Politics: David Cameron sets out EU reform goals


 David Cameron has outlined his four goals for reforming the UK's membership of the EU, including restrictions on benefits for people coming to the UK.

He said Britain faced a "huge decision" in the in/out referendum promised before the end of 2017.

But he said he was confident of getting what he wanted from reform talks.

Anti-EU campaigners say the talks are a "gimmick" - and the European Commission said the UK's benefits proposals could break free movement laws.
The changes the UK wants


EU letter 
 Mr Cameron formally set out his demands in a letter to the president of the European Council Donald Tusk saying four objectives lie at the heart of the UK's renegotiations:

    Protection of the single market for Britain and other non-euro countries
    Boosting competitiveness by setting a target for the reduction of the "burden" of red tape
    Exempting Britain from "ever-closer union" and bolstering national parliaments
    Restricting EU migrants' access to in-work benefits such as tax credits

Mr Cameron hit back at claims by former Tory chancellor Lord Lawson that the four goals were "disappointingly unambitious", saying they reflected what the British people wanted and would be "good for Britain and good for the European Union".

"It is mission possible and it is going to take a lot of hard work to get there," said the prime minister.


Analysis by BBC Europe Editor Katya Adler

Flags 

The European Union realises the British prime minister needs a fight and a bloody nose to drown out criticisms back home that this EU reform process is a sham; that Mr Cameron's demands are wishy-washy and worthless.

They realise he needs a sense of drama. Of a bitter battle fought and won. And they are preparing to give it to him.

But there are also some very real difficulties with the changes to the EU that David Cameron demands from a European perspective. Read more from Katya

Read more

 
 Source: BBC News
 

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