Cameron says Britain not happy, EU needs to change

British prime minister and European Union Commission president discuss reforming EU and UK’s ties with Union

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

British Prime Minister David Cameron discussed reforming the European Union with the EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday, renegotiating the UK’s ties with the Union.

A British government spokeswoman said, Cameron told Juncker that Britain needed a new deal on the EU, ahead of his meetings with other national leaders this week.

"The prime minister underlined that the British people are not happy with the status quo and believe that the EU needs to change in order to better address their concerns," said the spokeswoman.

Juncker told Cameron that he also wanted to find a fair deal with the UK and would seek ways to help, adding they needed more time to discuss to find the best way, she said.

David Cameron had promised the British people a “simple referendum of in or out” of the EU immediately after the election. The legislation is ready but the anticipated referendum date is 2017.

Cameron also wants few changes over the conditions of migrant workers, such as demanding a “four-year qualification period” before they can receive any benefits, and deport EU jobseekers out  after six months.

The British PM will first fly to Denmark this week to meet Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt on Thursday, and then will meet with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the Netherlands, and finally will fly to Paris to meet with French President Francois Hollande, sharing his reform plans with the leaders.

He will also meet Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz in Warsaw and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany, within his plan to meet all 27 EU leaders individually before the end of June when he will set out his reform plan in more details in a EU Council meeting.

Meanwhile, British government said on Monday it would only allow British, Irish, Maltese, Cypriot, and other Commonwealth citizens aged over 18 and citizens in the UK would be able to get to vote in the referendum, which means the citizens of other EU countries living in Britain would not get to vote.

"This is a big decision for our country, one that is about the future of the United Kingdom,” said Cameron’s office.

“That's why we think it's important that it is British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens that are the ones who get to decide."

According to data released last week by the Office for National Statistics, 318,000 people moved to Britain in 2014 and 209,000 in 2013. The organisation has named the rise “a statistically significant increase,” mentioning that it was just below a rise in 2005 of 320,000.

TRTWorld and agencies