LONDON / AFP
British Prime Minister David Cameron and European Council President Donald Tusk were meeting in London to try to hammer out a deal aimed at keeping the UK in the EU, after Cameron said the existing proposal is “not good enough.”
The working dinner comes with Tusk expected to publish draft proposals early this week for how to reform Britain’s relationship with the EU, which Cameron can then use to campaign against a so-called “Brexit”.
British officials hope that a final deal can be nailed down at a Brussels summit being held on February 18 and 19. That could then open the door to a referendum in June.
But Cameron insists he is willing to hold out for as long as it takes to secure the right package of reforms, if necessary delaying the referendum to September or even next year.
Opinion polls currently suggest that Britons would vote to leave the EU by a small margin.
Tusk arrived in London on Sunday afternoon accompanied by his full negotiation team, an EU source said.
“I don’t expect Tusk to offer future treaty change on free movement” of people, the source said.
Cameron wants to be able to use an “emergency brake” to curb the amount of benefits payments which migrants can claim.
Cameron is expected to demand the right to use the “emergency brake” immediately after any referendum vote to stay in the EU, British newspapers said on Sunday.
He will reportedly add that the current “emergency brake” proposal does not go far enough and could only be a stopgap solution.