News / Europe

    Britain Sees 'Big Issues' on EU summit Table This Week

    British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, meets French President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Feb. 15, 2016.
    British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, meets French President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Feb. 15, 2016.
    Associated Press

    Britain's foreign secretary said Monday that there will be "very big issues" still on the table at a European Union summit this week as leaders try to thrash out a deal to keep the U.K. in the 28-nation bloc.

    Philip Hammond said that "there are lots of things still being discussed" about reforms the EU might undertake to satisfy the government in London.

    Prime Minister David Cameron will visit French President Francois Hollande late Monday, after meeting with German counterpart Angela Merkel on Friday. Britain is demanding concessions before a referendum on whether the U.K. should leave the EU, a prospect known as "Brexit."  

    Cameron must hold a referendum by the end of next year. If a deal is clinched at the summit that starts Thursday, he might call a vote as soon as June.

    Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos was in Brussels to discuss the issue, saying his country wants Britain to remain in the EU.

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker "knows, and I have said it several times, that Romania wants to find a solution for Great Britain to remain in the EU," Ciolos was quoted as saying by Agerpres news agency.

    Romania joined the EU in 2007, and Cameron visited the country in December to discuss plans to cut benefits as part of efforts to renegotiate the U.K.'s relationship with the 28-nation European Union. Among other groups, the proposal would cover 175,000 Romanians now in Britain.

    European Council President Donald Tusk visited Romania on Monday to discuss the "Brexit" issue with the country's president.

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