Sunday

18th Nov 2018

Cameron seeks good will of MEPs in 'Brexit' talks

  • David Cameron held talks with European Parliament political leaders. (Photo: European Parliament)

British prime minister David Cameron has sought assurances from leaders of the main political groups in the EU Parliament that they will not pick apart a deal on the UK's reformed EU membership, which may be agreed later this week at an EU summit.

The parliament president Martin Schulz told the press after his meeting with the British leader that he supported a fair deal for Britain and a speedy legislative procedure, but insisted he could not pre-empt the results of the process.

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 EU Parliament would be responsible for framing new rules based on some of the British prime minister's requests, particularly regarding cutting welfare payments to EU workers living in the UK.

Syed Kamall, leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists group in which Cameron's Tories sit, said the British PM and EP lawmakers had looked into which kinds of assurances the EP could give on any future deal. Cameron wants the EP to send a strong message that it will not alter substantially any agreement made between the member states.

"The aim is to have a statement of intent, of good will. However, no group leader can guarantee how everyone in his group will vote," Kamall said.

MEPs in the limelight

Cameron also urged MEPs to "expedite" the legislative procedure so that anti-EU campaigners would not exploit the time between the closing of the deal and the legislative cycle.

The issue of legislative procedure following any possible deal has emerged as the next possible hurdle for Cameron.

"The EP is in the limelight now, and it will play up its role on this," Kamall said.

Other MEPs talk of optimism that the UK deal will go through the EP quickly.

Catherine Bearder, a Liberal Democrat MEP, told this website that Cameron was likely to get a deal that he and other leaders would be able to live with.

“If all the heads [of state] can agree to a deal, then we can agree," she said.

Guy Verhofstatd, the liberal leader in the EP, also said that the UK's requests should be accommodated, but that those who wanted to further with EU integration should be able to do so.

"We are in favour of a deal that recognises the special place for the UK within the EU," Verhofstadt said.

He urged the UK to stay in the EU for geopolitical reasons.

"The only two men who gain from Brexit are Farage and Putin - they have an interest in dividing Europe," he told the press after meeting Cameron, referring to UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

No guarantees for UK, says Schulz

EU Parliament president Martin Schulz said after meeting British PM David Cameron that he wants a fair deal for the UK but cannot guarantee the outcome of parliamentary processes.

EU leaders haggle over UK issues in final push

With tough political issues still outstanding, EU leaders gather in Brussels on Thursday where they will try to seal a deal with the UK that would help Cameron to campaign successfully for Britain to remain in the bloc.

EU-UK deal reached in marathon talks

EU leaders have reached a deal on new UK membership terms after marathon talks in Brussels. The UK won concessions on a eurozone "brake" and welfare curbs.

Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM puts Orban on spot

Authorities in Budapest confirmed the former prime minister of Macedonia, fleeing a jail sentence in his own country, has filed for asylum. Despite Hungary's strict asylum laws, the pro-Kremlin politician was not turned away.

News in Brief

  1. US warns EU banks and firms against trading with Iran
  2. Merkel urged Romania not to move embassy to Jerusalem
  3. Protesters call for Czech leader to step down
  4. Former German chancellor labelled 'enemy' of Ukraine
  5. French lead opposition to Brexit deal on fisheries
  6. Private accounts of Danske Bank employees investigated
  7. UK's May defends Brexit deal to MPs, after ministers resign
  8. Brexit MP calls for 'no confidence' vote on May

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. Brexit dominates EU affairs This WEEK
  2. How the EU commission got tunnel vision on self-driving cars
  3. No-confidence calls against May put Brexit deal in doubt
  4. Key points of the Brexit deal (if it ever comes into effect)
  5. Romania heaps scorn on 'revolting' EU criticism
  6. US steps in to clean up Cyprus
  7. 'Decisive progress' on Brexit as British cabinet backs deal
  8. Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM puts Orban on spot

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us