British Prime Minister David Cameron has concluded a milestone agreement with 27 member states of the European Union (EU) which will keep the United Kingdom within the bounds of Europe’s economic alliance.
“I have negotiated a deal to give the United Kingdom special status inside the European Union,” Cameron stated after talks with the EU concluded.
In obtaining “special status” within the economic partnership, Cameron was able to extract several key concessions from the EU, including: A guarantee Great Britain will not be required to adopt the Euro currency; exemption of London’s financial institutions from EU regulation; EU migrants to the UK will face limits for welfare benefits; and, most important, while remaining a member, the UK will be relieved of the burden of “ever-closer union,” the attempt to draw the UK into equal standing in the EU.
Although Cameron touted the agreement concluded on Friday as sweeping, he was forced to make concessions of his own. The restrictions on welfare payments to migrants living in the UK is short-term, lasting only four years.
Additionally, Cameron capitulated on his demand which would prohibit welfare benefits to the children of migrants living abroad.
Despite claiming a triumph in the exhaustive negotiations in Brussels, Cameron is facing resistance inside his party and elsewhere: Five cabinet ministers, including close friend and political ally, Minister for Justice Michael Gove, have declared their intent to oppose the UK remaining in the EU.
A June 23 date for a national referendum on his agreement with the EU is expected.
[BBC] [The Independent] [Reuters] [Photo courtesy The Telegraph]