Cameron sets off on European tour to make case for reform

DAVID Cameron will this week attempt to sell his vision for EU reform to other national leaders, with a charm offensive that takes in visits to Madrid, Paris and Berlin.

During the trip the Prime Minister will call on other nations to back his demands, set out in a January speech, for a more competitive bloc that keeps spending under control and puts trade at the centre of its decisions.

Speaking ahead of the tour, which begins today with bilateral talks with Spain’s Prime Minister Rajoy, Cameron said he expects to see further change to the treaties that govern the EU in the next few years.

“Just as Eurozone countries will argue that it’s necessary to have treaty change, I think it’s perfectly legitimate to argue that non-Eurozone countries might need to have treaty changes that suit them,” he told journalists from leading European newspapers.

Admitting that support for EU membership has become “wafer-thin” in Britain, Cameron said that the UK is better off in the bloc but the organisation needs to change.

“We need a Europe that is more open, that is more competitive, that is more flexible, that thinks more about the cost that it’s putting onto its businesses, particularly small businesses,” he said.

He also emphasised the potential for countries to be more selective when it comes to implementing EU policies, saying that countries should be allowed to choose whether they take part in measures such as the financial transaction tax or abolish border controls.