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Cameron in Brussels to garner EU support

British Prime Minister is in Brussels to garner European Parliament support for his EU reform demands.

Just one day to a key summit of European leaders, Cameron met the parliament’s president, Martin Schulz, who said MPs would play a “constructive” role in the process.

During the talks, Schulz said although the parliament would not veto any deal, he could offer no guarantees it would back it fully.

Cameron is set to meet EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker as well who said on Tuesday there was no “plan B”.

“If I would say now that we have a plan B, this would indicate a kind of willingness of the Commission to envisage seriously that Britain could leave the European Union.So I am not entering into the details of a plan B, because we don’t have a plan B, we have a plan A. Britain will stay in the European Union as a constructive and active member of the Union,” he said.

Earlier, European Council president Donald Tusk, who is overseeing the UK’s renegotiation, has said talks on the draft deal were “fragile.”

He warned that the negotiations over the UK’s demands were at a critical moment and “the risk of break-up is real.”

Cameron’s four main demands were set out in a letter to Donald Tusk last year. He said the plan was “not mission impossible” but repeated his warning that if he failed to get a deal he “ruled nothing out”: a hint that he could lead a Brexit campaign.

The first objective is “to protect the single market for Britain and for others outside the eurozone”, a policy that would require treaty change but has some backing in Berlin, Paris and Rome.

The second is to “write competitiveness into the DNA of the whole European Union” — hardly a contentious concept in Brussels, at least in theory — by cutting the total burden on business, among other things.

A third section would change the EU treaty to exclude Britain from the idea of “ever closer union” and to strengthen the role of national parliaments in European lawmaking; neither is expected to be a deal-breaker. Cameron admits that the fourth issue, restricting access to welfare payments for migrant workers, is the most difficult, with political resistance from Poland and other eastern European countries likely to be fierce.


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