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Saturday, 20 February 2016

EU: Cameron's Deal

From The Guardian - David Cameron's EU deal: what he wanted and what he got

Euronews report

BBC - The UK's EU referendum: All you need to know

MSN/Bloomberg report - "In the talks to settle Britain’s place in the EU that ended in Brussels late Friday, the original priorities were barely recognizable. The waffly competitiveness demand was dispatched with a declaration that recommits the EU to well-entrenched policies of cutting red tape on businesses and pursuing trans- Atlantic free trade".

According to the MailOnline...

Accordng to The Telegraph...

PM's statement following Cabinet meeting on EU settlement: 20 February 2016 -

"Last night in Brussels I set out Britain’s new settlement with the European Union.

This morning I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet in which I updated them on the special status we have secured for Britain.

And the Cabinet agreed that the government’s position will be to recommend that Britain remains in a reformed European Union.

Now I want to speak directly to the British people to explain why.

We are approaching one of the biggest decisions this country will face in our lifetimes.

Whether to remain in a reformed European Union – or to leave.

This choice goes to the heart of the kind of country we want to be. And the future that we want for our children.

This is about how we trade with neighbouring countries to create jobs, prosperity and financial security for our families.

And it is about how we co-operate to keep our people safe and our country strong. I know there will be many passionate arguments over the months ahead.

And individual Cabinet Ministers will have the freedom to campaign in a personal capacity as they wish.

But my responsibility as Prime Minister is to speak plainly about what I believe is right for our country. I do not love Brussels. I love Britain.

I am the first to say that there are still many ways in which Europe needs to improve – and that the task of reforming Europe does not end with yesterday’s agreement.

And I will never say that our country couldn’t survive outside Europe.

We are Great Britain – we can achieve great things.

That is not the question in this referendum.

The question is will we be safer, stronger and better off working together in a reformed Europe or out on our own. I believe we will be safer in a reformed Europe, because we can work with our European partners to fight cross border crime and terrorism.

I believe Britain will be stronger in a reformed Europe because we can play a leading role in one of the world’s largest organisations from within, helping to make the big decisions on trade and security that determine our future.

And I believe we will be better off in a reformed Europe because British businesses will have full access to the free trade single market, bringing jobs, investment and lower prices.

Let me be clear. Leaving Europe would threaten our economic and our national security.

Those who want to leave Europe cannot tell you if British businesses would be able to access Europe’s free trade single market or if working people’s jobs are safe or how much prices would rise.

All they are offering is risk at a time of uncertainty - a leap in the dark.

Our plan for Europe gives us the best of both worlds.

It underlines our special status through which families across Britain get all the benefits of being in the EU, including more jobs, lower prices and greater security.

But our special status also means we are out of the parts of Europe that don’t work for us.

So we will never join the Euro, we will never be part of Eurozone bailouts, never be part of the passport-free no borders area, or a European Army or an EU super-state.

Three years ago I committed to the British people that I would renegotiate our position in the European Union and hold an in-out referendum.

Now I am delivering that commitment.

You will decide.

And whatever your decision, I will do my best to deliver it.

On Monday I will commence the process set out under our Referendum Act.

And I will go to parliament and propose that the British people decide our future in Europe through an in-out referendum on Thursday 23rd June.

The choice is in your hands.

But my recommendation is clear.

I believe that Britain will be safer, stronger and better off in a reformed European Union".


I feel uneasy about the number of times the PM used the phrase "a reformed European Union (Europe)" - seven times (in bold above).

I am still not at all clear about the ways in which the EU has been - or will be - reformed as a result of the agreement - and I'm certainly not yet in the sort of warm, optimistic mood to wake up singing Oh what a beautiful morning! 

Mind you, it's not all bright and rosy in Oklahoma either - or in the Eastern Aegean.

Update, 21 February, Boris Johnson, Sky News:

While he said David Cameron had done "fantastically well" in a deal he reached with Brussels he added no one "could realistically claim that this is fundamental reform of the EU".

BBC News:

He praised the prime minister for the deal he negotiated with EU leaders to reform the British relationship with the EU, saying Mr Cameron had done "fantastically well" in a short space of time.

"But I don't think anybody could realistically claim this is fundamental reform of the EU or of Britain's relationship with the EU," he said.

Boris Johnson's Telegraph Article - confused in places - "There is only one way to get the change we need, and that is to vote to go, because all EU history shows that they only really listen to a population when it says No. ...It is time to seek a new relationship, in which we manage to extricate ourselves from most of the supranational elements".

euronews - Deal to avoid Brexit ‘irreversible’, Tusk tells MEPs

euobserver - MEPs threaten to unpick UK welfare deal

The Guardian - Tories battle over legal status of David Cameron's EU deal

Another view to consider - Michael Howard: "David Cameron's reform bid has failed"


For the (arguably still selective) big picture

An article by Ian Morris (Stanford Professor) well worth reading  - a rather different version from "Stuck in the middle with EU", published in the Sunday Times News Review on 21 February 2016.

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