Cross-party MPs back Cameron on new EU deal

A CROSS-PARTY group of MPs has today issued a report backing David Cameron’s “ambitious agenda” to reform the EU.

The influential foreign affairs select committee says a series of crises across the continent show the organisation is ripe for reform and commends the Prime Minister for leading the way on this issue.

However, members warn him against using British withdrawal as a negotiating tactic and say he should seek reform on a pan-European level.

“We are sceptical that other member states would renegotiate existing EU law so as to allow the UK alone to reduce its degree of integration,” the MPs say. “Our sense is that other member states want the UK to remain an EU member. However, we do not think that a UK government could successfully demand ‘any price’ from other members for promising to try to keep the UK in the union.”

Although the report does not consider whether the UK should leave the EU altogether, the MPs say that the country would suffer if it quit and then attempted to negotiate a free trade agreement similar to Norway and Switzerland.

Yesterday Cameron warned that the UK must stay in the EU if it is to remain competitive on the global stage, attacking those who adopt a “stop the world, I want to get off” attitude to international organisations.

“This is about boldly pursuing our interests – not by withdrawing from the world but engaging with it,” he explained.