The tortuous process of the U.K.’s attempts to shape its relationship with the rest of the European Union has inched forward again, with its Prime Minister painting one of the clearest pictures yet of what he would want from talks to keep the UK in Europe.
Cameron told to U.K. business leaders in London Monday: “Of course we can survive outside the EU” and added “the status quo isn’t enough for Britain.” In a nod to the anti-EU forces within his own Conservative Party, he said that he has “no emotional attachment to the European Union institutions”.
On Tuesday, Cameron will finally write to Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, finally outlining his demands. Over the summer the U.K. leader has been criticized for not being clear enough in what he wants from other EU leaders. There are several issues likely to be addressed: the rights of non-euro zone countries as the project of binding the euro area countries closer continues; national parliaments’ rights within EU law, and migrants’ access to welfare payments.
While actually leaving the EU – a process dubbed “Brexit” – once seemed an extremely remote possibility, it is becoming more real by the day, with polls suggesting that the campaign to leave is gaining ground. A referendum, which has been promised by the end of 2017 as part of Cameron’s election campaign, could be held in June 2016 if the December negotiations go well for the U.K., according to a report in The Times.