Tuesday

22nd May 2018

Cameron 'not in a hurry' for EU deal

  • Cameron: "It is much more important to get it right, than to rush it." (Photo: World Economic Forum)

British prime minister David Cameron said Thursday (21 January) he would not take any EU deal if there were insufficient curbs to in-work benefits for migrants and that he was not in a hurry to hold a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.

“If there isn’t the right deal, I’m not in a hurry, I can hold my referendum at any time until the end of 2017,” he told an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, possibly setting the stage for a delay.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

“It is much more important to get it right, than to rush it,” Cameron added.

EU leaders are expected to have a deal on offer by their next EU summit in Brussels in mid-February.

In line with that, Cameron is widely expected to try to hold a referendum early in the summer, although he has given himself by the end of 2017 to do it.

In a sign that a deal is far from being done, French prime minister Manuel Valls warned also in Davos that Britain's demands for reform could not be met at any price, even if Britain leaving the EU would be a “tragedy”.

“Anything that allows us to simplify the organisation of Europe, yes. Anything that throws into doubt the foundations of the European project or the eurozone, no,” Valls said, setting out the red lines.

Cameron for his part said there was goodwill among his counterparts to find a deal for Britain.

“If there is a good deal on the table, I'll take it,” he said, adding it would be good for Britain and Europe that “we demonstrated that we can turn the good will there is into the actions that are necessary to put this question beyond doubt”.

Cameron’s most controversial request in his quest to reform the EU is a four-year ban on in-work benefits for EU migrants working in Britain.

Critics say it is discriminatory and threatens freedom of movement within the EU.

Negotiators have been looking for a compromise that would not discriminate against EU migrants, but would still be good for Cameron to convince voters to vote to remain in the EU.

In an upbeat speech in Davos, Cameron said his aim was to secure the future of Britain in a reformed EU. “That is the best outcome for Britain and for Europe,” he said.

Besides curbing in-work benefits, Cameron wants the EU to be more competitive, complete the single market, cut red tape, and to get assurances that decisions made within the eurozone will not be detrimental to countries outside the common currency.

He said that migration pressure in recent years has been “too great”, saying the net migration to Britain is 330,000 per year.

“It is not a concern about race, colour, creed. It is about numbers and pressure on public services and communities has been too great,” Cameron argued, saying that on the other hand he supported the idea of free movement.

Cameron also said that negotiations with European partners had made good progress.

“I hope we can, with the good will that is there, reach on agreement at the February council,” he said.

Cameron asks Germans to help keep Britain in EU

The British prime minister appeals to Germans to help achieve his proposed changes to the European Union that would help keep Britain in the bloc, and said he is not challenging the freedom of movement.

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.

Cameron holds referendum talks with Juncker

Cameron cancelled visits to Denmark and Sweden on Friday to "take stock" of UK membership talks with EU Commission president Juncker. Progress update expected next week.

Cameron meets EU officials, as UK deal gets closer

Cameron is holding talks with EU officials on the UK's membership on Friday and Sunday as a deal might be within reach, with an "emergency break" on welfare benefits for EU workers.

Cameron urges EU concessions on welfare

British PM David Cameron says he made progress on the UK's membership of the EU during talks in Brussels on Friday, but it "wasn't enough".

Opinion

Linking EU funds to 'rule of law' is innovative - but vague

Defining what constitutes 'rule of law' violations may be more difficult than the EU Commission proposes, as it tries to link cohesion funds in east Europe to judicial independence. A key question will be who is to 'judge' those judges?

Opinion

Europe's budget stasis

The EU's budgetary muddling through might not be enough when the next crisis hits.

News in Brief

  1. Trump warns Nato allies' low budgets will be 'dealt with'
  2. Only Estonia, Greece and UK hit Nato spending target
  3. EU to start process to counter US Iran sanctions
  4. Macedonia PM sees 'possible solutions' in Greek name row
  5. EU takes six countries to court over air pollution
  6. New Catalan leader sworn in without reference to Spain
  7. Merkel and Putin revive dialogue in troubled times
  8. European companies putting Iran business on hold

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  2. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and reconciliation is a process that takes decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  3. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  4. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  5. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  7. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual Report celebrates organization’s tenth anniversary
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Cooperation Needed on Green Exports and Funding
  10. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li Confirms China Will Continue to Open Up
  11. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach
  12. Sustainable Energy Week 2018"Lead the Clean Energy Transition"- Register and Join Us in Brussels from 5 to 7 May

Latest News

  1. Defence firms 'reap benefits' of their advice to EU
  2. Athens mayor wants direct access to EU migration fund
  3. Nordics could be first carbon-negative region in world
  4. Zuckerberg and Trump top the EU's agenda This WEEK
  5. Integration of Syrian refugees in Europe needs scrutiny
  6. Bulgarian PM: No asylum reform without stronger border
  7. Eight countries to miss EU data protection deadline
  8. Italian populists to defy EU debt rules