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Britain's Cameron Sees Good Chance for EU Reform Deal

  • VOA News

FILE - British Prime Minister David Cameron, shown speaking in the House of Commons in London in December, wants to ensure that any country not in the European Union does not face discrimination from member states.

FILE - British Prime Minister David Cameron, shown speaking in the House of Commons in London in December, wants to ensure that any country not in the European Union does not face discrimination from member states.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday that he was optimistic about the chance of reaching by February 17 a deal to reform the European Union, which would "secure" Britain's future in the 28-nation bloc.

Cameron told leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that he was not asking for anything "outrageous" from them in his reform proposals.

The prime minister said he wanted to make sure that the EU as an organization "is good for those countries that are members of the eurozone, but also good for those countries like Britain that do not want to join the euro," adding that he wanted “the eurozone to succeed.”

Cameron said a clear set of rules and principles was needed "so that if you are not in the eurozone, you suffer no disadvantage, you are not discriminated against and there is proper fairness between the systems. Now, I think that is achievable."

In presenting his other reform proposals, Cameron said he wanted to "hard-wire" competitiveness into the EU, get Britain out of the idea of an "ever-closer union,'' and implement curbs on migration and benefits.

The prime minister said that if a deal did not emerge at a February summit of EU leaders, he could wait to hold a referendum on Britain's EU membership. His party has pledged to hold a referendum by the end of 2017.

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