Ahead of next week's European Council summit a senior Conservative MP has pressed chancellor George Osborne to "clear up important questions" arising from elements of the draft reform proposals.
"There is a lot at stake in these negotiations. They could offer gains for the UK, but a lot of important and detailed questions need to be answered at the summit. The UK needs protection from the Eurozone countries pressing ahead with rule making and caucusing in ways which damage British interests," chairman of the Treasury Select Committee Andrew Tyrie said.
While the government could not be expected to answer his questions now, Tyrie said, the negotiations need to put the government in the position where it can answer them.
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The questions asked follow committee evidence sessions over recent months on the costs and benefits of the UK's membership of the European Union, particularly drawing on evidence from the Bank of England.
Writing on behalf of the committee, Tyrie said that the UK needs specific protection to enable to the Bank of England, and other regulators, to do what is required to maintain financial stability. "With its own independent currency, the UK cannot be expected to rely on Eurozone regulation to secure financial stability – we must be fully responsible for making our own rules."
And the UK needs protection from mission creep – the ratchet effect of EU law making. There needs to be a two way street. Amendment or repeal of EU rules, not least to reduce the burden on business, should be in the EU’s bloodstream.
It isn’t at the moment. The urge to legislate needs a counterweight. For that, the government should press vigorously for independent and continuous review of the EU’s rule book, and to ensure that it is built in to the way the EU makes law.
The queries come after European Council President Donald Tusk published his long-awaited response to Prime Minister David Cameron's renegotiation demands on 2 February, which Cameron said would fundamentally change the UK's relationship with the EU.
The circulation of the draft agreement kicked off another two weeks of negotiations ahead of the summit. Cameron has said that he wants to secure a final deal at the meeting, paving the way to hold an In/Out vote as soon as June.