Cameron is asking other EU member states to agree that the UK may discriminate against their citizens – most particularly with regard to free movement, one of the four fundamental principles of membership.
Cameron has told the president of the European council, Donald Tusk, that Britain must be able to reduce the “very high level” of EU migration if he is to campaign in favour of British membership of the EU in his proposed referendum.
In a six-page letter, Cameron set out his four-point plan to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s EU membership. The other three demands are:
• Protections for non-euro members to ensure that euro members cannot draw up new rules for the single market without their agreement.
• A British opt-out from the EU’s historic commitment to forge an ever closer union of the peoples of Europe.
• Boosting competitiveness by writing it into the DNA of everything the EU does.
Margaritis Schinas, the commission’s chief spokesperson, said of the proposal: “Some things are highly problematic as they touch upon the fundamental freedoms of the internal market. Direct discrimination between EU citizens clearly falls into this last category.”
It simply isn’t going to happen.
The last demand is inflammatory, also. Boosting competitiveness? Against whom?
One is led to speculate on whether Cameron is playing to lose.
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