British Prime Minister is still fighting to keep Britain in Europe. He pleaded on Thursday for the other 27 countries to work with him to create a deal that the British people would be happy with.
One of the Conservative Party’s promise before the 2015 General Election was to offer a referendum on the European Union. The British people would get to say “yes” or “no” on staying in the 28-member union, as many argue that Britain has lost its sovereignty and ability to make its own decisions. The arguments reached a climax last year when Home Secretary Theresa May wanted to bring in a welfare change that would stop EU migrants from claiming UK benefits for the first four years and restrict child benefit payments if children do not live in the UK. This would not be allowed with the current EU treaties in place. Part of being in the EU is to have freedom of movement between the countries, with no restrictions on the welfare systems.
Cameron has been in discussions with other members of the European Union since Thursday morning. He walked out at 5am Friday but plans to return at 11am local time. Negotiations will likely continue into the weekend, as various member states refuse to work with Cameron’s requests from the British people. The eastern states are the ones currently blocking all negotiations on changes to the welfare system. British people believe that this is because they will likely be the most affected.
The British welfare system is one of the most generous in the whole of Europe. Many migrants are taking advantage of this, with some sending the money back to their home nation.
The Danish Prime Minister Lars Looke Rasumssen says that Cameron has set the bar and needs to jump over it. Cameron says that Britain will likely pull out of the EU if negotiations do not go through. The British people are more likely to vote to leave.
France also has concerns that the City of London could evade some of the financial rules set by the EU. This is something that needs negotiating for President Hollande to work with Cameron. The British pound has dropped in value to $1.4297 due to the summit.
Despite the talks, Michael Gove is likely to disagree with any agreement Cameron is able to get and will join the Out group. London Mayor Boris Johnson is also straddling both sides at the moment. The referendum is expected to take place on June 23, 2016, a month after the Scottish Parliament elections.
Bloomberg Business: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-19/eu-anti-brexit-deal-goes-to-wire-as-cameron-meets-resistance-iktgyadt
Financial Times: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/19fe32bc-d6db-11e5-8887-98e7feb46f27.html#axzz40cJOy4ZG
Image from Wall Street Journal Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/WSJ/status/700641562393358337
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