David Cameron Secures Agreement with European Union
David Cameron has secured a last minute agreement with the European Union. He believes that he can now confidently recommend staying within the organisation in the future.It is highly likely he will set a date for the EU Referendum in his statement to parliament on Monday, 22 February.
Within the last hour I have negotiated a deal to give the UK special status in the European Union.
I will fly back to London tonight and update the Cabinet at 10am tomorrow morning.
This deal has delivered on the commitments I made at the beginning of this renegotiation process.
Britain will be permanently out of ever closer union – never part of a European superstate.
There will be tough new restrictions on access to our welfare system for EU migrants – no more something for nothing.
Britain will never join the Euro. And we have secured vital protections for our economy and full say over the rules of the free trade single market while remaining outside of the Euro.
I believe it is enough for me to recommend that the United Kingdom remain in the European Union – having the best of both worlds.
We will be in the parts of Europe that work for us, influencing the decisions that affect us in the driving seat of the world’s biggest market and with the ability to take action to keep people safe.
And we will be out of the parts of Europe that don’t work for us.
Out of the open borders. Out of the bailouts. Out of the Euro. And out of all those schemes in which Britain wants no part.
Some of the policies the Prime Minister has won agreement for include:
- An emergency brake on in-work benefits for EU citizens working in the UK.
- Child benefit for the children of EU workers will be index linked to the economies of their parent country.
- Britain will keep the pound and will never join the euro.
- Strong protections have been agreed for Britain’s financial services’ industry.
- Britain has opted out of ever closer union and will never be part of a European superstate.
- Action to reduce uncontrolled migration into the country will include:-
New powers against criminals from other countries – including powers to stop them coming here in the first place, and powers to deport them if they are already here.
Longer re-entry bans for fraudsters and people who collude in sham marriages.
And an end to the ridiculous situation where EU nationals can avoid British immigration rules when bringing their families from outside the EU.
We have also secured a breakthrough agreement for Britain to reduce the unnatural draw that our benefits system exerts across Europe.
We have already made sure that EU migrants cannot claim the new unemployment benefit, Universal Credit, while looking for work.
And those coming from the EU who haven’t found work within 6 months can now be required to leave.
Today we have established a new emergency brake so that EU migrants will have to wait 4 years until they have full access to our benefits.
This finally puts an end to the idea that people can come to our country and get something for nothing.
The European Commission has said unambiguously that Britain already qualifies to use this mechanism.
And it won’t be some short-term fix. Once activated this brake will be in place for a full 7 years.
The Prime Minister concludes:
I believe we are stronger, safer and better off inside this reformed European Union.
And that is why I will be campaigning with all my heart and soul to persuade the British people to remain in the reformed European Union that we have secured today.
The next few days should show how far David Cameron’s agreement has affected the opinions of those inside and outside of his party. The date of 23 June has previously been suggested for the timing of the EU referendum. With the public split almost 50-50 on whether or not to remain within the European Union, that only gives four months to resolve the conflicts in the country and to win the argument that Britain’s future lies within the structure of the increasingly fragile European organisation. But David Cameron has offered an alternative to either being completely subsumed within it or completely separate from it – Britain would be part of the European superstructure but a unique individual feature within it, sometimes following its own rules, and sometimes following those set by Brussels.