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British PM says draft EU deal shows 'real progress'

brussels bureau

British PM says draft EU deal shows 'real progress'

Britain’s Prime Minister says a draft deal aimed at keeping his country in the European Union shows “real progress.” But David Cameron is warning that there is still work to do.

European Council President Donald Tusk has presented proposals, which address all four areas where Cameron has demanded reform.

One of the headlines is that Britain could immediately suspend welfare payments to EU migrants for four years – a so-called “emergency brake” – if voters choose to stay in the bloc in an upcoming referendum.

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      But Eurosceptic politicians, and even some of Cameron’s closest allies, have been left wondering whether the draft deal will be enough.

      “At the beginning of this process, we set out the four areas where we wanted to see substantial change, and this document delivers that substantial change,” said Cameron.

      “But of course there is still detail to be worked on, there is important things to be secured, there’s further work to be done. And of course there is a negotiation at the European Council, so hard work, but I think we’ve made real progress.”

      The draft deal would not bind Britain to deeper EU integration, or “ever closer union,” a goal enshrined in the bloc’s Lisbon Treaty.

      Tusk is proposing that more power be given to national parliaments to potentially block legislation.

      And he says that his plans safeguard the rights of countries like Britain who do not use the euro currency.

      Experts from EU nations are jointly discussing the proposals before they are thrashed out a summit in Brussels later this month.

      If countries back the proposed changes, Cameron says Britain could hold its membership referendum within “a few months.”


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