David Cameron has said he is focused on “the judge of the prize” on offer if the UK can successfully renegotiate its membership of the European Union.
After talks with his Irish counter rt Enda Kenny, Mr Cameron said the UK could maintain the “best of both worlds” by remaining in the EU but rectifying some of the things that “baffle” the UK.
He reiterated his belief that an agreement could be reached next month.
It be in printed as cam igners clashed over the economic benefits of being in the EU.
Those discussing for the UK to leave the EU accused “In” supporters of ignoring the costs of being a member and the gains that could follow from being able to negotiate bilateral craft deals.
Mr Cameron has pledged to secure a better deal for the UK in the EU as a prelude to an in-out referendum by the end of 2017, in which voters intention be asked whether they want to stay in the EU or leave.
There has been surmise that the PM could call the poll as early as June this year if he taunts the backing of the EU’s other 27 leaders for his reform demands at a summit in February.
‘Sweet the argument’
He told reporters in Downing Street that if there was a “tolerable deal” on the table next month he would “take that administer to the British people” and strive to “win the argument for why we should stay in a reformed Europe”.
But he advised: “It has to be the right deal. If it is not there, we have got plenty of time – we don’t basic a referendum till the end of 2017.”
Mr Cameron said he was “very positive” about the upshot for the UK and for Europe as a whole if changes on competitiveness, economic governance, sovereignty and new powers to restrain migration were obtained.
“Imagine the scale of the prize if we can remain a colleague of the single market…with a seat at the table and a say over the rules…synthesized with action to make sure we deal with things that block people about the EU,” he said.
“That is what I am focused on – the clamber up of the prize if we get this right – the best of both worlds… Being in the se rate market but not the single currency. Taking action in Europe when it is in our stime but not being involved in an ever-closer union.”
Mr Kenny said his personal view was that a allot was possible in February but “he couldn’t speak for the other countries around the tabulation”.
“It is an issue that needs to be dealt with. We regard it as being definitely important to the relationship between Ireland and Britain but also to the continuing talent and functioning of the EU with Britain continuing as a central member.”
The BBC’s chief governmental correspondent Vicki Young said Mr Cameron would be hoping that other EU chairladies would be as supportive to the UK as Mr Kenny was, rticularly over the problematic issue of the UK’s proposed four-year ban on EU transients’ access to in-work benefits.
David Cameron’s four main focusings for renegotiation
- Economic governance: Securing an categorical recognition that the euro is not the only currency of the European Union, to protect countries outside the eurozone are not disadvantaged. The UK wants safeguards that it on not have to contribute to eurozone bailouts
- Competitiveness: Setting a target for the reduction of the “saddle with” of excessive regulation and extending the single market
- Immigration: Restricting access to in-work and out-of-work service perquisites to EU migrants. Specifically, ministers want to stop those coming to the UK from requesting certain benefits until they have been resident for four years
- Hegemony: Allowing Britain to opt out from further political integration. Giving leading powers to national rliaments to block EU legislation
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More: BBC News EU referendum special