Pig-headed David Cameron had to say something after EU countries knocked him back yet again on his mission to break one of the four pillars of EU membership by restricting free movement from other states to the UK.
They said core EU principles must always include non-discrimination and free movement, and they said he had backtracked into accepting that.
So he has claimed he has found a “pathway to progress”.
It means nothing – apart from being an admission that he has not made any progress at all.
And the agreement to find a “common solution” by February?
It will be a solution that enjoys majority support. Cameron – in a minority of one – will be told to take it, or leave.
David Cameron said on Thursday night that he had found a pathway to progress on his mission to create a new settlement with the European Union, after four hours of make-or-break talks with Britain’s European partners ended with an agreement to find a common solution by February.
In a late night press conference in Brussels, Cameron said the task ahead was very tough, and emphasised that he had not taken his widely rejected demand for a four-year ban on EU migrants receiving UK in-work benefit off the negotiating table.
But other EU leaders said he had backtracked by accepting he could not discriminate against citizens other EU member states.
In perhaps the most encouraging response in the wake of the meeting, Germany’s Angela Merkel said it may be possible to agree to a principle of treaty change now, but to implement those treaty changes later.
She said: “We made it clear that we are ready to compromise, but always on the basis that we safeguard the core European principles, which include non-discrimination and free movement.
“Especially regarding the fourth pillar [on welfare benefits] it won’t be easy, but I still think that with good will we can find good solutions.”
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