureaucracy and shift powers from Brussels to national capitals.

He also wants to make sure Britain will be involved in economic decisions of the 19-member eurozone so it can protect British interests, and be also protected from political integration.

The most controversial point of Cameron’s proposals is to cut in-work benefits for EU migrants during their first four years in Britain.

Concerns have been raised that this could harm the EU’s core value of freedom of movement.

Eastern European member states, that have seen large number of workers migrating to Britain for work, have been reluctant to sign up, arguing that Cameron’s proposal is discriminatory.

Germany’s backing is crucial to the UK getting the deal on migration and welfare.

Merkel has said last month, "we will not put the fundamental achievements of European integration in question, in particular, the principles of freedom of movement and non-discrimination of European citizens," AFP reported.

Cameron argued in Bild that the UK was not questioning the freedom of movement.

"We want to stop people taking out from a welfare system without contributing to it first," he wrote.

"Like Germany, Britain believes in the principle of free movement of workers. But that should not mean the current freedom to claim all benefits from day one and that's why I've proposed restricting this for the first four years," Cameron argued.

He suggested that curbing migrants' benefits would make a "big difference" to whether the UK stayed.

Cameron is later due to travel to Hungary for talks with prime minister Viktor Orban, who on Wednesday met with the head of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo.

As the campaign ahead of the referendum heats up, a new UK cross-party campaign group is pushing for an EU exit.

Conservative MPs Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove, Labour's Kate Hoey and UKIP Leader Nigel Farage will announce the formation of Grassroots Out at a series of public events, the BBC reported.

Member states gain time in UK talks

British prime minister David Cameron and his partners vowed to find "mutually satisfactory solutions" to keep Britain in the EU but laid out no clear roadmap.

Eurosceptic MPs put Cameron under pressure

Conservative MPs have asked Cameron to let them campaign for an Out vote, with a former British defence minister saying the UK should leave the union.

UK talks: Cameron 'will have to face reality'

The British prime minister is to present his demands for EU reforms to the other leaders. Cuts in benefits for EU citizens and treaty change will face strong opposition.

Hungary open to UK deal if it avoids discrimination

Hungary could support to the UK's proposals to curb in-work benefits, as long as they do not discriminate against Hungarian workers, prime minister Viktor Orban stressed as he hosted David Cameron in Budapest.

Cameron 'not in a hurry' for EU deal

British PM David Cameron has said in Davos he is not in a hurry to hold a referendum on Britain's EU membership, setting the stage for a possible delay on a deal expected to be closed in February.

Opinion

On Armistice Day, EU is still best gift we can give our children

While young people fought each other in 1918, young people in 2018 travel to study together under the Erasmus programme. But there is a risk of limiting our commemoration to representing the past through just speeches, museum exhibits and visits.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Romania heaps scorn on 'revolting' EU criticism
  2. US steps in to clean up Cyprus
  3. 'Decisive progress' on Brexit as British cabinet backs deal
  4. Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM put Orban on spot
  5. How the 'EU's Bank' fails to raise the bar on accountability
  6. Knives out on all sides for draft Brexit deal
  7. Romania data chief defends forcing press to reveal sources
  8. EU to review animal welfare strategy

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us