By Euro Weekly News Media • 20 February 2016 • 10:20
A DEAL struck by David Cameron following two days of gruelling talks with European Union leaders in Brussels will provide the UK with “special status”, the PM says, and he has pledged to campaign with his heart and soul to remain within the EU.
Arrived at late on Friday, February 19, the agreement will provide the UK with some power to limit benefits for EU migrants and also includes a change of treaty to free the UK from bounds to ever closer unions with other member states, Cameron reported.
Yet exit campaigners are claiming the deal is a hollow one which offers only very minor changes.
European Council president Donald Tusk has announced the agreement to renegotiate the UK’s membership, tweeting: “Deal. Unanimous support for new settlement for #UKinEU.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the reforms may well “elicit support in the UK for the country to remain in the EU,” while Tusk said it “strengthens Britain’s special status” and EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said it was “fair”.
Tusk later declared: “We didn’t walk away from the negotiating table. We were willing to sacrifice part of our interests for the common good, to show our unity.
“I deeply believe the UK needs Europe and Europe needs the UK. But the final decision is in the hands of the British people.”
The deal paves the way for a long expected in/out referendum on EU membership in the UK, which was promised by the end of 2017 but is expected to be held in June this year.
Cameron was due to brief his ministers at a cabinet meeting on Saturday (February 20), following which the ministers would be free to campaign for either side in the referendum.
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special status”? how come and what does that mean?be interesting to see what happens but I think it is too late for change in the ukkay
Historian professor Niall Ferguson in the Sunday Times: “The lesson of history is thatÃÂ British isolationism is itself a trigger for continental disintegration. Vote for Brexit this year and we shall ‘Breturn’ sooner or later to sort out the ensuing mess, but in much the same appalling costly way as we had to in 1808, 1914 and 1939 – and with much less strength than we enjoyed as the world’s biggest empire.”
1808 saw Britain forced out of isolation to join an alliance with Spain and Portugal against Napoleon. The two world wars began in Europe with Britain initially sitting on the fence. Remember Chamberlain’s infamous piece of paper?
All three wars were indeed appallingly costly in terms of death and destruction. There is growing concern that the current proxy wars in the middle east, Daesh or IS, and the refugee situation in Europe, show sufficient similarities to these three conflicts that we may be on the verge of another world war if not already in the opening stages of it. This newspaper, the EWN has commented on just that in its “Our View” column.
Maybe we would all like to live in some kind of Utopia, but will retreating into isolation again be that Utopia? All the world’s current problems will still surround us. They can not be wished away. Perhaps the “luckiest generation that has ever lived” is finally running out of luck.
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