Deal or no deal? It is crunch time at a summit in Brussels, as Europe’s leaders try to reach an agreement on Britain’s EU reform demands.
Prime Minister David Cameron is a man on a mission.
“It’s going to be hard. I will be battling for Britain,” he said, as he arrived for the summit.
“If we can get a good deal, I’ll take that deal, but I will not take a deal that does not meet what we need. I think it’s much more important to get this right than to do anything in a rush.”
A senior EU diplomat warned that Britain’s taking “nothing for granted” at the summit, with “significant” discussions expected.
France is looking for reassurances.
“The UK should stay in the EU, that’s what I would like to happen. But, at the same time, the EU needs to be able to move on,” said French President Francois Hollande, as he arrived in Brussels.
“No country should have a right to veto, no country should escape the common rules, the common decision-making bodies.”
If Cameron seals the deal, he will campaign for Britain to stay in the EU ahead of a membership referendum.
“As you know, we are in the middle still of very difficult and sensitive negotiations on the UK question. One thing is clear to me though, this is a make or break summit, I have no doubts,” said Donald Tusk, European Council President.
Contentious issues of migration curbs and financial safeguards are expected to dominate the debate in Brussels. But there appears to be an air of optimism.
“I think everybody will have their own drama, and then we will agree,” Dalia Grybauskaitė, Lithuanian President, told reporters.
Reporting from Brussels, euronews’ Sandor Zsiros said: “A group of lawyers is involved in the negotiations. If there’s a deal on the reforms, it will be legally binding after the approval of the European Parliament.”