When This Writer stated “It is often when an initiative to restrict our freedoms seems to be failing that we need to be most vigilant against it”, this is exactly what I meant.
Only a few days ago, we were hearing that David Cameron’s plan to undermine the European Union’s fundamental commitment to the freedom of movement between member states had failed. Not one other EU nation supported his demand to cut benefits for migrants seeking work and migrant workers.
Now, Cameron is saying he thinks he’ll secure a breakthrough at a ‘working dinner’ on Thursday.
This Blog remains concerned that the whole issue is merely a smokescreen, to hide the plan to cut ‘red tape’ – the regulations that protect ordinary citizens from injustice perpetrated on them by their governments and by commercial interests.
No 10 is still hoping David Cameron will secure a breakthrough at the European Union summit on Thursday evening that will allow him to argue that other European leaders have acknowledged the legitimacy of his demand for restrictions on free movement.
The prime minister, arguably playing for the highest stakes of his premiership, wants to be able to say he has reached an agreement that his issues will be addressed and that a full deal will be secured at a summit in February, leading to a UK referendum on EU membership in June or possibly July.
Cameron’s aides said he was not seeking a showdown on Thursday night, when he makes his case at a working dinner, but instead wants the two-hour discussion planned to reveal if there is a political will to acknowledge the UK’s demand for reforms.
Cameron himself has completed a final flurry of diplomatic calls including to the EU president, Donald Tusk, to see how his demand for restrictions in the flow of migrants can be addressed. He also spoke with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.
Tusk said here had been “significant progress” in talks so far with the rest of the 28-nation EU but they were “far from an agreement on several topics”. He added: “This Thursday we will need to focus especially on the most controversial ones. The stakes are so high that we cannot escape a serious debate with no taboos.”
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