Discussions between the U.K. and Europe over its future in the Union are heating up, with U.K.’s prime minister sending a list of demands for reforms to the European Union’s leaders Tuesday.
The U.K. is expected to hold a referendum on whether to stay in the EU or leave (a so-called “Brexit”) in mid-2016 — earlier than the original deadline for reform of 2017. Ahead of the vote, the country’s prime minister is trying to extract promises for reforms in Europe and to renegotiate the U.K.’s membership of the 28-member Union.
On Tuesday, a letter from U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, was published in which he lists demands for EU reforms and a renegotiated U.K. membership.
Speaking at Chatham House Tuesday morning, Cameron covered the central demands the U.K. made of the EU. These included ensuring the protection of the single market for the U.K. and other non-euro countries, plans to boost competitiveness, allowing Britain to be exempt from the EU’s objective of “ever-closer union” and, lastly, restricting EU migrants’ access to in-work benefits in the U.K.
He told the audience at Chatham House that “if the EU were to evolve into a single currency club…then it would no longer be a club for us.”
“We have to make sure there is a point to being in the EU, but not in the euro,” he added, stating emphatically that there would not be a “second referendum.”