Cameron has an ace: the EU desperately wants to keep hold of Britainby Vicky Pryce / January 29, 2016 / Leave a comment
David Cameron has had a complicated end to the week. He originally planned to spend his Friday visiting European capitals to drum up support for his proposed changes to the EU. He wants agreements in place before the EU summit in February.
Instead, the Prime Minister attended a meeting in Brussels with the President of the European council, Donald Tusk. Cameron’s change of schedule has been briefed in the UK as a positive development and the government is indicating that there is likely to be progress in his push to limit in-work benefits for four years for new EU migrants. Tusk, it should be noted, is a former prime minister of Poland, a country that has benefited greatly from the free movement of people.
To avoid accusations of discrimination against other European nationals, the UK would, under this proposal, also be free to impose a four-year ban on migrants entering Britain from the EU. Even if this compromise were accepted, it would make very little difference to overall immigration levels. This is a good thing in some ways as the Offic…