Angela Merkel: Mr Cameron EU demands are ‘justified’ and ‘necessary’
Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has said at the press meeting that British renegotiation demands for its EU membership are “justified”.
(Picture nr A71X0798-01 Angela Merkel, German Chancellor)
In a helpful intervention for UK Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of today’s crunch EU council meeting, she said: “Cameron’s demands are far from being demands that are just for Britain. They are also European demands and many of them are justified and necessary.
“I think it’s in our national interest that Great Britain should remain an active member in a strong and successful EU.”
However, French President François Hollande was said to be poised to tell Mr Cameron that what is on the table will not get any better and there can be “no bidding” at the decisive summit tonight.
(Picture nr A71X0798-02 French President François Hollande)
It is understood the Coalition will give strong support to Mr Cameron’s bid to reform the payment of Child Benefit to parents of children who are in their home country.
The proposal is to index Child Benefit paid overseas to the rate of payment in the home country.
If agreed, it will be possible for the Department of Social Protection to implement the option to index child benefits to the standards of living of other Member States.
Separately, a leaked text reveals how Belgium, France, Hungary and Spain plan to trim back Mr Cameron’s deal, and then prevent it being copied to halt a “contagion” of reform across Europe.
It is understood several EU leaders will seek to water down his welfare reforms, limiting them solely to newly arrived migrants, and weaken a mechanism sought by British Chancellor George Osborne to prevent eurozone countries from ganging up against the City of London.
The document, detailing each country’s negotiating position, has been prepared by a European foreign ministry.
It underscores how Mr Cameron’s interlocutors are comparing notes ahead of talks that are expected to run until dawn.
Meanwhile, in London, Mr Cameron called Boris Johnson into 10 Downing Street yesterday in a bid to persuade him to back his EU deal.
(Picture nr A71X0798-03 .MrCameron of PM Mr Cameron )
Ms Merkel at the EU press meeting stressed that “Europe needs Great Britain’s foreign and security policy commitment to assert our values and interests in the world.”
On migrants, Ms Merkel made it clear that she won’t be pushing the contentious subject of new quotas to distribute migrants around Europe.
She reiterated that it would be “laughable” for Europe to approve such quotas when it has barely started to share refugees under existing agreements.
(Picture nr A71X0798-04 Angela Merkel, German Chancellor)
(Text: News Europe by Michael Wilkinson and Kevin Doyle.
Photo: Zhong Min Peng)