UK welfare renegotiation with EU possibly aimed at Romania and Bulgaria

Newsroom 09/11/2015 | 10:50

Great Britain prime minister David Cameron announced a list would be sent sometimes during this week to European Union partners, launching a formal negotiation of the country’s member status, Reuters informs. Romania could be directly in view in one of the demands concerning welfare.

The UK is set to have an “in-out” referendum considering a so-called Brexit by the end of 2017, and Cameron hopes to obtain a vote that keeps the country in the union if he secures the demands UK will send to the president of the European Council on Tuesday, according to BBC.

Some of Britain’s points of negotiation concern the following:

  • – Allowing UK to opt out of the “ever closer union” – Britons feel this clause that has been incorporated in the founding treaty of the union can lead to an European “superstate”, while European officials say it has no binding operational force and does not commit signatories to any particular common policy or institution, making it a symbolic statement;
  • – Restricting access to in-work and out-of-work benefits to EU migrants – this request aims to bar migrants from other EU states from receiving welfare for up to four years after they settle there, with Romanians and Bulgarians possibly in direct view;
  • – Obtaining an “explicit statement” that the euro is not the official currency of the bloc, making it clear the Europe is a multi-currency union – the UK, along with Denmark, have a permanent derogation from joining the eurozone, and this is believed to be a move trying to ensure Britain’s bargaining power with the euro zone and “avoid being relegated to an outer circle in relative isolation”;
  • – Giving greater powers to national parliaments to block EU legislation – the so-called “red card” would give national parliaments power to not only veto EC proposals, but also scrap existing EU laws after periodic reviews;
  • – Creating safeguards to ensure changes in the single market cannot be imposed on non-eurozone members by the eurozone and protection for the City of London financial markets from EU legislation.

These points all lead to an even more detached membership of the country, Reuters shows, and offers no guarantees that the UK won’t want a new negotiation in a few years, since this is the third the country’s asked for since joining the bloc in 1973.

According to BBC, about 40 percent of the British public voted for the Brexit in the latest opinion polls, arguing that the EU is holding UK back, imposing too many rules and charging too many membership fees annually for too little in return.

Natalia Martian

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