Home / Lead News / Juncker says EU wants to find ‘fair deal’ for UK

Juncker says EU wants to find ‘fair deal’ for UK

34The European Union wants to reach a “fair deal” for the UK and other EU countries, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has said.
Mr Juncker was speaking as David Cameron prepares to discuss his reform plans at a summit of EU leaders.
Mr Cameron will seek to convince sceptical EU leaders to accept his plans to limit benefits for migrants.
There have been warnings that most EU nations, including France and Germany, are against it.
Thursday’s talks over dinner are the first time EU leaders will discuss the PM’s reforms in detail.
Mr Cameron wants to get a new deal for the UK before putting it to an in/out referendum by the end of 2017.
EU Council President Donald Tusk has called for a “serious debate with no taboos” about Mr Cameron’s demands.

Mr Cameron will use a dinner in Brussels later to make the case for his benefit curbs, which are aimed at convincing voters he is doing something about high levels of immigration from the EU.
Also on the agenda at the EU Council meeting will be the migrant crisis, climate change and the fight against terrorism.
Mr Cameron has said he wants the UK to remain in a reformed EU but has not ruled out campaigning for an exit if his demands are rejected.
His requests focus on four key objectives:
Protection of the single market for Britain and other non-euro countries
Boosting competitiveness by setting a target for the reduction of the “burden” of red tape
Exempting Britain from “ever-closer union” and bolstering national parliaments
Restricting EU migrants’ access to in-work benefits such as tax credits for four years
EU officials say good progress has been made in three of the four areas, but the four-year waiting time before EU migrants can claim benefits has proved controversial, with Donald Tusk saying recently there was “presently no consensus” among the 28 member states, all of whom would have to agree with his reforms.

Tight security because of the recent terror threat isn’t the only reason that Brussels feels tense.
Seeing khaki military trucks near the EU’s main buildings, police on the streets locking down security before the summit certainly changes the atmosphere. But for the prime minister, it’s tense for a different reason.
By his own admission, David Cameron is trying to do something that has never really been tried before – change a country’s relationship with the rest of the EU while already being a member.
The challenge facing Mr Cameron was underlined by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in an address to the Bundestag, the German parliament.
She said she wanted an agreement which would allow the British government to successfully campaign for a vote to remain in the EU, but added that she would not “call into question the core principles of European integration”, including freedom of movement.
A deal is not expected at the summit, which starts on Thursday, but Mr Tusk has said the talks should “pave the way” for an agreement by the next gathering of EU leaders in February.
Speaking ahead of the summit on Thursday, Mr Juncker said: “We want a fair deal with Britain and this fair deal has to be a fair deal with Britain and with other the other 27 countries.
“We’ll enter the concrete and vital phase of negotiations with our British colleagues. The Commission is ready to look for other options than the single one (the benefits cap) proposed by the British prime minister and I’m quite convinced that we will find a solution to that highly complicated question.”
Eurosceptics have dismissed the PM’s reform demands as “trivial” – and UKIP leader Nigel Farage said Thursday’s talks were a “charade”.
The only substantive point on the table for discussion was David Cameron’s proposal to ban migrants in the UK from claiming in-work benefits for four years, he said.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme it was time for Britain to “leave the European room and join the world room”, and warned that the EU’s approach to migration and border control threatened UK security.
“I want us to have the ability to vet, as much as possible, the people who come to our country,” he said.
Labour, which wants Britain to remain in the EU, said the prime minister had “botched his negotiations with European leaders”.
In a speech to European socialists in Brussels, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is to say: “He has tried to bludgeon them into accepting flawed and phoney reforms, which will not address the real problems of the European Union – and failed.”