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UK's Cameron facing decision time on EU deal

Friday, January 29, 2016 - 01:37

British Prime Minister David Cameron is in Brussels to discuss limits to state benefits for EU workers in 'crucial' weekend of talks on UK membership of the bloc. David Pollard reports.

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Three days of talks which could lead to a new deal on UK membership of the EU. British Prime Minister David Cameron was in Brussels to discuss details of how benefit limits could be placed on other Europeans working in Britain. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "We don't want a 'something for nothing' society. That's what we're determined to deliver, we've made some progress today, it's not enough, it's going to be hard work." Commerzbank Economist Peter Dixon says the EU is 'desperate' to come to an agreement to prevent Britain leaving the EU. SOUNDBITE: Peter Dixon, Global Financial Economist, Commerzbank, saying (English): "I think it's recognition of the fact that a) circumstances have changed within the eurozone with the migrant crisis washing up on EU shores and b) the fact that Brexit is a much more real possibility than many EU leaders had anticipated." Brussels officials describe it as a 'crucial weekend.' A draft package could be circulated to EU governments as soon as Monday, if agreement can be reached over a new 'emergency brake' - which would let any state cut benefits to workers arriving from the EU, if other leaders agree its welfare system is at risk. Either way, the stakes are high. SOUNDBITE: Peter Dixon, Global Financial Economist, Commerzbank, saying (English): "I think there's a very real risk that it certainly could go wrong, yes. And if we end up with a referendum this year without having had a proper debate about what are the costs and benefits of the EU then I think yes we could well sleepwalk into Brexit." A referendum must be held by the end of next year. David Cameron will also meet with European Council President Donald Tusk on Sunday evening.

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UK's Cameron facing decision time on EU deal

Friday, January 29, 2016 - 01:37