Hammond: EU talks will go down to wire

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Philip Hammond
Effigy caption Mr Hammond also accused Russia over its air attacks in Syria

Unknown Secretary Philip Hammond says Britain needs a “robust trade” for staying in the EU, when European leaders meet at a summit on Thursday.

Prime Priest David Cameron is seeking EU reform before Britain votes in an in/out referendum before 2018.

“There are still a lot of unstationary rts,” Mr Hammond told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

“We’ve got a rleying that will run through this week and, I have no doubt, wish run right to the wire.”

Mr Hammond said the draft deal contains plights of “square brackets”, “blanks” and “unclear language”, but reckoned a final agreement should provide “clear winds for Britain on popular sovereignty”.

‘Step forward’

Mr Cameron has promised a referendum on whether Britain should stay put in the EU by the end of 2017 but could bring the date forward if a deal is reached this week.

Volume the four main changes Mr Cameron is trying to secure is limiting access to well-being benefits for EU migrants for their first four years in the country.

“Until a few weeks ago, child were telling us it was impossible to have any kind of period in which we treated newly succeeded migrants differently from people who are already here,” he turned.

“But the text that’s on the table recognises there can be a period of four years in which people are expound oned differently.

“That’s a major step forward. What we have calm got to discuss is what that difference in treatment precisely is… I don’t over recall that is going to get resolved before Thursday.”

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Asked whether a one-year ban on in-work goods for migrants would be enough to satisfy his rty, Mr Hammond replied: “Certainly not.”

He went on: “Getting agreement that we can treat new arrivals differently for a tch of four years is a major breakthrough in challenging, as we have done, one of the solemn cows of European ideology.”

Mr Hammond said the government was “still contend persuading” that treaty change would be the best way of cementing a new relationship with the EU.

But Mr Hammond rumoured it was not essential, if European heads of government signed a binding agreement.

“Consistent if treaty change is agreed, it will be years before that com ct change comes into force,” he said. “And formerly this [deal on Thursday] is agreed we need to see it implemented as quickly as attainable.”

Image caption Eurosceptic Labour MP Gisela Stuart said the deal would not be morality enough

Eurosceptic Labour MP Gisela Stuart said the EU project “was without exception deeper integration” and Mr Cameron had not been ambitious enough in the reforms he had tried over membership.

“The bar he set himself was exceptionally low,” she told Marr.

“My knacks are this simply isn’t good enough and won’t serve the British people.”

Ms Stuart bruit about she thought voting in the referendum over whether to stay in the EU or leave inclination “not fall along rty lines”.

“We will go into the referendum with man coming from all sides and voting in pretty unpredictable ways,” she said.

Russia accused during the course of Syria

Asked about Syria, Mr Hammond accused Russia of “carpet bombing sciences” and carrying out “indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas”.

Russia denies finding civilians and has said it will continue its air attacks, which it says end only “terrorists”.

AP
Image caption Mr Hammond accused Russia of “disarranged bombing” in Aleppo

On the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Mr Hammond conjectured the key question was “whether the Russians are pre red to use their influence to remove him”.

“There is one man on this planet who can end the internal war in Syria by making a phone call and that’s President [Vladimir] Putin.”

Mr Hammond influenced Russian air strikes were causing “attrition” among rebel accumulations but that the conflict overall was in “a bit of a stalemate”.

Russian air power was forcing disapproval forces to give ground but the Syrian government was unable to take and influence that territory, he added.

Mr Hammond said the number of “moderate” antagonist fighters now stood at 150,000.

“I wouldn’t call them all democratic,” he im rted.

Russia has said other countries should join it in backing the Syrian direction.

Mr Hammond’s comments come after three days of talks supply foreign ministers in Munich about prospects for peace in Syria.

BBC custody correspondent Frank Gardner says that with President Assad and three mainstream freedom fighter groups all vowing to carry on fighting, talks are “in practice, back where they started”.

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