David Cameron blitzes Europe as efforts are intensified to renegotiate European relationship

 
Ashley Kirk
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Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte David Cameron in The Hague (Photo: Getty Images)

David Cameron is travelling across European countries in an attempt to intensify his lobbying of EU leaders over his plans to renegotiate the terms of Britain's EU membership.

Read more: EU referendum details emerge as David Cameron begins tour to win reform support

The Prime Minister has embarked on a two-day tour of four European capitals. First meeting Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands, he will then meet French President Francois Hollande. This will be followed by meetings with Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The government has released details of the EU referendum bill, which promises a vote by the end of 2017 and will ask voters: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?"
Meanwhile, foreign secretary Philip Hammond told the BBC:

We have a clear set of requirements. The prime minister is very clear in dealing with European Union counterparts - that if we are not able to deliver on those big areas of concern that the British people have we will not win the referendum.

And we expect our European Union partners to engage with us in delivering a package that will enable the British people to decide that they think Britain's future is best delivered inside the European Union.

David Cameron meets Jean-Claude Juncker
Cameron meets European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker after the General Election to begin discussions (Photo: Getty Images)

Mr Hammond added that the UK expected to secure a "substantive package of reforms" as the talks began, while warning that the government would "rule nothing out" if Europe fails to act.

Cameron is planning to demand four key changes, which include a ban on unemployed EU migrants from claiming benefits for four years.

Other demands involve the UK's sovereignty. The Prime Minister is expected to negotiate for an opt-out from the "ever closer" union; to give national parliaments the right to join together to block new legislation; and to ensure that non-Eurozone countries could not be forced into changes to the single markert rules by their Eurozone counterparts.

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