‘Britain should stay in EU for national security’ – Cameron warns
The PM, who attended a meeting of EU leaders on Thursday evening, told journalists in Brussels on Friday he had made “good progress” on his four demands for change.
However Cameron admitted there is still “a lot of hard work to do” over his most controversial proposal to restrict EU migrants’ access to benefits.
In a strong suggestion that a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU will be held next year, Cameron said 2016 will go down in history as the year Britain’s relationship with the EU “fundamentally” changed.
He said Britain’s membership of the EU is important for the UK’s economic and national security.
The PM said he aimed to finalize a deal with EU counterparts in February, when all 27 member states will meet to discuss Britain’s proposals.
If Cameron is successful in achieving concessions, a referendum could be held as early as June next year.
“We’ve made good progress, we are a step closer to agreement on the significant and far-reaching reforms I have proposed. It is going to be tough and there is a lot of hard work to do,” the PM said.
“But I believe 2016 will be the year we achieve something really vital, fundamentally changing the UK's relationship with the EU and finally addressing the concerns of the British people about our membership. Then it will be for the British people to decide whether we remain or leave. It is a choice we will all need to think hard about.”
“I believe if we can get these reforms right – and I believe that we can – I firmly believe that for our economic security and increasingly for our national security, the best future for Britain is in a reformed European Union,” he added.